GB Feature: Shadowrun: Hong Kong Review

We've just finished putting the final words into our Shadowrun: Hong Kong review, providing another perspective on Harebrained Schemes' latest turn-based installment in the RPG series. Here are a couple of paragraphs to get you moving in that direction:

About half the campaign takes place in the missions. The other half takes place in Heoi, where your base is located. In Heoi you can talk to people (including your companions), go shopping, and pick up new missions. In most games, the base part of the game doesn't take very long, but in Shadowrun: Hong Kong, each character you meet has a long history for you to uncover, and you might have 5-10 minute conversations with them after each mission. Since you can have up to five companions, and since there are 10 other NPCs for you to interact with, that means the between mission part of the game often takes longer than the missions -- until you get to the end of the campaign when people run out of things to say.

That is, Shadowrun: Hong Kong is a game for people who enjoy reading -- especially since nothing is voice-acted, so you actually have to read the dialogue rather than listening to it. The good news is that the writing is excellent. Characters have personalities, and it's fun to learn their backstories and motivations. The bad news is that while the conversations change a little based on your responses (and more than you usually see in an RPG), the trajectory of the conversations remains the same, and that hurts the replay value of the game. Playing Shadowrun: Hong Kong twice in a row is like reading a book twice in a row. You could do it, but it's far less exciting the second time around.