Harebrained Schemes' biggest Shadowrun game to date, and the definitive Shadowrun RPG experience available on PC. Now a standalone title with tons of new content & improvements!
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (35 reviews) - 82% of the 35 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,527 reviews) - 91% of the 2,527 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 18, 2014

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Reviews

“As it stands, it’s the definitive Shadowrun experience, and is easily one of the best, if not the best, tactical-RPGs of 2014. Do yourself a favor and buy the game. Director’s Cut is clearly worth every penny.”
4.5/5 – Hardcore Gamer

“One of the most memorable and complex RPG stories of the decade.”
81 – PC Gamer

“Dragonfall’s a big improvement on Shadowrun Returns [...] and it pulls off the smart trick of being both a superior starting point and a more satisfying follow-up.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

About This Game

Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut is a standalone release of Harebrained Schemes' critically-acclaimed Dragonfall campaign, which first premiered as a major expansion for Shadowrun Returns. The Director's Cut adds a host of new content and enhancements to the original game: 5 all-new missions, alternate endings, new music, a redesigned interface, team customization options, a revamped combat system, and more - making it the definitive version of this one-of-a-kind cyberpunk RPG experience.

NOTE: The Director’s Cut is free to existing owners of the Dragonfall expansion for Shadowrun Returns. It will be automatically added to your Steam Library when the game is released.

Man Meets Magic & Machine

In 2012, magic returned to our world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Among them was the Great Dragon Feuerschwinge, who emerged without warning from the mountains of Germany, unleashing fire, death, and untold destruction across the countryside. It took German forces nearly four months to finally shoot her down - and when they did, their victory became known as The Dragonfall.


It’s 42 years later - 2054 - and the world has changed. Unchecked advances in technology have blurred the line between man and machine. Elves and trolls walk among us, ruthless corporations bleed the world dry, and Feuerschwinge’s reign of terror is just a distant memory. Germany is splintered - a stable anarchy known as the “Flux State” controls the city of Berlin. It’s a place where power is ephemeral, almost anything goes, and the right connections can be the difference between success and starvation. For you and your team of battle-scarred shadowrunners, there’s no better place to earn a quick payday.

Now, a new threat is rising, one that could mean untold chaos and devastation. One that soon has you and your team caught on the wrong side of a deadly conspiracy. The only clue: whispers of the Dragonfall. Rumors that the Great Dragon Feuerschwinge may still be alive, waiting for the right moment to return…

Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut Features

A Classic, Story-Driven cRPG: See why PC Gamer hailed Dragonfall as “one of the most memorable and complex RPG stories of the decade.” Dragonfall hearkens back to the golden age of computer RPG’s with a novel-like branching narrative full of sharp prose and deep character development. Immerse yourself in a smart, 20+ hour campaign with a diverse cast of all-too-human characters.

A One-of-a-Kind Cyberpunk Setting: Experience the unique “Tech meets Magic” dystopian future of Shadowrun, a fan-favorite game setting now celebrating it’s 25th anniversary. Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut is the perfect entry point to the setting for those with no prior Shadowrun experience, while providing plenty of classic Shadowrun characters and tech for veteran players to sink their teeth into.

Command Your Team: Lead a small team of shadowrunners - each with their own outlook, motivations, and backstory. The members of your team are designed to play contrasting roles during missions, and each has a distinct set of skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. But it’s not all about the mission - each team member also has challenges to face in their own lives, which you can choose to brush aside or play an important part in.

Gripping, Turn-Based Tactical Combat: When you’re running the shadows, every turn matters. Choose your actions wisely - move to better cover, charge into melee, or lob a fireball into a crowd of enemies. With over 200 weapons and spells at your disposal, every turn is filled with meaningful choices.

Skill-Based Character Progression: Choose a starting character archetype and build from there! Street Samurai and Physical Adepts use advanced combat skills to dominate the battlefield, Shamans and Mages summon powerful allies and cast deadly spells, while Riggers and Deckers provide critical technological support, projecting their consciousness directly into drones and computer systems. Shadowrun: Dragonfall’s classless skill system allows you to grow your character in any direction you choose.

New in the Director’s Cut

Standalone: Due to popular demand, Dragonfall is now a completely standalone title!

Five All-New Missions: The Director’s Cut features five all-new original missions, including three related directly to the personal stories of your team members. These missions take you to previously-unseen locales - both within the Flux State and beyond - where you’ll have to face challenging enemies and make tough choices in order to help your team members prevail.

Revamped Combat System: The Dragonfall combat system has received a major overhaul. An all-new armor system adds another tactical layer to the experience, while refined cover and damage mechanics emphasize the importance of battlefield positioning. Complementing these improvements is an upgraded AI system which reacts more intelligently and accurately to your actions.

Redesigned Interface: The Dragonfall in-game interface has also been rebuilt. Spells, items and abilities are now much easier to access, while improved combat feedback allows you to fully understand the tactical situation in any given encounter.

Customize Your Team: Guide your team members as they progress in each of their unique roles, choosing between different focus options to grant them new items and abilities. In addition, if you don’t like a team member’s default spell, item or weapon loadout, you can now customize what they bring on each mission.

Ten New Pieces of Original Music: Fan-favorite composer Jon Everist brings ten new tracks of moody cyberpunk music to the Dragonfall experience, including compositions based on the stories of individual members of your team.

The Complete Dragonfall Soundtrack: As a free bonus, the Director’s Cut includes the entire soundtracks from both Dragonfall AND our previous title, Shadowrun Returns. This also includes the brand new tracks exclusive to the Director’s Cut. Featuring music from the composers of the classic Shadowrun SEGA and SNES games, this exciting cyberpunk soundtrack pays homage to the past with a modern sentiment.

And Much More:
  • Steam Achievements!
  • Steam Trading Cards - collect your favorite Dragonfall characters
  • All-new alternate endings to the main campaign
  • Enhanced visual effects including splatter and dismemberment, improved animations, and optional post-processing effects
  • New bioware augmentations provide an extra edge on the battlefield… if you’ve got the nuyen
  • A variety of new items, cyberware & spells
  • Additional player customization options
  • Expanded character development for several side characters
  • Writing and design tweaks and polish throughout!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP3/Vista/Windows 7
    • Processor: x86-compatible 1.4GHz or faster processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX compatible 3D graphics card with at least 256MB of addressable memory
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.6
    • Processor: Intel-based Macs only (x86-compatible, 1.4GHz or better)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Modern 3D graphics card with at least 256MB of addressable memory
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • Processor: x86-compatible 1.4GHz or faster processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Modern 3D graphics card with at least 256MB of addressable memory
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (35 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,527 reviews)
Recently Posted
santeri.huida
27.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 23
Just finished the game and totally loved it!

+ The level design was great
+ You had a lot of variety between the missions and it was not repetive at all
+ There's plenty of different classes and characters to use and they differ greatly
+ Can't get enough of X-COM style combat
+ The story was interesting enough
+ Length of the game was perfect, there was plenty to play and it ended before it got stale, took 27 hours for me

- Enemies didn't really differ from each other and you don't need to have different tactics for different enemies
- There are some bugs and one gets you stuck, have to save all the time
- Couldn't change party equipment which was surprising
- You couldn't give picked up medkits and grenades to your party members, only way for them to get them would mean character picking it up himself in combat

All in all I throughly enjoyed the game and would recommend it to anybody who likes RPGs and tactical turn-based combat, I love both. Will play through it again in a few years.

