Thursday, March 29, 2007

Retro game of the week: Shadowrun (SNES)


Adapted from the pen and paper RPG, Shadowrun was a pioneering attempt at open gameplay, worth looking into even today. It was developed by Australian company Beam Software (now Melbourne House) and released in November 1993.

The gritty dystopian atmosphere presented in Shadowrun is typical for the classic cyberpunk setting - the main characters last name,
Armitage, is even (rather blatantly) derived from William Gibson's famous cyberpunk novel Neuromancer. The story takes place in an miserable future where massive corporate structures control a world inhabited by humans as well as orcs and elves. An integral part of the storyline revolves around the conflicting/symbiotic relationship between magic and technology. Riiight.

Shadowrun combines both the statistical factor of the tabletop game with real-time combat. Controlling the slow cursor is something to get used to, especially when enemies respawn in almost every room and sometimes in the streets, making the sluggish crosshair even more irritating. Besides that, I see little reason for not delving deeper into this game, once again. A new Shadowrun game is coming to the PC and Xbox 360 later this year. I have no faith in it.

Instead, use an emulator and start looking for the ROM.

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