Harebrained Schemes has finally done it, they've moved development forward enough for Shadowrun Returns to offer pre-orders right now on Steam. This means that those of you who couldn't wait to play the game can now put some money down to own it early.
Kickstarter backers are probably happy that their hard-earned money has literally paid for the publishing of one of the most beloved cyberpunk brands in the history of gaming. Originally, Shadowrun established quite the audience back in the 90s as a sort of action-RPG. It reveled in the counter-culture antics of hacking, memory espionage, anti-corporate rebels and cyber punk aesthetics.
Originally, I wasn't much of a fan of Shadowrun on either the SNES or Sega Genesis, but as time went on and after that sacrilegious release on the Xbox 360 that was a multiplayer cross-platform title with Windows Vista, it certainly made me appreciate the 16-bit titles a lot more.
As time went on it also became obvious that true cyber-punk titles had become a rare and endangered sub-genre, with only scarce titles indulging in the futuristic societies surrounded in cybermacy. Luckily, Kickstarter came along to save us all from the tyranny of publishers and the disease they spread known as sequelitis, and that other dreaded symptom only found within the regions of the PC Master Race known as consolitis. Ugh.
Thankfully, you won't have to worry about sequelitis or consolitis with Shadowrun Returns because it's a spiritual successor to the previous games while opening up all the technological doors of advancement that most gamers would expect from a title launching in 2013.
Thanks to the resurgence of the cyber punk genre from gamers showing a great deal of interest in the subject matter, even CD Projekt RED has jumped in on the action with their own Cyberpunk 2077. However, you'll have to wait quite some time before you can get your hands on that little gem. In the meantime, there's still Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun Online to keep hold of your fancy.
Running on the Unity 3D game engine, Shadowrun Returns will be a nostalgic flashback to games like Baldur's Gate, Jagged Alliance and the original two Fallout games. If you like isometric RPGs and want to delve deep into a brand new one, be sure to check out more of Shadowrun Returns on the official Steam page. The game is available for pre-purchase for only $17.99 given Steam's 10% discount.