Back in 1989, I was a young punk in college who read science fiction voraciously and had a history of playing Dungeons and Dragons. I know, slow down ladies, what a catch.
Anyway, it was with unreserved glee that I started playing Shadowrun in those days, a table top role-playing game in the vein of D&D that included computers, hacking, and all sorts of megacorps, like a William Gibson novel gone magical.
Flash forward to now, and–after a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign–Shadowrun Returns is headed to iOS, Mac, Android and PC. There’s a sweet launch trailer that just came out today, and a release date of just one week from now, on July 25th. Holy smoking dragon hackers!
Seriously, this game looks amazing, if for no other reason than it’s helmed by the original Shadowrun creator, Jordan Weisman. Shadowrun Returns is going to be a 2D turn-based single player game with deep story, meaningful characters, and contextual tactical combat, which sounds pretty good, even if it weren’t about magic returning to a high-tech world.
In December of 2012, according to the game’s mythos, magic returned to the world. Aboriginal cultures, already more in tune with the spiritual side of reality, use this new power to start to reshape the political, financial, and physical world to better suit themselves. Elves and Dwarves are born to human parents who carried the long-dormant genes, and Orks and Trolls begin to appear as adolescence magic begins to transform teen humans into the monsters of fantasy. Then, the Great Dragon awakens and flys over Tokyo, signaling the final awakening of the world to magic.
This Shadowrun game is set two generations later in 2075 or thereabouts, in a world full of cybertechnology and magical realities. Corporations have taken over the role of governments and magic users work alongside computer hackers to keep the resources inside the megacorps who only care about profit.
In the dark, hidden underbelly of this futuristic society are the Shadowrunners, the hackers, mages, and combat specialists who do the dirty work the corporations won’t admit to, while protecting the normal citizenry as much as they can. It’s a heady mix, fully rooted in the speculative fiction of its originating era, and I can’t wait to play the game.
Shadowrun Returns will release on Mac, PC, iOS and Android on July 25, so stay tuned for all the details.