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:: RPG Source :: View Review :: Shadowrun

Shadowrun is one of my all-time favorite RPGs, and definately my favorite game on the Genesis. The basic storyline of Shadowrun is based on you finding your brother's killers. It is set in futuristic Seattle and boasts many unique systems that are integrated into the storyline. The best of these systems is the Matrix. The Matrix is a filesystem with built-in security measures [ICE] that defend information. You can buy many different cyberdecks, each with their own capabilities and customize them with upgradable programs, such as "Attack" or "Mask." Each of the dozens of programs perform a distinct task, and can make navigation through the Matrix much easier. The storyline ties into the Matrix when you must hack into somebody's personal database to grab a memo that's stored on file.

A "Shadowrun" is basically a contract to do a job. "Johnsons" are people that give out Shadowruns to 'runners. The main character, Joshua, and his brother Michael are both Shadowrunners, and performing runs is one of your only sources of money in the game. A run can be anything from escorting somebody to breaking into an office building an stealing a package. The huge, dynamic game world of Shadowrun allows you to move through the storyline at your own pace, while still keeping the game fun and interesting.

The progression of the game is not level-based, but instead works with upgrading individual stats, one at a time. You spend Karma, gained from completing Shadowruns, to upgrade a specific attribute, such as "Attack", "Computer", or "Shotguns." Each stat plays into whatever you do in the game, from negotiating a payment for a Shadowrun, to deleting a file from a node in the Matrix. This system allows for a very unique game every time you play it, especially with 3 archtypes available at startup.

Shadowrun's graphics are not particularly great, but each area's look is unique and the colors are vibrant. If this game were ported over to the PS2, graphics are most likely the only aspect that would need to be improved upon. Graphics in the Matrix however, are very nice and seemed to push the Genesis to its limit.

The music in Shadowrun does a great job of tone the tone in every area you visit. There is a lot of variation in the sounds of every club or store you visit. This, along with the dialog and look of the NPCs, does a great job of portraying the feel of the game.

Gameplay is purely real-time, even when using the Matrix. There is a simple targeting system for gunfights and melee combat, and many stats play into your damage level and accuracy, including the many different kinds of weapons you can buy. Cyberware can increase your efficiency, help you combat opponents who use magic, or simply make you do more damage with your fists [i.e. spurs]. Most guns can be customized by adding a silencer or improving the targeting system. The three main classes of guns are handguns, SMGs [sub-machine guns], and shotguns.

Shadowrun is an extremely fun to play game that can be played over and over. The storyline is decent, and the many subsystems and game progression system helps keep every second of gameplay exciting. Anybody that's a fan of role-playing games definately needs to give this one a try.

Related Media -
Barrens Theme [sample] - http://www.rpgsource.net/misc/Shadowrun Barrens.mp3
City Theme [sample - http://www.rpgsource.net/misc/Shadowrun City.mp3
Cyberspace Theme [sample] - http://www.rpgsource.net/misc/Shadowrun Cyberspace.mp3

More Screenshots
By X13 (20/10/2002)

* NetEcho blows X13

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