GB Feature: Shadowrun: Dragonfall Review

Those of you looking for some promising new add-on content to play through this weekend should check out our full review of Shadowrun: Dragonfall, Harebrained Schemes' recently released Berlin-injecting expansion pack. And if you want to get a better idea of how it reads, here are a pair of paragraphs:

Another way Shadowrun: Dragonfall differentiates itself from the original campaign is the emphasis it places on companions. Throughout the entire game you run with a crew of shadowrunners (you can still hire mercenaries for a fee, if you really need to round your team, but there's not a strong incentive to do so), each with a unique personality, look, and background. Exactly like in many other role-playing titles of this ilk, you can decide to help them with their (many) issues and learn a bit of their past in the process by talking to them at your home base between missions. However, I found occasional moments in which they interjected on current events or gave their opinion on a past run more interesting, as they examined otherwise unseen aspects of their personality in a more natural manner. Overall, Harebrained has done a fine job with them: they might be not the most original and complex characters, but they're sufficiently fleshed out and present interesting takes on otherwise well-worn tropes.

There are other aspects of the game's writing that are arguably disappointing. For a large chunk of the story the main antagonist is a forgettable ork who has a unique portrait but not much else going for him. He simply never utters a single memorable line, and doesn't fare much better as a boss fight. The atmosphere of Berlin also doesn't feel quite as accomplished as Seattle's. Perhaps it's down to assets re-use, but the two cities don't look or feel different enough, and in spite of how many times the characters repeat that the Flux-State is unique, that ever shifting anarchist hub that the game promises superficially never quite materializes. Finally, while the game features an extensive playable epilogue, there's no way to know the far-reaching consequences of your choices. Perhaps it was just better for Harebrained to leave things unclear so that they don't interfere with the setting's canon, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth.