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: Overwhelmingly Positive (1,224 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 18, 2014

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Buy Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut


Recommended By Curators

"The ultimate edition of Shadowrun Returns, the glorious return of the popular tech-meets-magic pen-and-paper role-playing game to the digital realm."

Recent updates View all (12)

February 13

Last Weekend to Back the Shadowrun: Hong Kong Kickstarter!

Backers have already hit 12 funding goals that allow us to add more Side Missions, Expanded Magic, Enhanced Cyberware, a Revamped Matrix, and more!

But, in case you didn’t know, we’ve one last funding goal - and we are SO CLOSE to reaching it!!

If we hit $1,000,000, we’ll create an additional 4-5 hour Shadows of Hong Kong Mini-Campaign that takes place after the SR:HK story ends AND will allow you to IMPORT your high-karma Hong Kong character for a challenge only a prime runner could accept.

Shadows of Hong Kong Mini-Campaign will be FREE to Backers and available for purchase when it is released.

We’ve added a bunch of stuff since the Kickstarter began and, since this is our final weekend, we wanted to make sure you heard about them before the campaign is over.

Check out the new additions to our Kickstarter below, and remind your friends that the Shadowrun: Hong Kong campaign ends on Tuesday, February 17 at 10am Pacific. Here’s the link to use on your social media: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/webeharebrained/shadowrun-hong-kong

$15 - Shadows of Hong Kong Mini-Campaign (when we hit $1mil during the Kickstarter campaign!)

$25 - Mel Odom is writing our original Shadowrun: Hong Kong e-novel.
Mel is the author of several dozen books including three well-loved Shadowrun novels - Preying for Keeps, Headhunters, Run Hard, Die Fast and the forthcoming Deniable Assets. We can’t wait to read his version of Shadowrun: Hong Kong.

$35 BONUS Rewards - An Audio Commentary Track and Two High-Res Digital Posters
All backers at this level and above will have access to an Audio Commentary Track from the Shadowrun Development Team. You’ll also get 2 Hi-Res Digital Posters that will combine into a beautiful Shadowrun Panorama. The first poster contains a Timeline of Shadowrun History and the second contains a Glossary of Shadowrun Slang.

$65 NEW Stand-Alone Reward Level- THE OPERATIVE
This is for all you pixel-lovin'-no-dice-for-me folk that were interested in a digital rewards tier that included all the new things we’re making without all the old school tabletop source material. This stand-alone tier includes the following: A Steam/Humble/GOG Keys for all 3 Shadowrun Games * Digital Sound Track * Hong Kong Sourcebook PDF with Poster Sized Hi-Res Cover Art * Exclusive In-game Character portraits * Hi-Res Digital Map * Shadowrun E-Novel by Mel Odom * Shadowrun Dev Team Audio Commentary * Panorama Timeline and Glossary Posters * Art of Shadowrun: Hong Kong PDF

A Fully-Annotated .pdf version of the original, long out-of-print Shadowrun short story anthology “INTO THE SHADOWS” with a New Foreward by Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun and a New Short Story by Tom Dowd, its co-creator!
This anthology was written BEFORE the tabletop game was launched and as such, contains a number of inconsistencies with the finished products. In his own words, Jordan will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the changes and why they were made.

$150 tier - We made the Messenger Bag BIGGER! 17" x "11 x 4"!
The Messenger Bag will now fit larger laptops! Because so many Backers supported the project at the COURIER Reward Level and above, we were able to work with the manufacturer to increase the size of the bag.

Thanks so much for backing Harebrained Schemes and Shadowrun: Hong Kong!

19 comments Read more

January 22

Release Notes 2.0.8

While we are hard at work making Shadowrun: Hong Kong, we wanted to get out a patch that addressed some quick fixes as well as one of our more serious issues. If you are encountering any campaign issues in Dragonfall, please update to build 2.0.8 immediately. (To update, restart Steam and then allow Shadowrun Returns to fully verify and download the new build.)

If you are experiencing a campaign-related issue, you may also need to restart your current scene (select "Restart Level" from the PDA) or rewind (select "Rewind" from the PDA save screen, then select a previous level) to before you encountered the issue in order to resolve the issue.

If you are experiencing technical issues with Shadowrun Dragonfall - Directors Cut, please see this post: http://steamcommunity.com/app/300550/discussions/0/613936673325233747/


Bug Fixes: Dragonfall Campaign

  • Resolved edge case issue that caused a play blocker in Trial Run mission.
  • Various other small bug fixes.
  • Various typos fixed.


