Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Am I crazy, or what?

Shadowrun Returns

I bought a new game, Shadowrun Returns, this week. OK, that doesn't in itself make me crazy, because it's on sale at Steam this week, at 33% off, so it cost me just $13.39. How could I resist? :)

And it's been lots of fun. The game is set in a near-future fantasy world, where magic has returned to the Earth - along with elves, dwarves, orcs, and trolls - but where high technology still exists, too (cybernetics, in particular). It's a dark, gritty society ruled by giant corporations with their own private police forces, a place where "shadowrunners" eek out a living off the grid.

According to Wikipedia, it's based on a table-top RPG, Shadowrun, which has been around since 1989. Your character is investigating the murder of a friend (and/or because you're being paid for doing so). But that's just the module which ships with the game. Apparently, Shadowrun Returns has been designed to make it easy for players to create their own content, too, which I should be able to download from the Internet. (I haven't bothered to check that out yet.)

Combat is turn-based, and highly tactical. But the game itself is quite linear, and the inventory system simple. This isn't a game about loot or about exploration, but more about telling a story. Yet it still seems to have replay value, because there are enough choices in character development that I have to wonder about all the other ways I could have played it.

So what's crazy? Well, I'm already spending far too much time playing Arma 3. And I've started new games in Fallout: New Vegas and Skyrim, both of which are absolutely enormous games which would take forever to actually finish (even if I didn't stop to blog about the experience).

I've barely scratched the surface of Xenonauts, Distant Worlds, or Expeditions: Conquistador, all three games I really want to get back to. And I haven't even started Timber and Stone or Sir, You Are Being Hunted, both of which I supported on Kickstarter. (Admittedly, both games are still in alpha - playable, but still a ways from being finished.)

Also, in June, I bought both Anachronox and Imperialism from Now sure, they were both on sale - 50% off - so together they only cost me $6. But I haven't even downloaded them yet, let alone played them. Just no time.

And these are just my games of the past few months. Installed on my hard drive, I've got tons of other games, all unfinished - some barely touched - just in the year since I bought this new computer. And I'm not counting games I keep returning to, over and over again, like Dwarf Fortress, UnReal World, or Cataclysm.

That's what's crazy. I needed another game like I need another hole in my head. But it's been fun. Even in two days, I've probably got my money's worth from this, and I'm not finished yet. (I played until 1 AM last night.)

Unlike most of these, Shadowrun Returns is a casual kind of game. Combat is very tactical (it's nearly identical to the new XCOM game), and saving is automatic, once per setting (so have to play out the whole level or you'll lose all of that progress when you quit).

But the controls are simple, there's hardly any inventory management, and it's very linear, so you can pick it up any time, without worrying about a learning curve or remember what you were doing when you last played it.

In that sense, this isn't the kind of game I normally prefer, but it has real advantages, too - especially when I'm already playing far more games than I really have time for.


Chimeradave said...

With all those games I'm amazed you find time to read, blog, eat, or sleep.

WCG said...

So, you vote for crazy, then? :)

Chimeradave said...

I just played some Skyrim again last night. So I guess I'm crazy too