East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Three bucks well spent


As I said, after spending a whole day writing, I have no energy for reading, and so I devote my attention to music or movies or TV to decompress after the long day.
But yesterday I blew 3 of my hard-earned euros for something different: a videogame, that hopefully will keep me amused during the quarantine.

As a Linux user, I spent most of the last fifteen years not playing on my PC – if we except playing Go on various online servers. But recently,m through the never-praised-enough Humble Bundle, I was able to restore my ages-old and never used Steam account, and buy a few games for real cheap.
Case in point, my latest purchase – 3 euro and change of Shadowrun Returns.

For the uninitiated, Shadowrun is a decades-long franchise that started as a roleplaying game, and then branched off in other media, most notably original novels and videogames.

In the Shadowrun universe, the 2012 maya prophecy did bring some changes: as the world political and economical systems collapsed, magic returned and humanity mutated.
Set in the second half of the 21st century, Shadowrun is a cyberpunk game of corporate intrigue and everyday survival, with the added element of fantasy races and magic. And the end result is not as daft as it sounds – because mixing cyberpunk and fantasy races allows the game to look at issues as discrimination and racism, and magic and mysticism are presented in an interesting manner, and hinge nicely with the late ’80s new age feelings of the original inspiration.

Those of us old enough do remember how elven bikers were very much a thing in the 1980s.

After thirty years, the setting has grown in many different directions, and the world has evolved, expanded and changed through various iterations.
It’s one of the best RPG settings out there, and one of the oldest.
And then of course you shoot, blast or hit very very hard everything that gets in the way.

So yes, I like Shadowrun, and I have a shelfload of sourcebooks to prove it. I always liked the potential of the setting, and the attitude, and the fact that this is one of those games that come with their own slang (Planescape was also like this, and I loved it) .
Shadowrun Returns is the latest digital incarnation of the setting, and is a classic PC roleplaying games – in which you build your character, and thern guide them through a series of missions.

The interface is simple, the options are huge, the graphics and music are beautiful. And it runs on a low-end PC like mine, which is a bonus.

As a roleplayer that finds less and less opportunities for roleplaying around a table these days, the opportunity to revisit a world I like as much as Ilike Shadowrun is really like taking a vacation.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

4 thoughts on “Three bucks well spent

  1. I haven’t heard of this game before, but it looks cool!


  2. “As big it is, as sound it makes when it falls to the ground”
    I really miss it


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