We also want to let you know that after only 9 days, Backers have pledged 6x our Kickstarter goal for Shadowrun: Hong Kong and have funded 11 out of 12 of our co-Funding goals.

That means we will add Enhanced Player Controls, Animatic Scene Transitions and Endings, Two New Team Members, New Side Missions for Team Members, Better Sound, Enhanced Cyber and Expanded Magic!

Hitting the next funding goal of $700,000 will allow us to revamp the Matrix Art and Gameplay. The Shadowrun Returns team nearly killed themselves to get our original Matrix art and gameplay in the game and we're still extremely proud of that effort. But just like Thorin and Company, we ache to return again and make things right.

If you've already backed us, thank you!! If not, here's the link to the Kickstarter page so you can check out more details.


17 comments Read more


“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

Dragonfall Steam Workshop

With the Shadowrun Editor, everyone is empowered to create and share their own stories and campaigns with the Steam Workshop community. This version of the Shadowrun Editor puts all assets from Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director’s Cut as well as from Shadowrun Returns at creator’s fingertips. No advanced coding or art skills are required to create content using the Shadowrun Editor. Please note that Dragonfall Steam Workshop content is not compatible with our previous title, Shadowrun Returns.

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

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • 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
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • 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
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    • Processor: x86-compatible 1.4GHz or faster processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Modern 3D graphics card with at least 256MB of addressable memory
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
229 of 241 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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. :)

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134 of 156 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
153.5 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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
84 of 91 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
106.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
The Sci-Fi Baldurs gate. Most missions have more than one ending, side quests that you can do or ignore as you see fit, well written party members with their own stories and personal quests. The main story has several possible endings based upon choices you make earlier in the game.
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62 of 66 people (94%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
34.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2014
From cyberpunk lovers, for cyberpunk lovers.

First of all, Shadowrun setting is not just an ordinary cyberpunk setting, and "ordinary" is a lightweight word when it comes to cyberpunk. Setting presents elves, orcs, trolls and even dragons among humans. But not consider this setting as a high fantasy. All these creatures live in our world and they adapted well to the cold, rigid future of this cyberpunk world.

For those not played the Shadowrun Returns, Dragonfall is a old-school looking RPG and it presents a tactical turn based battle system, similar to the X-COM, but less detailed.

And for those who played the Returns, Dragonfall campaign is great way ahaed of Shadowrun Returns' campaing, Dead Man's Switch.

Game is much longer, it took my 30+ hours in the hardest difficulty. Story is much more interesting and the free flux state of Berlin is surely a cool place to be in. Dialogs and the descriptions are fantastic once again, and it makes you feel like you are reading a well-written cyberpunk novel.

When I played the DMS, I felt the short comings of a kickstarter game. Dragonfall is at it's best to make you feel that the game is developed by a more experienced team, and being a product of a hard and detailed work.

So, I know the developers will go for a third game. They are much more experienced now. And from my humble point of view, I would like to write the issues that should make the game better:

- Soundeffects: Unfortunately, both DMS and Dragonfall have very weak soundeffects. The sound of guns are poorly. When it comes to RPGs, I think the environmental sound effects add a great deal of atmosphere to the game. Look at the old Bioware and Black Isle games. When it rains, put a proper raining sound effect. Also when it snows, when it is windy. Add many other exterior sound effects. The sirens of police or security cars outside the kiez, the flames of a barrel, gunshots of a distant gang war... These are minor and not expensive features, but they will greatly add to the game.

- Battle System: For the third installment, I think a much more detailed battle system is requiered. Without any changes to the current system, game's success may be undermined.

- Magic system: Somehow, magic system needs a lot more work.

- Matrix system: Even in the Dragonfall, the matrix sequences were dull. This system clearly needs to be shined.

So, this is my review about this wonderfull game. Dragonfall is a very good experience. Most of the game, I felt like a I was reading an interactive cyberpunk comic book, and that is wonderfull thing.

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27 of 32 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
Bit of a cautious review, this one. I'm only ten hours deep into a game that I've heard can take upwards of thirty hours to beat, and my appreciation of it hinges heavily on how the story plays out.

So far, though, I'm very optimistic.

Basic info first. Dragonfall is the expansion for Shadowrun Returns, and this Director's Cut is completely standalone. The game takes place in Berlin, in a cyberpunk future where humans, elves, trolls, and some other races, share roughly equivalent status and co-exist peacefully, at least notionally. Naturally, there are factors - indeed, there are factions - which threaten to destabilise what could potentially grow into a decent world for all, and your merry band of shadowrunners will be at the centre of it all.

