Monday, March 26, 2007


family stuff has kept me from updating this site for a few days. I've been waiting for a response from the shadowrun devs about the NDA being lifted, but all i've been able to come up with is a bunch of posts claiming that it has. Since i haven't heard anything to the contrary, here it goes.

In one sentence, Shadowrun is a mashup of Counterstrike's shop-for-abilities-and-guns-every-round structure and Halo's run and gun gameplay, with some seriously bad-ass magic and tech abilities thrown in. They use essence points, of which you have eight. using any of the tech or magic abilities consume essence, which regenerates when the effects of the tech or magic wear off. Basically, the game breaks down into a few phases.

Pregame lobby

You select your team, and what race you want to play as. Human, Elf, Troll or Dwarf. abilities and attributes are different for each race, as well as essence used for tech and abilities.


here you spend money to buy magic and tech, as well as weapons. you gain money by the usual methods, killing and completing objectives.


a FPS at heart, Shadowrun's gameplay is familiar enough for vets to pick up quickly, but the tech and magic are what make it a unique experience. here's a rundown of the different abilities, straight from the Shadowrun beta forums....

What are the different magics?

Tree of Life: Creates a magical tree that heals anyone, friend or foe, that stands under it. The tree is a physical object and provides cover and some concealment, though it can be shot and destroyed. It can heal a limited amount of health, after which it is destroyed. Healing your teammates with a tree of life will earn you money.

Resurrect: When you cast Resurrect it brings back to life any dead within a short radius, tying them to you. This is a powerful ability and will cost you some essence as an investment if anyone is actually resurrected. You can resurrect multiple nearby players in a single cast and a single investment by moving over multiple bodies while casting. You will make a portion of any money that the resurrected player earns.

If the resurrected player dies, they will not leave a body and cannot be resurrected again and you will regain the invested essence. Destroying enemy bodies will prevent the enemy team from resurrecting dead teammates.

If you die, any players that you have resurrected will start losing health at a fairly rapid rate. In this state, they can be re-resurrected by another teammate and saved, but if they are not, they will likely die in short order.

Strangle: Creates magical crystals that damage and drain essence from players that run into them. The crystals also attract and trap players for a short while, though the individual crystal is destroyed by this. Each cast of Strangle costs you some essence as an investment. When all of the crystals from a particular cast are destroyed, you will regain the invested essence. The crystals are useful for blocking routes and slowing enemy passage.

Gust: Creates a strong gust of wind that will disrupt enemy aim and send them flying, potentially off of ledges and to their doom. Gust is useful in denying opponents access to an area and also damages players that are smoked (see “Smoke” below).

Smoke: When you activate Smoke, there is a short delay as you smoke, after which you are unable to be damaged by anything other than Gust. While active, Smoke drains your essence to maintain itself, and will shut off when you use it again or when you run out of essence.

While assigned, smoke renders you invisible to Enhanced Vision and prevents enemies from locking onto you with Smartlink. See “What are the different techs?” below for details on these techs. While assigned, Smoke reduces the rate at which you regain essence.

Teleport: Teleport moves you roughly eight meters in the direction that you are moving, regardless of what is in the way. You can jump up and teleport to move through ceilings or can crouch and teleport to move through floors. Teleport is extremely versatile and finding good teleport routes through the map will allow you to quickly cover large distances, escape from a bad situation, or surprise your enemy.

In order to teleport you must be moving or crouched. Teleport also will not work through thick rock.

Summon: Summons a minion to attack your enemies. If you cast summon while targeting an enemy player, the minion will hunt them down, otherwise it will defend the area around where you targeted.

What are the different techs?

Glider: Gilder allows you to glide long distances through the air and will prevent you from taking falling damage while active. You can activate Glider by using its assigned button or, when it is assigned, by hitting the A button while in the air. Glider combined with teleport will make you extremely maneuverable. A small electromagnetic generator causes some initial lift when glide is activated.

Enhanced Vision: When activated, Enhanced Vision sends out a sonar-like pulse that will let you see both enemies and friends through walls, combined with a distance indicator to each contact. If you are close enough to a player, you will see their silhouette; otherwise you will see an icon representing them. Enhanced Vision does not show players that have Smoke assigned.

Players on the receiving end of a vision pulse will feel a distinctive rumble and will see a visual effect, telling them that they’ve been spotted. Be aware that, if an enemy on the receiving end of a vision pulse has Enhanced Vision assigned, you (and only you) will automatically show up to them, just as if they had activated it.

Smartlink: While active, Smartlink confers a number of advantages, but also adds a laser sight that makes you more visible to opponents. Smartlink helps to make firing your weapons more accurate, adds an additional level of zoom to each ranged weapon, and adds smart targeting that prevents you from damaging your teammates. Once activated, Smartlink remains on until you use it again to deactivate it.

AntiMagic Generator: The AntiMagic Generator creates devices that, once thrown into the world, absorb all magic within their area of effect. This will destroy trees of life, minions, and strangle vines as well as draining all essence from players within that area. When thrown, they will stick to almost anything that they hit and last for quite a while before running out of power. The devices can also be shot and destroyed. You start with four devices and will slowly regain them after using any of your initial four.

Wired Reflexes: While assigned, Wired Reflexes increases your movement speed, makes you jump higher, allows you to reload weapons faster, and gives you the ability to block some or all of most weapon attacks while you are wielding a katana, facing your attacker and not yourself attacking.

When activated, your movement speed increases even further, you jump even higher, and you reload weapons even faster, but activating Wired Reflexes costs you health, potentially even killing you.


with all these abilities, the gameplay is fast and furious, with spells being cast, people teleporting through walls and general chaos everywhere. it's fun and i got a kick out of gliding, teleporting up a floor and surprising enemies. if there's a complaint, it's that the weapon selection is pretty generic, with shotgun, pistol, sniper rifle, assault rifle all making a appearance, and a Kantana weapon that puts you into a third-person view a la Unreal Championship 2

I've been playing it for a few days now, and although the addition of tech and magic make it a refreshing change over cookie cutter FPS games, they also make it a bit too hardcore for my liking. I just don't think I'll dedicate enough time to it to give me an advantage. shit, i kept forgetting what magic was mapped to what button, so instead of casting a tree of life, i kept strangling myself. it sounds more funny than it is, especially when your teammates are giving you shit for fucking up.

more to come....
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