4.4/5
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dax
68.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
A Work of Art. The Sixth World comes alive in a brilliant Story, capturing the imagination from the beginning till the end. The Npc-s are three Dimensional, with their own Background, Motivations, Agendas, and Personailities, fitting in perfectly with the Setting.
I Haven´t Played Shadowrun since the 1st Edition Tabletop RPG and as Shadowrun Returns came out, I was happy to see the Franchise revitalized on PC. It was a good game, and it felt like Shadowrun.
Dragonfall takes it a step further by immersing the Player more deeply in the Setting.
Its a great Story-Driven RPG Experience, well worth your time!
It is highly recommended to any RPG Enthusiast.
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BROBERT
49.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
I haven't really played the other Shadowrun games but I know for a fact that this has got to be the best one because it has the best waifus. My only gripe with it is the simple and straightforward combat system and the fact that I can't decide whether I'd rather have Eiger to step on me or hand-holding with Glory.
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Cobold
40.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
The game is over. I sway back on my chair and try to realize it. It's finished - titles slowly flow on my screen upward, the story came to its end. But... I'm not done yet. My crew, my hideout, my stash, my Kreuzbasar - it can't be gone just like that. I have to go back there, I have to deal some more stuff, I have to...
Really, I never have had that kind of immersion. Dragonfall isn't that open-world RPG where you can be whoever you want, but it's beauty lies in the scope of inter-character relations and communication experience. Your choices, your way to deal things, your relations with your team. It's like reading a really nice book, an awesome one, but where you decide where the plot will slightly turn. Not a big change but a change of yours. Dragonfall's world feels like a turbid mirror - depending on your gameplay style it could give a darker or lighter image, more bloody or more merciful.

I know this game isn't that new and isn't AAA-level stuff so my tiny review hardly would convince someone to buy it and go through its story - everyone who wanted already have played it, I guess. But it's a great game, and I'll miss it.
Moreover, I will miss my teammates - Eiger, Amsel, Glory, Dietrich, Dante, Blitz. And Simmy Kim, who I tried to save but failed.
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Umah
34.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 16
CAN YOU ♥♥♥♥ING FIX THE GAME?
This game would be a 7/10 or 8/10.
But the interface hangs, freezes, quicksaves get lost on quit and whatnot.
The interface is so buggy and the game itself also has its quirks.
WHY.

2/10 due to bad tech. Go fix your stuff and don't come back to steam before you did.
(now I have to go for Apex the 3rd time... grml)
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Erudite Incubus
49.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
While Hong Kong was by no means a bad game, HBS outdid themselves with their Director's Cut of Dragonfall. Well worth even the original full price.
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Eboreus
50.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
It may be a little late to write a review for Dragonfall - especially when you own this game already for quite a while (like me). But I'm playing it again right now, so it may be still a good idea. Well, Dragonfall is not perfect. For instance it is quite difficult (perhaps even impossible?) to give objects from your inventory to one of your party members. Or the story, especially the Dragonfall story, is at times really cheesy when it's adoring and worshipping Monika and the romantic criminal life in anarchist Berlin. Don't get me wrong - Shadowrun IS a scenario which romanticises a criminal Robin Hood life. But neither in Dead Man's Switch nor in Hong Kong is it as obtrusive and embarassing as here. I'm very much with Lucky Strike, a NPC runner which you can hire for missions, who is expressing just these thoughts.

But - doesn't matter at all. Dragonfall has an unbelievable atmosphere, and as soon as you start the game you surrender to it. Having said that it HAS a lot of advantages. The story, though cheesy, is more detailed and more epic than the story of Dead Man's Switch. And even though the story of Hong Kong is probably even better, Dragonfall has by far the superior matrix system. And that, although the matrix of Hong Kong was supposed to be an improvement. Typical case of making things worse by trying to improve them. Worse to an amount that I stopped playing at some point and never bothered to start again. Also Dragonfall has a lot of excellent user campaigns in the Workshop. "Antumbra" for instance or "Mercurial" are real classics, and you don't see a difference to a professional campaign designed by the developers. Hong Kong has only one campaign, I believe. Don't know anything about it's quality. But six or seven or even more high class scenarios for Dragonfall compared to just one - that speaks out loud enough, don't you think?