Combat is turn based, and during normal play you can only control "your" character, with the other party members following along behind you. It would have been nice to be able to direct them independently, to get a tactical advantage when you know a fight is brewing, but c'est la vie, one can't have it all. You'll use guns, wield knives and swords, cast spells and summon spirits in order to defeat your many and varied foes. To level up you use Karma points, which are earned as they are in every RPG ever: by completing quests. There aren't enough that you can be a jack-of-all-trades, so try to pick a class you enjoy and go with it.

The combat system is robust, with actions playing out on a tile (or hex) based grid, and plenty of cover to make use of, simply by moving next to it. Flanking bonuses are available, and critical hits are possible on exposed enemies (or on your own team, if you fail to take cover), so it's important to find a decent place and use your action points, or AP, judiciously. You don't want to run out of them and end up stranded in the middle of the room, where everyone can take pot-shots at you. Your team can be equipped with items, such as grenades or medpacks, which can be used at an AP cost and could tilt a fight in your favour. Don't think you can just hoard loads of grenades, though, as inventory space is quite limited. Certain characters will also be able to "jack into" computers and fight in virtual reality, which comes with its own set of abilites, but I've not done much of that yet. It's all turn based and on a grid, though, so probably not that different.

One issue I've had with the combat is that it isn't always possible to tell whether moving to a particular space will let you flank an enemy. I've had to chance a move on a couple of occasions, and I wasn't always able to flank even though the situation seemed very similar. I think a visual indicator before you make your move would have been a great help - perhaps as a toggle so more experience players could disable it?

The real meat of this game, though, is the story. Now, as I say, I'm just dipping my toes in really, but so far it has been very impressive. Shortly after the start, there are some jaw-dropping twists which I didn't see coming, and there haven't been any missions so far which felt like filler, or which took place in boring locations or with boring NPCs. The writing is strong, and the beautiful portrait artwork for different characters does a lot more to inspire my imagination that some plastic-faced polygonal goon ever would. There have been quite a few spelling and grammar errors in the script, though. Not enough to ruin the experience, certainly, but enough to stand out and jolt me out of the experience.

With an interesting world, lovely art, very strong writing and some decent, if not particulaly inventive, combat, Shadowrun: Dragonfall is well worth your time. Jack me off I mean IN, jack me in.
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
A compeltely better version of both the original and the dlc.
More missions, more content and overall one of the best rpgs weve had in recent years. If you enjoy shadowrun you owe it
to yourself to buy this game. The writing, soundtrack and combat are all excellent. As an rpg it delviers too. Very much so worth the price
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19 of 23 people (83%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
Good cyberpunk RPG. Better than the first game. They did take the sugestion tweeks asked for and include them.
But it's a 10 buck game, so bare that in mind if purchasing.
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
The best game I played in 2014, and I got it for six bux.

Sure it may not have the sweet grafix or 100 hours of gameplay Dragon Age: Inquisition has, but the team at Harebrained Schemes makes Bioware look like a room full of monkeys on typewriters well before they come up with Shakespeare.

Dragonfall's plot starts strong with a run gone wrong, and subsequently builds into a truly ridiculous but somehow believable cyberpunk-fantasy nightmare peppered with well-written conversations with your team. Contrast that with the inane "party chatter" and epic stories in most modern RPGs and Dragonfall feels like a game from another time. You'll learn a lot about each member of your team, and their stories don't feel contrived as they open up over the course of the game.

There are quite a few side missions, too, for a game of this length. You're given some room to pursue side goals, and your team members might ask you for help with personal problems sort of like Mass Effect but less goofy. This is the kind of game you feel sad about completing because you won't see any more of the characters you've grown close to in such a brief amount of time.

As for the combat, well, it's a bit simplistic. If you're looking for a tactics game with the complexity of Disgaea or Final Fantasy Tactics you'll be disappointed. Combat revolves around cover, basically. You'll want to keep enemies in clear view while positioning your team to not be shot in the face, outside of special cases like spell casters and ley lines. A friendly or enemy caster standing in a major ley line is a terror.

In terms of progression, rather than leveling up and numbers everywhere you gain Karma for completing objectives and your team members gain perks every few missions. You can choose one of two perks per "level" for your team to specialize them further, such as having your soldier Eiger focus on sniping skills rather than shotguns. For yourself, you've got more choice with a full spectrum of stats and skills based on which stats you increase. As far as I can tell any sort of build for the player character is viable as long as you focus on one or two things and don't spread everything out.

I ran into a couple buggy situations requiring me to rewind my save a bit, but nothing truly game ruining cropped up in my 20 hours or so of play.

