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A Year of Indie RPGs - September - Shadowrun
After a month off, the Year of... series returns. I was going to feature Wasteland 2 this month, but seeing that the console release of that game is next month, we will look elsewhere for now. Instead, we will look at the Shadowrun series. While there have been several games based on the original cyberpunk pen & paper game in the past, we will be looking specifically at the three games in the series released since 2013. Shadowrun Returns was a Kickstarter project by Harebrained Schemes, which is headed by Jordan Weisman. Weisman was on the creative team for the original Shadowrun game on the SNES (1993), as well as on other notable games like Battletech and Mechwarrior. Shadowrun Returns harkens back to the SRPG stylings of that original game. There is a deep character creation and leveling system, along with a solid tactical gameplay system. Perhaps the most interesting part of the game is the editor that comes along with it, allowing anyone to create their own battles, stories, or campaigns to share with others.
Shadowrun Returns was enough of a critical and commercial success that a sequel, Shadowrun: Dragonfall was released in 2014. The third game in the series, Shadowrun: Hong Kong, was released in August of this year. Harebrained Schemes continues to refine the Shadowrun games, making smaller improvements, rather than making sweeping changes to the game's systems. Feel free to jump in to any or all of these games and discuss them here. Enjoy!