Well I finally got to put some good solid gaming time into Shadowrun. It seems pretty damn good to me.
Its fun, balanced and so far, not frustrating (we'll see how that changes once everyone masters all of the magic and tech).
Right now the only things I really dislike are all related to the cross platform stuff. About half of the people on the server were babbling CONSTANTLY about nothing. I'm guessing they're all wearing head sets on the 360 (you could tell be the way they moved in spectator mode). For the last few rounds I played they were just trying to get the hidden achievement that you get for "tea bagging" people. I was actually really getting into the game so it was pretty annoying to have it turn into that.
I give the gameplay an 8\10 so far. It has a good feel to it overall and its polished, but the weapons and crosshairs just feel too sloppy. I prefer the pin point crosshairs of games like Red Orchestra or DoD:S. If it had more precise aiming it'd be a 9\10. The different techs, magics and weapons should keep things interesting. And the rumors of the PC controls being neutered were totally blown out of proportion, if not complete lies. This game has better mouse controls than most games I've played. Its lag free, responsive and can be configured more than most games. The slight auto-aiming can be kind of strange but its just there because the xbox players have it to. I'm picky about my mouse controls (any lag, and im pissed
) and I didn't even think about it while playing this.
The graphics I'd have to give a 8\10. Some times they look excellent. Other times they look pretty dated or bland. Overall it gets the job done and it looks unique, while performing extremely well (in multiplayer). I didn't even notice any framerate change at all when playing at 1600x1200 with all settings maxed (no AA), and I'm usually really picky about framerate. In single player with bots, its very CPU heavy and runs far worse. Online its flawless. I'm going to crank the resolution up to 2048x1536 next time I play.
The sound is good. Nice positional sound with good quality effects. Nothing ground breaking, but its solid. 8\10.
The networking seems to be great. Its extremely smooth and lag free. I didn't notice any glitching or lagging out at all. I wish it had a "real" server browser but I guess the system that is there works fine. It has a dedicated server browser but for some reason none showed up the last time I played (there were a few on the list before I got my Live account set up). The match making system seems to do a good job of finding players of your skill level. I wasn't overwhelmed or bored after playing 3 different servers for about 2 hours. So that seems to be working well. The netcode\internet play gets 9\10 from me for being hassle free, if a little bit slow to search and connect some times (other times its almost instant). It'd be an easy 10\10 if the server browser gave a bit more freedom.
Keep in mind though that this is with the free month of Live Gold. If it continues to work alright with silver then I'll be happy. I don't see myself paying another $50 for this though.
One thing that seems to be a bit of a downside is the value of the purchase. I can see why people are complaining so much about this. Its a good solid game, but its pretty high priced for just a handful of levels and what amounts to basically the same gameplay in 3 different variations. On top of that, Live gold will cost you extra, and I have a feeling that silver will seriously limit the number and quality of servers you'll be able to connect to. I also read that there are plans for some downloadable content. If they charge for it, it'll kill them. I'm kind of doubting that they will give it away free (more tech, more magic, more levels etc.), but it'd really even things out a bit if they did. Value gets a 7\10 right now, just because I can see how this could be a problem later on.
One other small complaint is that you cannot type text messages at all. I think you can send preset voice messages like most other games, but not being able to type kind of sucks. I don't like sitting at my PC and talking to my monitor, so I can see this getting in the way a bit, especially if you have a question about how something works in the game (which you will).
I think that covers just about everything.
I'm happy with it. Its a unique shooter, its fun, and its complex, yet accessible. It runs good, and it WORKS.
When I first read about it last year I decided not to let my memories of the old SNES and Genesis Shadowrun games (and the 13 years I've been waiting for a sequel to either one) cloud my judgement, and I'm glad I did. It isn't "real" shadowrun. It could just as easily have had another name and I think only vague comparisons to Shadowrun would have been made (magic, tech and races... thats really the only similarities it has). I'm just hoping that the name gets some recognition and a proper RPG can be made in the future. Till then, this is a good shooter that I think everyone should at least try out if you get the chance.
Online Play 9\10
Value 7\10 (Could be overpriced given the limited levels and game types.)
(keep in mind, this is a quicky review... I played through the tutorials, played some bot matches and put a few hours in online. We'll see how it holds up after a couple weeks.)