What is Shadowrun Hong Kong?
Shadowrun Hong Kong is a turn-based tactical RPG set in 2056 Hong Kong. Let me back up a little by explaining what Shadowrun is. Shadow run was originally a table-top game set in a near-future where cybernetics, magic, and fantasy-type creatures all collide.
In this world, most if not all governments, are corrupt and corporations run almost everything. Whether it’s from behind the scenes or right out in the open. Sounds a bit crazy at first. However, what I feel makes Shadow run so interesting is even though all these people have almost no control over their lives there is still a small group of people, who are considered criminals, who fight against the governments and corporations in their own way.
In this review of Shadowrun Hong Kong, I will explain, in the best way that I can, all that his game has to offer. By doing so, I hope to give you the information you need to decide whether you want to purchase and play this game or not.
Action in this game is very minimal. Everything is turn-based (that is the game design so ya…). So the action is always paused. Very rarely did I feel rushed. However, there are a few areas where you have limited turns to complete something which gave that feeling of “hurry the hell up!”
The combat system is turn-based. They use an AP system instead of a speed system. I am not a huge fan of that fact. I don’t like how my whole team gets to make their moves, then the whole enemy team makes their moves. Removes the illusion of real combat. It’s like saying, “Hey you stand there while I shoot you, kk thanks!” I do like how they have the dragon lines and the areas where you can summon spirits in combat. However, all of those are limited to magic users. There is like one instance where I could affect combat as a “Decker” and only a few instances where there were explosive barrels or something like that which could be interacted with to change the outcome of combat.
The progression of your character seems a bit random. You finish a mission and you might get a few karma points, you open some random secret and you get a karma point. (Karma points are what you need to advance your character’s skills and abilities.)
Over The Top Game Play
There is little to no point in the game where you are like some super badass who can take on the world. You are always with your team. There is a point in the very end where it kind of seems that your team is pretty awesome but it’s all a bit lackluster.
The story is pretty interesting and it gets right into it. I really enjoyed the main story. Be aware though, that 90% of the communication in this game is via text. That means you gotta do some reading. if you are reading this I would hope that wouldn’t be too much of an issue. Aside from that, I don’t want to give away any spoilers so you will have to check it out to get any details, but overall the main story is what kept me playing the game.
This is what almost made me not play the game. This seems to be the way Shadowrun games work. They give you the main story but you have to complete a bunch of little stories to get more information about your main story. The problem with this is sometimes you get more into the side story than the main story because you haven’t gotten an update on the main story for a while, and if you stop playing for a few days you might be completely lost.
Customization isn’t very strong on the visual side of things. However, you can customize your character quite a lot when it comes to skills which is very nice. When you initially create your character you can choose from a few set classes or you can just pick which skills you want your character to have.
The graphics of the game are all top-down aside from a handful of comic book-type cut scenes. You can always zoom in and out to get a better look at what is going on but you are unable to rotate the camera.
There are a total of 5 or 6 NPCs that I can remember right now, and for the most part that is just because I was always interacting with those NPCs. Don’t get me wrong I know that all NPCs can’t be unique but when the ones that are part of your team are so “plain Jane” that you forget who they are, that’s a problem.
Jumping into the Matrix
There is one part of Shadowrun Hong Kong that I found really interesting, and that is the Matrix. The Matrix is a type of physical representation of the digital world. With a Decker, you can enter the Matrix and hack into different security systems, data banks, and other computer integrated systems. However, when you are doing this there are intrusion detection systems and intrusion prevention systems that you have to deal with as well.
So if you are not careful you with trigger the quick response program that is there to basically remove you from their system, forcefully. If you do manage to make it to your destination hack site (security hub, information data bank, etc) this is where you will have to actually hack in a more traditional sense.
You are given 3 options normally. 1) hack the system with a penalty if you fail. 2) Brut force the system with a large penalty but always succeeds. 3) use a password you found in the real world. The Matrix in Shadowrun Hong Kong is almost like a game within the game and it’s quite a fun thing to play around in.
Although I do point out multiple criticisms throughout this review, I still enjoyed the game as a whole. If you are looking for an interesting turn-based combat RPG game I would check this one out. However, if you are not up for a bit of reading, steer clear quickly because 90% story in the game is text only.
If you are interested in trying out this game I would recommend picking it up from G2A.com. They have a great deal on this game and many others!
How did you like this review? Have you played this game and have a different opinion? Please let me know what you think in the comments below!