Shadowrun Hong Kong Review

The latest Shadowrun game takes place in Hong Kong and it’s pretty fantastic. 

The Great:

Story: 

Shadowrun Hong Kong is well written, and has some of the best quest I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing this year. I went from investigating a series of grisly mutilations to having a duel with a vampire at sunset. Depending on how well you investigate will determine how each run plays out for you. I talked to everyone that I could while using my charm to get information out of people. The highlight has to be the main quest though. A simple trip to Hong Kong to help your father turns into a conspiracy that has you on the run from the Hong Kong Police Department and the only person you can turn to is the leader of a crime syndicate.

Shadowrun Hong Kong has a very interesting story with a ton of dialogue. If you don’t reading do not play this game expecting to have a good time because you will not.

Soundtrack: 

Do you want to know what’s so awesome about this game taking place in Hong Kong? It’s the music. Shadowrun Hong Kong has a fantastic soundtrack that has to be heard to be appreciated. Even if you don’t like Shadowrun games I’ll recommend that you at least go out and buy the soundtrack to the game.

Gameplay:

Shadowrun Hong Kong is a isometric RPG that plays sort of like Xcom Enemy Unknown. Every character in your party will have a chance to perform a limited amount of actions before the enemy does.  Since I was a street Samurai, gotta love that title, I had little use for Duncan in my squad because we both did the same thing. I rolled with a samurai, rigger, and shaman for the majority of my runs and everything went pretty smooth. Who doesn’t love a zombie samurai that can bite the shit out of people?

Investigating:

SRHK 2015-08-25 13-34-34-85Every new run will bring new opportunities for you to investigate what’s going on around you. In a way this game made me feel like a detective because of how in depth I could investigate each run if I chose too. You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to though and that’s what I love about this game. You don’t have to investigate if you don’t want to. You can just go through the front door guns blazing if you want. Or you can do what I did and talk to everyone you come across while keeping a low profile. I talked myself out of more fights than I got into and I loved that I had the option to do that.

Characters:

The characters that I met in Shadowrun Hong Kong were interesting and very well written. I met a serial killer/zombie/samurai that I let join my group, my decker is a dwarf with ptsd about everything that happened to her as a kid growing up the slums, my shaman loves rats and has a carefree attitude about everything until you really get to know her, my brother is a dick that’s upset about being on the run from the HKPD, and finally my rigger is a psychopath. I’m not going to say too much more about them because I don’t want to spoil the game for anyone, but they’re all very interesting characters. The rigger was my favorite one of them all because of how uncomfortable he made me feel. Once I learned about his secrets I was genuinely surprised and games rarely do that to me.

Skill Tree:

SRHK 2015-08-25 13-35-00-01The first shadowrun games had okay skill trees. They weren’t great, but they got the job done. Shadowrun Hong Kong added quite a lot to the skill tree. There’s a whole new cyberware skill tree, and everything just looks a lot neater than before. I don’t think I can go back to the old Shadowrun games because of the how good the new skill tree is.

The Good: 

Customization:

SRHK 2015-08-25 13-34-47-66Shadowrun still suffers from a lack of customization. The outfits that we have access to are nice, but there’s simply not enough of them. There is a good amount of weapons, spells, and cyberware for me to browse through, but I wasn’t really impressed with the majority of the outfits available to me and that bumped the customization down a notch for me. What we do have is good, but not great.

The Bad:

Typos:

When you make a game that tells a story through tons of text you’ve better make sure it’s perfect. I noticed quite a few typos in this game. It’s not a huge deal, but it  is an immersion breaker to me because it took me out of the game for a few minutes because I had to figure out what word was missing from the paragraph that I read. Hopefully this will be patched soon, but I thought it should be mentioned.

There’s Not Enough Side Quests:

This is the most content filled Shadowrun game we’ve ever had, but it’s not enough. After the first batch of quest was finished I thought I would be getting some more, but I didn’t. I guess there are always mods, but I shouldn’t have to depend on modding a game to add in more content.

It’s Not Very Long:

I completed Shadowrun Hong Kong in about 22 hours.  My next playthrough won’t take nearly as long. I talked to everyone, and did everything that I could before the final mission and I couldn’t help, but wish the game was a longer. There should have been more sidequest to keep us invested in our characters, but there’s nothing. After I completed the game I was taken back to the main menu.

The Verdict: 

Shadowrun Hong Kong is an improvement over the previous two Shadowrun games in almost every way. It looks good, it plays good, the side quests are fun, and your companions are awesome. When the only things that are wrong with a game are a few typos, and lack of length then you’re doing something right in my opinion. I wonder where the franchise will go from here? I wouldn’t mind a Shadowrun that takes place in Africa.

9/10

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