Reviewed by Shawn Kennedy, Posted on 2007-06-25


Developer: Microsoft Publisher: Microsoft
Release Date: May 29, 2007 Also On: PC & Xbox 360

Shadowrun started life as an RPG on the SNES/Genesis. I never heard of it before now, but apparently it was an excellent game. However, I just don't understand why the game was turned over into a first person shooter. There are plenty of them on the market, and with the final product here, it seems like a rather dumb decision to have changed what the original established. What's even worse is that it is the launch title for Xbox Live Anywhere...

With all of the Xbox 360/PC hardware is capable of, Shadowrun really does not deliver visually. The environments are nothing to write home about. They are kind of boring and offer no interaction with the player at all. Character models really don't look that amazing either. The best part of the game visually is the frame rate, actually. It holds up very well online with no slowdown at all.

For a game that used to be an RPG, there is no customization of characters either. You can only choose from one of four races at the start of the game. Each team has the ability to choose any of these races, so it is hard to tell apart friend and foe.

What makes Shadowrun stand out among other first person shooters is the magic and tech equipment. At the beginning of each round, you are given a buy menu similar to Perfect Dark Zero, where you can buy magic, tech equipment, and weapons. You can only carry two weapons at once, which you lose when you die. There really are only 8 weapons to choose from, but the magic makes up for it a bit.

Magic ranges from resurrect, tree of life, gust, and smoke (which turns you into smoke to avoid damage). There are about 8 magic powers and 8 tech pieces to complement your weapons, but you can only use 3 at a time for the most part. You are given a quick bar for 3 powers you can use, and the rest are stored in the menu. You will probably find yourself trying to find the best combination of powers for a situation. Here is when team communication is key so that all powers can be utilized.

The audio is nothing to blast your system to. The very basic sounds let you know what is going on without having to pay much attention to the action around you. It ties in with the rather simple gameplay, however. While there is a lot of fun to be had, there is very little variety. You can either play a game similar to Neutral Flag and a game similar to One Flag. There are no respawns, but you can revive other teammates with your powers as long as their bodies are not destroyed.

Shadowrun only offers a handful of maps with a disappointing selection of weapons. The limited game types do not give you much to do. It would be nice to just see a deathmatch or territory mode. This would work well with the game. The party system does not work very well; just getting a party in the first place can take up to 5 minutes and tries to balance skill among the team to the best of its ability. Lag was rare during my play, so you can expect a seamless experience between the Xbox 360 and PC.

Overall, Shadowrun is an average game at best that should have stayed as an RPG. There are many shooters out there that are better on the Xbox 360: FEAR, Rainbow Six and Gears of War to name a few. It may be a hot game this summer, but there really isn't anything to offer that you haven't seen before. If you are dying for another game to play, Shadowrun may fill that void until the good games start releasing in August. If you don't play online, don 't bother because Shadowrun is made for online play.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 7
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 6.8
Written by Shawn Review Guide

Reviewed by Shawn Kennedy