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Published on June 26th, 2007 | by Deejay Knight, Editor/Founder

What's the deal with Shadowrun?

There’s a lot of discussion going on all over the internet about Shadowrun – the newest FPS for the Xbox 360. FASA Studio, known more recently for their work on Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge and MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf for the Xbox, has unleashed Shadowrun to what at least one of their developers deems highly unfair reviews.

So what’s the deal with Shadowrun and why is there so much disdain aimed at it? If it was good, why are so many reviewers trashing it? For the gamers out there that have no idea what’s going on and why it’s causing such a stir, I delve into some of the reasons as to why it’s such a hot topic.

Shadowrun has it’s positives and negatives just like any other game:


  • Deep gameplay possibilities once you get the hang of the races and the advantages of each.
  • Magic and Technology change the face of the original system completely.
  • Rewarding when tactics and strategies are used properly.
  • Fun to the majority of people who give it a chance after the tutorials.


  • $60 price tag.
  • Apparent issues with licensing.
  • Not enough content to go toe to toe with larger games coming out later this year.

Once you get past the basics, there’s still a lot of fun to be had with Shadowrun. I can understand the people who argue that it’s bad use of the license, because if one of my favorite RPGs was made into a shooter, i’d be plenty pissed.

‘Elder Scrolls: DeathMatch’ would likely piss off a good amount of Elder Scrolls fans, so that much is warranted. Personally though, I’ve never heard of Shadowrun before this game, so if they use the engine for an RPG down the line, if this game did amazing it could have likely been a boost in popularity. Halo fans are mostly fever pitched about the possibilities of Halo Wars – this would’ve been a similar conversion.

The pricing, I think, is what upsets most people. Nine maps is fine and good along with two game modes. Unfortunately, the trend over at Microsoft leans toward paid content to continue the game, which I think leads people who haven’t picked up the game to stray away from it because they feel that the already overpriced $60 would lead into more microtransactions down the line. Looking at it that way, I can completely understand those gamers’ points of view.

Some people don’t like the fact that when Halo releases, this game could become a desert landscape with no people in sight. Well, when you look at it that way, you can either be an optimist or pessimist. Optimists (like myself) might point out the fact that September 25 is one day short of three months from now. That’s a long time any way you look at it, but pessimists could just as easily be upset by the fact that it’s ‘only three months’ where Halo 2 had a lifespan of two years atop the Xbox Live gameplay charts. On the same note, this game could keep it’s fanbase when Halo releases, and this could be the monotony breaker from the constant Halo matches. Stranger things have happened, and with the possibilities of this game that wouldn’t surprise me.

Time will tell whether it turns out to be a hit or not, but a lot of the criticism is from people complaining that it costs too much and doesn’t have enough content for the money. When you compare it to other next-gen games that won’t hit the market for at least three months that may seem the case, but the views on this game could likely be changed if Microsoft allows one of two things to happen: Drop the price to $50 or allow the downloaded content to be free. I think that option could very likely bring in a ton of people – especially after Major Nelson posts it on his blog and the reviewers that gave it a bad score get light of the price drop/added free content.

I’m highly enjoying my time with Shadowrun and suggest that if you’re intrigued in the least this game is well worth a rent. Keep in mind, though, the tutorials are there for a reason. If you don’t do them, don’t be upset because you’re on the recieving end of a teleported katana slice.

All in all, it’s all about your personal preference, though. If you want to enjoy a deep and fulfilling multiplayer experience (especially if you have friends that play it already), I’d highly suggest giving Shadowrun a try. I can’t deny that $60 is a bit more than expected for a multiplayer only title, so if the content that hits the marketplace turns out to be free a lot of people will pick this one up that didn’t consider it initially.

If you don’t agree with any of the points I’ve made here, please explain with a comment. I’m interested to see other gamers’ opinions about this game, as there’s a ton of discussion going on about it.

About the Author

Deejay has been a gamer since the Atari 2600, has wrestled–and defeated–alligators with only his toes, and once aligned all the planets in the Solar System by uttering the words "Coo Coo Ka-Choo". In his sleep. He currently bides his time behind the scenes here at, streaming at and teaching.

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