So, without any doubt Dragonfall is the best Shadowrun game for PC up to now. And having said that, I don't believe there are many games to follow. Shadowrun is a game system which definitely hasn't aged well. In a peculiar way it seems to have fallen out of time, and so probably Dragonfall will be it's ultimate legacy. At least as long as we talk about PC games ...
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Furiant
86.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
7 of 10

I'm really enjoying this, more than I thought I would. As a teen, I played the original table top version, and the writing style definitely brings back the old memories.

I'd normally do Pros and Cons lists, but this time nearly every pro or con had a caveat.

TL;DR
  • Good writing, interesting characters and plot
  • Generally true to the SR canon and feel
  • Gameplay is okay if you don't mind missing 50% of the time, and a lot of enemy cheating
  • In the LARP version you feel like a suped-up cyber badass who brings distinct skills to the team; you won't feel that way here, at all
  • Gear progression is obtuse and expensive

Impressions

Art
  • The character portraits are well done, and give everyone a unique look consistent with the old school LARP art
  • The character models seem pointlessly, conspicuously low grade. Like, embarassingly bad. There is very little in the way of customization. They should have doubled or tripled the poly count and aimed for a much higher aesthetic standard. I shouldn't feel ashamed of my avatar.

Field
  • The isometic, fixed angle constraints work well overall. They don't overemphasize graphical bells and whistles, which lets the story shine through. The fog of war gives a fair enough representation of your field of vision for the most part.
  • The same constraints can make moving to an exact location difficult, and often allow enemies to park somewhere and become effectively invisible while they hammer away at you.
  • 100% of the time in this game, I feel like I'm straining to see the world. I constantly want to zoom in closer. I'm getting sore in my neck and shoulders from it. This limits how much and how often I can play.

Gameplay
  • Much of the flavor of the archetypes/classes is there. You can be a decker, a rigger, a samurai, etc.
  • The mechanics tend to homogenize everyone into magic, guns, or melee
  • Guns are superior, hands-down but using them is pretty boring - they all feel the same
  • Using magic is fairly interesting, but it feels nerfy and impotent
  • Melee suffers the worst. A street samurai should feel like a jacked up, high octane super hero at the bleeding edge of human/machine performance. Instead it feels clownish, primitive, and gimped. A real disappointment.
  • You miss too much. It doesn't seem to matter how much you buff, kit, and skill for accuracy. You have about a 50/50 chance of hitting something. It's maddening. If you found XCOM games frustrating in this regard, you'll likely feel the same about SR.

Dialogue
  • There are often different story paths depending on certain dialogue choices, but just as often, dialogue choices are merely flavor because all outcomes are the same
  • Many times I feel like I've figured something out, but I have to wade through the process of my avatar figuring it out, picking all the dumb choices I wouldn't say, so I can get to the point where another character points it out for them. Not immersive, just frustrating. I don't feel engaged in the dialogue like I did in the LARP sessions. But I guess that's to be expected.

Progression
  • There are different outfits and some sense of a gear progression path, so there's always something better than what you have to work for.
  • The progression seems obtuse. I don't want a linear flowchart of gear to earn, but I would like a better sense of what my gear is doing for me, and what I can do to improve certain aspects of my performance. How much should I focus on cyberware as Class X? Many of the descriptions on gear are uninformative, and I don't trust that they map tightly to the LARP system.
  • Things like Smart Links, rigger vehicles, hacking, and other components have been marginalized and lost. The coolness of it all did not make it through the transition to a video game.


Final Thoughts

I think with some quality of life improvements, and maybe a second pass aimed at better capturing the wonder and coolness of the SR universe, this could be far more successful. But I enjoy the story and appreciate the work that went into the art. I think it's worth playing until you tire of it. I wasn't able to finish it on the first try, but YMMMV.

My real recommendation is to get some friends together and play the LARP version instead.
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Luky
44.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
This is the game that got me into the whole Shadowrun universe and lore. Very recommendable.