So yeah, if the game is still on sale when you read this buy it. If it's not on sale buy it anyways, it's the best RPG to come out in years.

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15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
45.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
This game is in fact a time machine which will take you back to the golden age of gaming.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
64.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
Welcome to the year 2054. Set in dystopian futuristic Berlin. This game weaves the fantasy and cyberpunk atmosphere with an environment filled with megacorporations of intriguing power hungry individuals mixed with a shady underworld holding the downtrodden residents. Gang-warfare, magic and virtual-reality all co-exist in this old school isometric role-player with turn-based combat creating an experience where you can make a difference by being the peerless Shadowrunner 9/10
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
29.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
Shadowrun: Dragonfall is everything I loved about the pen and paper RPG back in the day.

It's dark, it's gritty, it's mysterious and it is all kinds of awesome. The world is beautiful as it is deadly.

The writing is excellent. Only in few other RPG's has a few lines of text set the mood so perfectly. Goes to show you don't need to spend truckloads of money on motion capture and voice over talent to create a good game.

The few issues I have is that combat can be rather boring. Certain skills outperform others and combat has a tendency to drag on needlessly sometimes what with enemies hiding in heavy cover. I also take issue with the fact that enemies seem to have an endless supply of grenades. Flashbangs in particular.

The interaction cursor is rather wonky at times. I've lost track of the times I wanted to pick something up but my character just moves over to the spot and stands there.

Certain classes are also a lot better than others, the balance between them isn't really that good.

All in all, this is a great game. If you are a Pen-and-paper old schooler like myself you'll love this game. If you're not and are simply looking for a good RPG, then pick this up. You will not regret it.

Final verdict: 8/10. Must buy. It's at least a 20hr campaign of RPG goodness.
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
49.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
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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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
26.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 23, 2014
My main character exploded and now I'm somehow just Glory. I gave her an implant to spew poison at people and now I'm just standing in front of NPC Glory soaking in all of this Glory.

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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
31.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
Best RPG of 2014, hands down.
Yes, i have played Divinity Original sin, no, i don't particularily care for Dragon age.
Cyberpunk setting is refreshing, story actually does something for me, a lot of small, but really heartwarming things for an RPG fan. For example, a minor detail - companions don't give you control over their loadout and to some degree even leveling progression - is genius, minmaxing trinkets on silent slaves, as it usually is, doesn't come close.
No stupid "balance", where there is a specific carefully laid out way for every archetype and build, so everybody feels like a winner. Lack of said way for some skills only contributes to overall role-playing experience: for instance i took "etiquette: socialite" and used it exactly once, because i mostly dealt with gangs and security (seriously, what did i expect?). And i loved being punished for that choice, or, should i say, not being pandered to.

Interface could be better, and graphics aren't really 2014-like, but the game is good enough not not care about it.
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
94.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
The worked a lot of bugs out with this version, which made it even better. I've been playing shadowrun pen and paper for almost 2 decades now, and I love what they've done so far.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2014
A great enhancement to the original Shadowrun Returns. Biggest pros are the multi-dimensional characters, the correct pace of the main story and the atmospheric writing which makes it hard not to take just another mission or spend just one more hour in-game. You feel the price of your decisions more often than not, and that's a cool thing to give weight to these situations.

Another big pro is the studio behind the game - HBS - itself. Making Dragonfall - Director's Cut available to all DLC purchasers and backers for free wasn't something I'd have expected (not a common attitude nowadays when even a skinpack of two new textures or 'upgrades' between versions with almost no differences have their pricetags) and it speaks volumes about how the guys in HBS intends to handle their relationship towards their players. That builds trust towards both them and the games they create for me.

Cons are nuisances. Since you have an own team with rich backstory and personality, you barely need to hire random runners so that part seems a bit neglected. Custom builds for street samurai is still a weak point due to the over-simplied essence and cyber/bioware slot system. The engine has its flaws, but not to the point it would ruin atmosphere. Voice-acting could have served great (still, I never felt they used up their limited budget unwisely).

Dragonfall is a great deal for anyone who likes futuristic fantasy/cyperpunk hybrids set in Europe for a change and don't get intimidated by a rich, written narrative (yes, you need to read a lot).
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 23
"Dragonfall still suffers from many issues that plagued Shadowrun Returns, namely the linearity (though this issue has been lessened), lack of item/weapon variety and a somewhat poor implementation of cyberware and cyberspace. With that said the added focus on plot and characters makes these issues easy to overlook and the campaign a joy to play. Long time Pen & Paper Shadowrun players might be a little disappointed, but it stands on its own as a fine RPG worthy of belonging in anyone’s collection."

