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Shadowrun Returns: MADNESS!

Shadowrun Returns: MADNESS!

Platform: PC Games
Category: RPG
Official PageSteam Store Page

So, it's official: Harebrained Studios, creators of Shadowrun Returns, have gone bonkers. In the best way possible. Why? Because they're allowing you to use their editor to edit the *main game*. So be really nice, folks, and don't abuse this feature when the game comes out in 5 days time! The editor, as the team have mentioned before, pretty much contains all assets from the game, and a lot of stuff from the 4th edition of the tabletop RPG it's based on.

Before I link you to some of the content created by the community, even before release, I'd better explain Shadowrun a bit for those who didn't play the original SNES game, the tabletop RPG, or (worst case scenario) the Microsoft shooter. Shadowrun is a cyberpunk alternate future... where magic also exists. That's right, mages and dragons co-exist with cyber-samurai, corpsicles, and deckers... Which makes for some pretty interesting situations, and you, the players, are Shadowrunners: Deniable assets who work for money, a cause... Whatever floats your boat, really. It's an awesome setting, and, despite looking like it's from the time of Fallout 1 and Baldur's Gate, the game itself looks to be pretty awesome too (we'll hopefully be reviewing it soon after release.)

Now, since some lucky people got to test things, and others got early access, there is already discussion on the editor, tutorials, and the like over on the official Harebrained forums (for example, the Lost Lamb mission is discussed at http://www.shadowrun.com/forums/discussion/27145/the-lost-lamb-original-...), and, more importantly, there's *content*. This varies from pure awesome to... Well, not so awesome. Let's do one example of each, and you guys and gals can look for more.

Firstly, there's the "Reverse Alpha". Despite the commentary for this video being... Not very good, and the content itself little more than a curiosity (It's the Alpha gameplay, but from the villain's perspective), it's still something that's been done, and you can go see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=57L4bEOYgvE .

Secondly, however, there's the creation of a simple hostage mission. It's informative, it shows you all the basics, and, even though the commentator doesn't give many hints how to improve it so it's more involving, it shows how easy the editor is to use in general (think something like the old Games Factory for the basics, with only a bit of scripting involved for most simple tasks.) That video can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xCDqoXkcGGI .

So, it's been established I think they're a bit nuts for making the main campaign so accessible. But Jordan Weisman, head of Harebrained, has something to say about that:

"The idea of releasing all of the editor files for the Shadowrun Returns campaign was based on my experience working with Trent Reznor on the Alternate Reality Game (ARG) for his album Year Zero. Trent empowered his fans to re-mix his music anyway they wished by releasing the GarageBand tracks with the album. With Shadowrun Returns we are doing the same thing, players can start from what we have created and build on it, revise it, or use it as a starting point for completely new stories. I believe we are the first to release an editable version of an entire campaign, and we are excited to see where the players take this universe."

Okay, so maybe they're not crazy at all. Either way, expect awesome things from Shadowrun Returns, which releases in just five days time!


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