The game has very well developed and endearing characters, the story is really enjoyable as well. The combination of music and aesthetic really set the mood for a dark and distopic Cyberpunk adventure.

On the bad side the game does not make a very good job of explaining some of the combat conceps which will leave you having to do a little guesswork. It's not terribly gamebreaking but do be aware of this.
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Xsentius
37.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
This game is one of the best game experiences of mine.

PROS

Fine crafted story,
Fine characters,
Fine artistic works,
Fine old fashioned RPG and turn-base strategy experience,

CONS

No camera rotation
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
49.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
I haven't really played the other Shadowrun games but I know for a fact that this has got to be the best one because it has the best waifus. My only gripe with it is the simple and straightforward combat system and the fact that I can't decide whether I'd rather have Eiger to step on me or hand-holding with Glory.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
50.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 29
much meatier offering than the first shadowrun returns. good turn-based combat gameplay remains intact, decent integration of skill choices into various dialogue box interactions thoughout the story. well-designed missions and dungeons. well-written characters with an abundance of interactions. a little bit stingy on the karma, but ultimately that's a balance and difficulty issue. completed on normal mode with only a few points in various missions presenting high risk. suffers a little bit from presenting various dialogue choices that have the same ultimate effect, but that's a minor quibble. significant weakness was leaving me wanting more, teasing various bits of lore and possibilities, telling you about places you never get to visit, but every adventure ends sometime. if youre new to the peculiar shadowrun setting this adventure might be jumping into the deep end, you may have a bit of reading to do to understand what certain characters are talking about. WORST quality of the game is questionable stability - a couple of times the enemy ai would get stuck and never end their turn, or the game would freeze or lock up on level transitions - save often!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
42.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 25
I know Shadowrun since 1994, when I bought the second edition core book, the novels and almost every sourcebook that I could find. I love the cyberpunk + magic atmosphere. Shadowrun Returns was a great game because it was very faithful to the tabletop game. And Dragonfall is even better. It has some of the greatest writing I’ve seen in a game. Even though there are no voices, the dialogs made me stand at the edge of the chair saying “oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening”, over and over again. This game is a truly epic shadowrun experience.

The game mechanic is simple: turn based combat with some limited options, which really could be improved. I’ve played with the music turned off, listening to Refused (a Swedish punk band) instead. Sorry Harebrained, but it was a great improvement for me, Refused is perfect for this game and it would make a much better sound track.

This game also has an adventure editor, and I guess there are a lot of Shadowrun fans that will make great content for others to play.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
37.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
This game is one of the best game experiences of mine.

PROS

Fine crafted story,
Fine characters,
Fine artistic works,
Fine old fashioned RPG and turn-base strategy experience,

CONS

No camera rotation
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
241 of 256 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
80.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 15, 2014
Easily my #1 game of 2014. Everything is superb:
* The story stands head and shoulders above what gaming usually offers us these days. Whereas I wasn't going out of my way advertising Dead Man's Switch with all its pitfalls to my friends, in Dragonfall's case the story was my main selling point in word of mouth propaganda campaign I unleashed on acquaintances. The case where main plot is an awesome gripping action thriller that doesn't involve saving the world. Lord knows I'm tired of messianic melodramas.
* Solid RPG experience with alternate ways to complete runs and extensive use of skill checks.
* Gorgeous art by Unity engine's standards, cyberpunk eye-candy. The environments are crafted with care and meticulous attention to details.
* Top-notch diverse music, fitting the setting perfectly.
* And now with Director's Cut - finally crisp and utterly enjoyable combat.

One major caveat is the delivery. The game has no voice-over or cutscenes. It uses text to a great effect. But it uses A LOT of text, so much so sometimes it almost feels like reading a novel. If that is not your thing... you're missing out. :)

10/10
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288 of 316 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
203.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2014
Disclaimer: This review was written when Dragonfall was a DLC and will be updated to better reflect Director's Cut in the future. If you are already familiar with the DLC version, skip to the end for my initial thoughts on the new features.

