Shadowrun: Online Preview

DeveloperCliffhanger Productions
PublisherCliffhanger Productions
Review Platform: PC (Steam)
Preview Copy Provided ByCliffhanger Productions
Release Date: TBD

Previewing Shadowrun: Online has proven to be a trickier task than what I had originally expected. For a game that promises connected play in it’s title, there is actually no online to speak of, yet. All I, and others who purchased this Early Access title received, is a brief albeit satisfying single player campaign. So proceed with caution, because many features of this game have been left unplayable. The campaign did little to tell me how successful the MMO aspects of this game would be, but I definitely got a sense of how gameplay will work. A turn based game in the vein of the original Fallout, Shadowrun: Online showed off two potential class builds. One was a heavily offensive character who specialized in powerful attacks on a single opponent, while the other was a mix of single offensive attacks, AOE spells, and defensive buffs.

Taking Cover
Taking Cover

The missions were not only entertaining, but extremely challenging. The first few times I played, I was anything but successful, and soon learned that I had to use every weapon, and power at my disposal to win. Not being well versed in Shadowrun lore as I am, I didn’t exactly know what was going on in the large scheme of things, but I enjoyed the story well enough. More or less because of the atmosphere, rather than the plot itself. The Shadowrun universe has always been one that interested me, but I never found the time to play the table top games, or video game adaptations. The blend of high fantasy creatures in a cyberpunk setting is both unique and visually appealing. If this game is an accurate representation of the Shadowrun universe as a whole, it is safe to say that I want to experience even more.

Magic Attack
Magic Attack

Visually, the game may not be the most technically beautiful, but it stands behind an ever so slightly exaggerated design, which in large part, aids it in its graphical handicaps. The little bit of music playing in the background, I really enjoyed. It felt futuristic in the 80’s kind of way. What wasn’t so spectacular was the voice work. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoyed the banter between the two characters, but the voice actors sounded apathetic at best. That is really all I feel comfortable saying at this point in the game’s development. I enjoyed just about everything I played, but I just couldn’t shake the disappointment I had with there being no multiplayer offering. This game will be made or broken on it’s online components, and with the inability to test it, I will recommend you avoid this game on Steam’s Early Access program. When Shadowrun: Online becomes available as a full release, I sincerely hope to be able to review it, and report back on the quality of online play.

Matthew Ahern

With an intense interest in the more artistic and narrative elements of gaming, Matthew is a lover of fantasy worlds like Hyboria, Middle Earth, and most of all, Albion. Despite this fondness towards fantasy, he is open to playing any and all genres of games on his Xbox and PC.


  1. You mean a fetus with a gun, don’t you UGE_plex?

    However I agree with both you and the preview: Shadowrun Online in it’s current form is still a very early version. Thus it is mainly of interest to those who want to see a game grow from infancy into adulthood and take the chance to shape the game with their discussions and opinions. Those who expect a game to be mostly finished when they buy it will be served better by waiting till the full release.

  2. This article could have used a bit stronger emphasis in its explanation on the status of Shadowrun Online’s development being effectively akin to a fetus in the 1st trimester. It has recognizable parts, but it’s still just a fetus. And technically, it does have a rudimentary PvP online component that’s simple but pretty fun even in its early stages.

    Shadowrun Online’s early access purpose is to get feedback from the community on core mechanics as they’re created, not to preview it as though it’s ready to be promoted, though I’m sure the developers would love useful feedback from the game review community. Recommending it be avoided for now is unproductive.

    Perhaps, next time a game in the early development stages crosses the reviewers path, encouraging those who are willing or interested in contributing ideas and observations to help make it a better experience at launch would be a more constructive way to go, while of course warning those who aren’t prepared to play a work in progress.

    In the meantime, a reminder that Shadowrun Online’s early access account also comes with a full non-F2P “Campaign Account” when it launches, along with the benefit of experiencing and contributing to its growth. ^_^

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