Barriers will soon be broken with the release of Shadowrun. Finally, fantasies will come true as PC gamers and console enthusiasts will be able to game together. While the upcoming game is based on the RPG Shadowrun released for SNES and Sega Genesis, the 2007 title will be more of a cyber-punk online FPS, even though it’ll still retain some its fantasy and RPG-based attributes. While long-time fans of Shadowrun may be distraught for FASA’s (the developer) decision to make the game a FPS instead of the traditional RPG, the frantic multiplayer mayhem environment may be better suited for either platform’s players.

Planned races include Human, Elf, Troll and Dwarf. Each race will also have their own racial traits; Humans, for example, are generally well-rounded but can equip more technological items, Elves are weaker and can’t wield large weapons but can regenerate health, Trolls can absorb damage for the sake of slower movement and dwarves are more resist to damage like Trolls but also can drain energy from enemies but just standing near-by.

In-between rounds of play, players can purchase magic, tech and weapons. Magic includes teleportation, resurrection and a healing tree. Tech includes enhanced vision (to see through walls), a glider (short distance flier) and better reflexes (talked below). As for weapons, they include sniper rifles, SMGs, shotguns, rocket launchers or even the only melee weapon in the game: the katana. While the game will be primarily played through a first-person view, when you equip the katana, the view will be switched to a third-person view. In addition, if you happen to sneak up on an unsuspecting foe, you can get a gritty and silence stealth kill with the katana.

One of the useful tech skills is Wired Reflexes and it works in two ways. In one form, it’s a passive skill, which you’ll move faster and reload faster at the expense of draining your energy away. But if you use a special weapon with it, in this case the katana, you can block enemy fire. Also if you decide to ‘switch it on’, you’ll be able to jump high and move incredibly fast. Teleportation is a useful magic skill, activating it and you’ll be launched 10 or so feet ahead of where you’re running. Combine teleportation with say, Wired Reflexes, and you can get to some mighty high places. While all these skills may sound neat, note that you’ll only be limited to just three before a round.

During Microsoft’s X06 event, they showcased some of the precautious that’ll make sure the playing field for PC and 360 users will be balanced. For example, FASA has implemented a featured that’ll distort the crosshair during turns for PC players. This is to curtail the quick turning advantage PC users have due to the mouse and its increased sensitivity. As for 360 players, they’ll get some form of an auto aim to compensate for the "looser" controlling.

So how does each version stack-up? 360 playing reports showcase the gameplay is pretty fluid, the visuals are typically on-par with other 360 titles and frame rates are solid. Unfortunately, PC playing reports are showcasing the opposite — low frame rates, and required Vista ownership may divide consumers and lower than expected visuals.

The game will ship in the next two days with 9 maps and an additional 3 map variations. Planned maps include futuristic Santos, Brazil and the ancient Ziggurat. Shadowrun will also include six training chapters to get players up to speed and AI bots and 4 levels of difficulty for additional conditioning. Early word about the training levels is that they’re pretty in-depth so expect to invest an hour or two to get all your tactics together. Planned game modes are deathmatch, team deathmatch, and a capture the flag-like variation called Raid. Instead of a flag, teams will have to guard artifacts.

Note that in order to play cross-platform either on the 360 or PC, you’ll need either an Xbox Live Gold account or a Games for Windows Live Gold account. Shadowrun will feature 16 player rounds on both platforms and will benefit from the Live Anywhere initiative–unified gamertags, achievements and friends lists. Despite the PC game price tag of $49.99 is cheaper than the 360 game price tag of $59.99, Microsoft’s Shane Kim explained that the price arrangements are standard for games across either platforms.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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