When Shadowrun Returns came out there were numerous complaints. Rather than ignore them, HBS listened to the fans and fixed many of them when they released Dragonfall. That wasn't enough for them, wanting to better address the players suggestions they re-released it as a stand alone game and freely upgraded everyone's existing copy.

In Dragonfall you are the newest member of an established runner team in Berlin. Through the course of events you end up leading the team and hunting a dragon. I could go into more detail, but the story is so well presented you are better off experiencing it for yourself.

Rather than repeat the linearity of the Dead Man’s Switch campaign, Dragonfall uses a hub approach. There are a series of missions which advance the plot, but in order to unlock them you need to earn nuyen from other sources. You have a computer which lists all available jobs and its up to you if you accept them or not. Do you do every mission possible and postpone the final battle? Or do you rush through to complete it as quickly as possible?

I recommend taking your time since this is a campaign which focuses on setting. Each of your team members has a strong back story and distinct personality. I spent much of the campaign trying to learn what drove Glory to use such ancient cybertech and trying to get Eiger to stop questioning my leadership. I helped Blitz with his relationship problems and helped Dietrich find his path. You also get to know the community. The hub is not simply a collection of vendors and quest givers, each character has their own personality and needs. The depth of detail means you actually care what happens to the hub, its more than a means to an end (unless you want to role play a heartless mercenary).

On top of the strong story, Dragonfall is currently the definitive source for official modding assets. It includes all the assets from Dead Man's Switch/Seattle, the Berlin DLC, and more newly added for the Director's Cut. All the props can be used together yet have a distinctly different flavor. The prop selection is strong enough that I can recommend Dragonfall over Dead Man's Switch on their merit alone. Enjoy working with exploding barrels, drakes, new portraits and much more. My only complaints are that the Dragon prop is limited in its re-usability and existing fan made content will need to be migrated to the new workshop.

If you enjoyed Dead Man's Switch, you will be amazed by Dragonfall. If you were disappointed by DMS, Dragonfall fixes a lot of the common complaints people had. If you haven't played DMS, but like cyberpunk and turn based strategy, Dragonfall is an excellent place to start. I strongly suggest giving the game a try!

Edit - 5 hours in - DLC vs Directors Cut
Based on my initial impression, I am pleased with the enhancements.The combat interface has noticeably changed, making combat much easier to understand. The weapon interface is much better than the up/down scroll list in SRR and you can easily see what each attack does. Items and 'ware are equally clear.

As for the flow of combat, I now know exactly when I am in cover and when I have an exposed enemy. Each successful attack tells how much damage was dealt and why. We are told if we have flanking, if cover blocked an attack, and probably more information that I haven't realized yet. I am not yet sure how I feel about the new armor system though.

The new content seems to be carefully worked in, I am not actually sure what is an addition and what I simply missed in my previous play-through (with the exception of the new face I've met). I look forward to seeing what else is there and will update this review when I have more to say!

Lastly there is the new NPC advancement system. I'm very happy with this and hope it is easy to incorporate in my own mods! Yes, we only get two choices per level, but it is easy to understand and use, and seems to provide distinct tactics options. It also makes it clear exactly how they level up when previously it was a bit of a mystery.
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125 of 132 people (95%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
49.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 3, 2015
I greatly enjoy tactical RPGs when they're done right. I'm a big fan of the Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics series, and that plus an affinity for cyberpunk novels are mainly what drew me to Shadowrun despite never playing the original SNES or the tabletop RPG.

I played Shadowrun Returns and enjoyed my time with it save for a few key complaints, mostly around the pacing, shallow combat, and characterization. I'm pleased to say that all of those issues are cleared up with this game, and that it's an utterly fantastic title. I went so far as to recommend that people skip Returns completely in my review of that game and proceed onto this one instead. It's that much of an improvement.

