Last year Jordan Weisman's Harebrained Schemes raised $1,895,772 via Kickstarter to create the ultimate game based on the magic-meets-technology pen-and-paper role-playing game, Shadowrun. Today we get our first look at Shadowrun Returns gameplay, and so far it's everything I wanted it to be.


This should completely wash the bad taste of that first-person shooter from the mouths of fans everywhere. Isometric adventure that shifts into turn-based tactics in combat situations is the perfect formula for replicating a group of runners up to relative no-good.

I've watched the whole thing twice now, and it keeps getting better every time I see it. Some highlights:

• Stat-based decisions in conversations
• Talking your way out of a fight — or not
• Riggers being useful for once
• Shamanic summoning is amazing and dangerous
• Magic-enhancing ley lines as special places to stand — perfect
• The Rigger paralyzed on the ley line spot — not so useful

I am incredibly pleased. I may have missed out on backing the game during the Kickstarter launch (I could have sworn I did), but I'm going to make up for it by preordering right now.

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