Microsoft’s Shadowrun sought to unite Xbox 360 console gamers with Microsoft Vista computer gamers in the first game to be able to be played by both different pieces of hardware in the same game. This in itself is an interesting feat and worthy achievement all on it’s own. However one could argue that it’s only self serving as in only unties Microsoft controlled players with, um, well, Microsoft controlled players. One could also argue that with something in the region of 7 Million online players, Xbox live doesn’t really need computer gamers invading its turf.
So just what is Shadowrun? Apparently it’s based on a 1989 pen-and-paper RPG and essentially has been given a Counter Strike makeover to bring it into the 21st century.
Sadly that just about sums it up.
After some training levels, that help you come to grips with some of the unique attributes you can give your character (walking through walls anyone?) it’s onto the game-play.
What? No single player campaign? Just the ability to play against (and with) bots? Now that’s not a very deep concept. With the enticing subject of an ongoing battle for control of some magical artefacts, I was expecting a campaign where my magical abilities depended on gaining control of the artefacts as the game progressed.
Sadly what could have been a fast paced single player game with on-line playability, shrunk into an online only game.
Now that I’ve played it a bit more
Fortunately I’ve got a one month trial on Xbox Live and was able to play online. It certainly shows it’s true colours online, and as such is a strong game with many unique features.
Graphically it’s impressive, though parents be warned – this is an adult game, as there is blood galore. It is after all a first person shooter at heart, and the name of the game is to destroy your opponent’s team in any manner possible.
Sadly Shadowrun just didn’t cut it for me personally in the long run. I’ve played a fair bit of Call of Duty 3 since getting Xbox Live, and the ability to re-spawn means that the games are longer and there is less waiting around watching the games finish. Of course to be honest, I’d always choose a World War Two FPS shooter over anything futuristic, so with that in mind, I’ll say that Shadowrun is a great game to keep your skills sharp whilst you wait fro Halo 3 to hit the stores.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: R16 – Restricted to persons 16 years and over.
Console: Xbox 360