The pacing problems I had with Returns often caused me to lose interest in the game and stop playing it for weeks at a time. Those issues are completely alleviated here. The game seems to have taken some inspiration from the Mass Effect series, as missions are structured in a similar manner in Dragonfall. Something happens in the first mission of the game that creates an overarching plot, and you're gradually working towards the solution of that by taking odd jobs to build up your bankroll. You're also conversing with your regular allies--something else that Returns lacked that I disliked--and completing missions specifically regarding their background. It worked excellently in Mass Effect, and it really works well here.

The combat has taken even more inspiration from XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and it now feels far more fleshed out than it did in Returns. Each class has far more depth than it did in Returns, and there are more opportunities to utilize the environment in interesting ways. Some of my favorite missions in the game involved the opportunity to have your computer hacker operate in the Matrix, simultaneously fighting a tactical battle in a cyber world with the aims of unlocking doors and disabling or even turning the security systems to your teams side while they proceed with a battle in the real world. There are some incredibly compelling race-against-time type missions in this game that require that sort of thing. It creates a ton of suspense and allows you to take combat in exponentially more directions than the first game did.

The characters and the story in this game is the largest improvement over Returns, though. Your squadmates have obviously been crafted with a caring touch, and they feel like well-rounded human beings (or metahuman beings), which is a far departure from the hire-a-mannekin system that Returns did. They've got their own motivations and their own reasons for being there, and they're not always going to agree with the path you're taking. I even feel like I got a deeper roleplaying experience out of my player character than in Returns. I felt like I had more opportunity to inject my own desired personality into him, which I hadn't realized I was missing in Returns until playing this game. Even the minor characters are compelling, from the civilian engineer dwarf roped into a job she has no interest in doing to the loving Grandfather who works as an accountant but also moonlights as an assassin for a loanshark named Meat Grinder, who he hilariously refers to as "Mr. Grinder". Writing is the strength of this game, and it would have compelled me to continue onward and finish even if I didn't really like the combat.

I should also mention the music, which was of quality in Returns but seems improved here. I read somewhere that the composer for the music in the original SNES game did this one as well, which was interesting to me. It's very good, and it properly encompasses the mood of a world that's caringly built as an homage to William Gibson's in the Sprawl Trilogy.

Gibson, for those who have never heard of him, is to cyberpunk what Tolkien is to fantasy. His novel Neuromancer, released in 1981, inspired a great many of the ideas included in this game, particularly the Matrix, which is nearly unchanged from those novels. I'd highly recommend the fans of this game pick up a copy of Neuromancer and immerse themselves in the grassroots of the cyberpunk subgenre.

The only real gripe I can think of is the way the game depicts corporations. It's utterly cliche, uninteresting, and tiresome. Look, I'm no fan of stodgy, bureaucratic, inhuman multinational corporations. But not every company is Comcast. Literally every corporation in this game is depicted as maliciously evil and self-serving to the point where the player is dealing with atrocity after atrocity. The one "good" CEO in the game is promptly fired for not putting the bottom line first. That's just boring storytelling. There's great value in turning the cliche on its head, and it would have been nice to see a depiction differing from norm since the writers did such a good job of that otherwise.

In conclusion, this is an excellent tactical RPG set in a well-crafted world. It's beautifully presented, beautifully written, and just a hell of a lot of fun. Hairbrained Schemes has met all of the potential set forth by Shadowrun Returns, as this is probably the best RPG I played in all of 2014.
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156 of 177 people (88%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
84.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 2, 2015
I've played it just after finishing Shadowrun returns (http://steamcommunity.com/id/Whiteswart/recommended/234650), and want to warn everyone: don't start from Dragonfall if you intend to play Dead Man's Switch as well!