Full Review: http://www.tech-gaming.com/shadowrun-dragonfall-review/
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
25.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
I underestimated Dragonfall. Coming into the game, I was just expecting a solid turn-based RPG in a unique cyberpunk/fantasy setting. It certainly delivers there, but all the care and thought put into the details elevates it into a great game I would recommend to all RPG fans, not just those that clap gleefully at the idea of troll mercenaries sniping corporate mages.

One of the primary elements that sets Dragonfall apart is how well it embraces player choice. The levels are carefully designed so that whatever your character's specialty, (s)he'll have a time to shine. Maybe you can hack some turrets to fire on the security guards, or maybe you're a smooth enough talker to convince them to let you in. If you've got a drone with you, there might be a vent you can send it through to explore. Some levels will feature ley lines which empower your mages' spells or maybe there's a restless spirit just waiting for your shaman to bind him.

These aren't just one-off examples, every mission has this kind of care put into it, letting your character do whatever awesome thing he or she can do.

Combat is similarly diverse, with different skill sets gaining access to different spells and weaponry, each with their own benefits and shortcomings. You run a missions with your character and three additional characters of your choosing. While the game doesn't force you to do so, I would highly recommend switching up your party makeup some, as seeing different abilities and developing strategies around them is one of the fun aspects of the game. Tragically, only a subset of the available characters have in-mission dialogue lines. They're just a few flavor bits here and there, but I still resented missing out on them whenever I took a mercenary instead.

The second huge success of Dragonfall is the story. I was expecting the writing to mostly revel in smashing cyberpunk and fantasy tropes together, but it goes well beyond that, forging the disparate elements into an engaging mystery and quest. Of particular note are some of the moral choices your character can make, where conflicting agendas and imprecise information will leave you wondering what the "right" choice was even after you've seen the consequences. Thematically, the story definitely leans a bit more towards cyberpunk, with elements of class disparity and technological progress outpacing morality.

I would be remiss to not mention that this game was developed on a budget much smaller than most modern RPGs, and it shows. There's no voice acting, no cinematics. The character models, while solid enough to not break immersion, look low poly/low texture resolution if you stop and focus on them. VFX and animation are similarly limited; most spells don't end up looking as awesome as you would expect. These shortcomings never took me out of the experience, but it did feel like the game relied more on my imagination to fill in gaps than most modern games.

Provided you can get past the lack of AAA gloss, I would recommend this game to anyone who loves RPGs. It's got best-in-class diversity of characters paired with excellent level design and a great story with some of the best moral choices I've seen in games.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
191.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 7
Dragonfall is the 'sequel' to Shadowrun Returns and is an amazing addition all-around. For those unfamiliar, it's a singeplayer turned-based cyberpunk RPG (with magic), Steam Workshop integration and modding tools included (as they were in the first campaign). Simply put, Dragonfall is a amazing.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
28.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
I bought this and Dragon Age: Inquisition on the same day. This was on sale for $5, and Dragon Age had just been released and it was full price.

I put 30 hours into completing this masterpiece before spending more than an hour or two into Dragon Age.

Let me preface this review by saying that, while I enjoy cyberpunk themes, I had never played anything in the Shadowrun universe. I discovered after I played and beaten this game that this is a stand-alone DLC to Shadowrun Returns, so this review is also focused on having zero experience with Shadowrun Returns before playing and completing this game.

The biggest positive for me was the story. The story was well told, gripping, and satisfying. There are some elements about the ending I didn't understand, due to lack of knowledge of the Shadowrun universe (for most of the game I assumed when they referred to "dragons" that they referred to some sort of augmented superperson.. not actual dragons themselves). The core characters are supremely polished and satisfying.

The world is realized very well with fun and immersive environments. There were a lot of options on how to finish each mission and I really felt my choices had an impact on the story, even at the mission level.

I'm generally not a fan of tactical combat. The combat is in this game, while not amazing, is pretty good. I realized pretty quickly that there is no "RPG" benefit to combat, and if you could it was generally best to avoid it. The game gives you lots of (sometime subtle) options on avoiding combat.

I ran as a Decker: a character who jacks into systems to control them. One flaw in the game was that I'm sure I went 10-15 hours into it before the first time I could jack into something, so my character was kinda underpowered otherwise as most of his skill was in decking.

This game is a great value. A great story with fascinating characters (you often delve into their backstories quite a bit) and an immersive world that you feel like you actually have an impact in.

Highly recommend.
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