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[Disclosure: A review code was provided by the publisher for the contents of this article]
There have been quite a few complaints about Harebrained Schemes' isometric, cyberpunk RPG expansion, Shadowrun: Returns Dragonfall. However, there's one complaint that seems a bit misplaced: the sidequests.
I understand that the original game wasn't big on interaction, and there were a lot of restrictions and environmental “red tape” that cornered gamers into a very linear and preset play experience, as outlined in Pete's review of the original Kickstarted game. However, as I've been (slowly) trudging through the game, I've noticed that it's offering more and more content as I delve deeper into the story.
In fact, the more you explore, the more you talk to various characters and the more you let your curiosity put on a grand ballet on the stage of your mind, you'll realize that Dragonfall rewards the worthy; your mischief does not go unnoticed.
I'm edging close to the 10 hour mark with Dragonfall... that's right... 10 hours. The more missions you complete the more sidequests you unlock. If you take your time to explore every nook and cranny you begin to find that there are small, medium and minor quests you can take on, many of which you can optionally fail (or at least, complete in ways you may not have thought possible).
In a way, a lot of Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall feels like the first two Mass Effect games or The Witcher titles, in which player decisions aren't always readily made clear as the “right” or “wrong” choices, but rather that they are simply choices that have consequences attached to them, for better or for worse.
There's a strong variance of choice attached with handling certain situations, and I like that nearly every character class and sub-class has some sort of important role at one time or another to complete a mission in a specific way. I can't stress enough that – despite not having completed Dragonfall yet – there's plenty of replayability attached to the expansion.
What's more is that Dragonfall is only $14.99, so there's not a lot of financial love-loss for what could end up being 15 hours or more (I mean, if I'm at the 10 hour mark and still have plenty of unfinished missions, I can't imagine the game being any less than that).
I did experience one minor glitch in a side-mission, though; it was in the sewers with the – well, not to give anything away, I'll simply say that before I completed a sub-plot attached to the sidequest, I accidentally left the sewers and I was unable to complete the sub-plot. I still managed to finish the sidequest but another crucial aspect remained unfinished. Nevertheless, it wasn't something that's listed in my quest queue and it was contained between specific characters, so I don't know if it'll have any effect on the grand scheme of things but it did rustle my Jimmies ever so lightly that that sub-plot won't be complete in this play-through.
I have to say, though, I'm still thoroughly impressed with what Shadowrun: Returns Dragonfall has to offer; and I do indeed appreciate and enjoy the expansion so much more than the original. Cyberpunk RPG fans might do well to check the game out if there's that inner craving circling your gut that makes you desire a well-written, thoughtfully intricate cyberpunk-RPG that feels like it came right out of the Baldur's Gate era.
For more info, feel free to pay a kind visit to the official website.