As an avid Shadowrun fan, I was psyched when I heard about the kickstarter for Shadowrun Returns. I immediately backed it and kept careful track of the progress. Based on some of the design decisions and the concept art, I was initially concerned. My worry proved to be unfounded though. When I first opened Dead Man's Switch I was immediately pleased with the depth of detail in story and graphics.
It does a respectable job of emulating the pen and paper game feeling. There is room for improvement, and I certainly hope some of the issues are addressed in the future, but there is enough variety for you to at least customize a character to reflect you (combat) style. Lacking stealth is a particularly strong drawback. So is the way social skills like negotiation and con are replaced with etiquette, but a smart modder can work around that and present an experience which will tailor to your needs.
Which brings me to my next point, the editor. Say what you will about the main story, give it a couple months and it won't matter. The game comes with the same editor the developers used to make the game. Based on the community, you can expect some amazing modules to come and I look forward to them in the future! As for the main game, I enjoyed it even though it was fairly linear. It had the feeling of playing shadowrun at a gaming convention, you needed to follow a set script, but there was a decent story to back it up.
One of the biggest concerns myself, and the community had was the lack of a save anywhere feature. Fortunately HBS was quick to implement this after release. They are very attentive to their fans needs. Now if only they could do something to limit ammo!
Overall though, I am happy with Shadowrun Returns. If you are an avid fan, get it. If you are a casual gamer, do your research first. This game is not made by a major studio, you cannot hold it to the same standards as you would something from EA Games. If you want voice acting, amazing graphics, and more options than you can imagine, this is not for you. If you are willing to give the little guy a chance, and want the feeling of playing Shadowrun with your friends, then you will probably be pleased with what you get. At the very least its the best Shadowrun game out there currently.
I was asked about the game's replayability, so here is an update to address that. I will (most likely) better update the review later, but for now here it is.
Most of my hours were spent inside the editor, you can easily spend hundreds of hours making your own mods. If you want to tell your own stories, and share them with the community, this is the game for you. The editor is the same tool used by the devs to make the official modules.
A regular player will get less mileage out of the official campaign. The base campaign, Dead Man's Switch is under 20 hours for a playthrough. I played through it 3 times with different style of characters, but the experience is more or less the same regardless of character type.
The expansion, Dragonfall, was also under 20 hours of playtime. I have only played that campaign once. Its a much more satisfying experience than the base campaign, but still, limited replay-ability. There are a couple optional missions you can play, but they both are fairly linear overall.
The place where you can get strong replay-ability is the fan made modules. Some of them are really incredible. The downside is that being fan made you need to be patient for them to finish. It is entirely likely that you will start one and then finish everything that is there and be stuck waiting for the next installment.