Dragonfall is such a major improvement to all the game aspects that basic game seems very bleak and rigid one. During very thorough game scenario they even improved the weakest segment of the whole reincarnated Shadowrun game base - a decking process. As I played Dead Man's Switch, I felt ripped 'cause of absolutely intolerable concoction of the decking (hacking) part, which was made as simple shootout almost on the same terms as other fights in the game.
In Dragonfall, though, I felt much more decking stuff because of many themed situations, dialogs, skill checks and so on.
Another ray of light shines above magic part of the setting, which was also improved, by good scenario and thorough paperwork.

As of the combat part, surprise! - it improved as well! While I've made it through all the Dead Man's Switch on the very hard without even dying once, in the Dragonfall battles became more complicated, to the point when I needed a reload sometimes! Although in general game's still not able to rough you good, even in the way that modern XCom does.

So! Let's summarise:
Pros:
- Decent cyberpunk story, fitted in the Shadowrun world as a sock fit to leg. Just as the Dead Man's Switch, Dragonfall is much like a good book you'll be enjoyed reading
- More than just a story, this scenario based in the 2054 anarchic Berlin, with broth from politics, corporations, dragons, loosen AI, street gangs and syndicates... I can not vouch for the taste, but it will be hot!
- Get me right: it is not an animated story, it's a solid party rpg, one to be memorized after finishing and catching all the way through
-Team-based gameplay improved a lot after Dead Man's Switch, as you get your own crew of anarchists. Your decisions will be questioned every now and then, and the more trust you gain, the more powerful your team will be.
- Comparing to the first game, all the game aspects were noticeably improved, that includes visuals, audio, game mechanics and general logic. No one can calculate fun-from-the-game, but my guess, they improved that too.

Contras:
- game become more unstable, it freezes sometimes, and more you play, more you facing an interference (I don't remember stability issues playing Shadowrun Returns)
- even with all improvements,
1) shootouts still not too hard (I've played only on the hardest, and only two times was forced to reload). AI behavior not amazing, to say it politely. Good level design and scripts helping, but not completely fixing an issue.
2) elves is such an imbalanced gap, which obscures every other races! They got more dexterity (and the best way of fighting is still a bigger rifle). They got more charisma - and that means - more etiquette (more successful skill checks). To put it shortly - if you want the best shadowrunner - get an elf!
I'd added more race-connected quests and perks next time, if you ask me.
3) "Matrix runs" still not fitting such a great otherwise cyberpunk game one bit. Good decker should be flowing over the network unnoticed, and not shooting the ices and bringing buddies to cover flanks. That feels like a bull in a china shop every time I'm switching...

Overall: it's the best Shadowrun game on the PC at moment. And one of the best cyberpunk games in existence. And pretty solid Party-RPG. My score 8.1/10
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107 of 116 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
66.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 18, 2014
So if you have already been fortunate enough to play Dragonfall, you may be wondering if this is worth playing again. I can quickly and confidently reply: YES, CHUMMER. I beat Dragonfall about a month and half before Director's Cut released. Other than Earthbound or some Elder Scrolls games, I have never replayed an RPG all the way through again. That won't be an issue here.

The devs have added some pretty awesome new missions that serve to flesh out Berlin even more. New characters have been added and now you may learn more about your party members past. Speaking of your fellow Runners, they can now pick new abilities and level along with you. (choose between 2 advancements a level) This was something I found to be missing from the original.

There is also the matter of the music. The new music is amazing. The achievements help add more goals to draw you into another play through, but that is just a bonus. There is enough here to bring any fan back. Rare thing for a dev to make a "Director's Cut" with so many improvements and features. Rarer still, one that doesn't charge for existing owners.

New Players: If you are a CRPG fan or Shadowrun fan, please skip the original release until AFTER Dragonfall. Think of that as a treat or really good UGC. This really is one of the best games of the year and turn based rpg fans deserve a great game like this. Great characters, story, and fun.
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136 of 159 people (86%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
155.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
This is the most fun I've had in a long time. great game for those with children as i can literally get up and walk away without worrying.
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