Shadowrun Returns iPad Review

Shadowrun Returns will be a lot easier with these tips.

Originally getting its start as a tabletop role-playing game in the 80s, Shadowrun took an interesting turn with video games, particularly with a multiplayer shooter on Xbox 360. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, the series returned to its roots with the excellent Shadowrun Returns. Don't let the $9.99 price tag drive you away - you'll get your money's worth, especially if you prefer turn-based combat and a riveting story.

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You play a shadowrunner trying to make ends meet who receives terrible news - someone killed your devoted buddy, Sam. You set off to find the culprit, eventually discovering this wasn't a random murder.

Everything in the world works through touchscreen interaction, whether you run down a street, shoot targets or interact with items and people. Some players may enjoy controlling their characters directly, but this scheme allows you to explore with ease.

Combat is equally effective, with the ability to find cover and shoot enemies with a variety of weapons. The pistol works well enough, but the robust upgrade system allows you to do so much more, whether it's traditional weaponry or something a little more spiritual, like chucking fireballs.

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Along with upgrades, you're free to customize your character using a variety of options, transforming this person into a no-nonsense street samurai or taking a page from steampunk design. In addition, conversations evolve a number of ways, as you give someone attitude or make new friends. With all the choices available, you'll easily form alliances and enemies with a few simple words.

Shadowrun Returns takes a while to delve into - and not just because of the lengthy, involving story. The iOS port has a good amount of loading time, between auto-saves and setting up the next quadrant of the city. If you can, try and keep a charger handy, because this'll eat up a good chunk of your device's power.

It's worth it, though, especially when it comes to the attractive city. It's huge and exploration worthy, with a number of characters to interact with, along with an easy-to-see layout, so you can always keep tabs on targets and objectives. In addition, you're able to zoom in and out at any time with a simple screen pinch.

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That said, it's not perfect. There are occasional bugs that hinder play, particularly with characters you'll have to walk around objects to reach, even if they're right in front of you. The audio is also sparse at times, with barely any background music to go along with the great sound effects. The lack of voice work from characters, aside from grunts, make things eerily quiet.

Finally, the game's price will probably be the final deciding factor. It's $9.99, a moderately high cost for apps - especially considering the free-to-play titles. Despite that and small problems, Shadowrun Returns is a terrific sequel. Prepare to lose countless hours playing one of the deepest games on mobile devices.

Review code provided by Harebrained Schemes

Download Shadowrun Returns: iOS|Android

What's Hot:Evolving storyline, terrific touchscreen gameplay, detailed city overflowing with personality, conversation system enhances the game, wealth of customization and power-up options.

What's Not:Long load times, sound effects favored over music, occasional bugs, $9.99 might be a bit steep for some.

4.0/5