As someone who has never played the original Shadowrun game(s), and knew nothing about it, I found this to be pleasantly suprising. The atmosphere is definitely awesome. A fantasy-esque type Cyberpunk world, with trolls, orcs, elves, and dwarves? Very hard to dislike! It also does a good job building up the setting, with characters using unique slang equivalent to swear words of our own such as drek, fragging, etc. You really get immersed into the story. A good number of skills can be used even in dialogue, so I feel like no matter how you build your character you'll likely be hard pressed to not have a unique choice when chatting it up with NPCs.
That being said, however...the game is fairly linnear. Even though you have numerous unique dialogue choices, they almost always lead to the same end result(s), which is very disappointing. There is no branching in this game, it's all essentially from A to B, dialogue included. Granted, I only beat Dead Man's Switch, so maybe Dragonfall and the eventual Hong Kong campaign is different, but I really didn't feel like choices even mattered. It was a straight shot, a pure theme park ride. I see little point in replaying to attempt to get a different experience, as the story didn't really seem flexible by any means.
Speaking of story, my goodness was it ♥♥♥♥ing random as all get out.You start with hunting down a modern Jack the Ripper. He is taking different organs and body parts from various victims, your friend included. That's where you come in, just another slum dog shadow runner who promises justice to your dead friend, with a profit promised if you can bring his killer to justice. Sounds good so far....Except it eventually leads to uncovering a deeper plot that involves essentially saving the world from a cult who is trying to bring bugs from a different plane into our own existence/world? What the hell? Complete with a secret society who has prepared for this, who want you to lead the charge.
So yeah, the story definitely takes a huge jump in direction mid-way through, and it wasn't really to my liking. It just feels like a thematic mess of things, with the writer trying to go into too many direction and add far too many twists for the sake of grandeur.
That aside, gameplay wise I enjoyed the heck out of this title. I attribute that mostly due to my love of tactical turn-based rpgs like XCOM, Final Fantasy Tactics, Vandal Hearts, etc. and this does a pretty serviceable job of being enjoyable( though it's fairly easy, in all honesty ). I tried making it difficult for myself by sending only my main, created character on a side-quest run, and honestly it was still a breeze due to I suppose how I built my character( Pistols, Quickness, Dodge primarily ). I would crit every other shot with my main character, on top of almost always having pretty much a 99% chance to hit.
Now that I mention percentages, and chances to hit, this brings me to a frustrating piece toward the end-game when you're fighting a particular enemy. This one enemy requires you kill their physical form before killing their "ghost" or "ethereal" form. You have to hit them 3 times in that ghost form with a specific weapon, problem being however that you only get 2 attempts with that one weapon, and you only have 2 characters with this weapon. If you don't kill them in that round, they manifest themselves physically again, forcing you to kill them...again to get them to exit their body. So....you end up praying to RNGesus to finish off this enemy. Well, more accurately, enemIES. You fight up to 3-4 of these guys at once, and it just becomes a dice roll you have to boringly sit through for each and every guy. Numerous times I would have an 83% or 84% chance miss twice, only to rinse and repeat the process. Yeah, not fun.
Another problem this game faces, which I hope is a bug and not a design decision, is being stuck in a combat, turn-based state where while navigating an area or "dungeon" you have the movement tiles you're restricted to. You'll be forced to slowly progress your entire party, in a turn-based manner throughout an area, interacting with certain quest triggers, when there's no enemies in sight whatsoever. It ends up being such a chore if you see a lootable item across the room. I feel like my game's length was artificially extended due to this. What could have been a 10 minute segment turns into a 30 minute one just because of having to navigate an area in that turn-based manner. Lame.
Other than those complaints, however, I thoroughly enjoyed my playthrough. It's pretty short, but thankfully due to an editor there's a fair amount of custom content on the Steam workshop.