Metareview: Shadowrun (Xbox 360, PC)


As far as weird decisions go, exhuming a popular pen-and-paper RPG franchise and transforming it into a cross-platform shooter isn't nearly as disastrous as you might expect. Indeed, most Shadowrun reviewers concur that the gameplay is enjoyable and pleasingly distinct from your space donut shootouts. As for the decisions that led to a dearth of single-player content and a comically high price tag, well, those are every bit as disastrous as you'd expect.
  • Eurogamer (6/10) considers Shadowrun to be a "well-designed, well-conceived game," but faults its anemic features and "counter-productive" price. "There's nothing wrong with a game choosing to specialise in either offline or online experience, of course," notes Kieron Gillen. "But if you decide to completely ignore one pole of the experience, you have to offer something generally astounding and/or groundbreaking to justify yourselves."
  • Gamespot (6.9/10) feels the game, which is "about $30 too expensive," makes poor use of the Shadowrun license and doesn't offer enough variety. Despite finding the combat unique and the customization choices to be meaningful, Jeff "8.8" Gerstmann ultimately labels Shadowrun as "a pretty shallow experience."
  • IGN (6.8/10) loathes the game's presentation, one of many criticisms it piles atop the "well-designed nucleus of gameplay." Charles Onyett finds the whole thing to be unrewarding, explaining that, "As gamers, it's rewards we crave, be it of the narrative variety, in-game items, new options or modes, or something entirely different."
It's a shame to see Shadowrun providing "something different" to a crowded genre, only to clumsily stumble its way into the retail world with a heavy price on its back. We're sure the brilliant executives at Microsoft will pin the blame for inhibited sales on the license itself: "What? Shadowrun tanked? Well, that could only be due to the fact that nobody likes the Shadowrun universe anymore! Let's put that one back in the closet, eh chaps?"

Read -- Metacritic on the PC version
Read -- Metacritic on the Xbox 360 version

This article was originally published on Joystiq.