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Shadowrun limits itself

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Shadowrun hints at many plot points that are never properly fleshed out.





Shadowrun

Publisher: Microsoft

Platforms: Xbox 360, PC (Windows Vista)

Rating: M – Mature

Game type: Shooter

*** 1/2 (out of 5)





What’s the premise?


Play as a heavily armed and magically equipped human, elf, dwarf or troll in this online-only first-person shooter that, for the first time ever, lets Xbox 360 users and Windows Vista gamers play together.





This game is most similar to…?


Unreal Tournament.





Can I let my kid/kid brother play it?


The sight of a chain-gun-sporting troll that can teleport through walls is enough to send chills up a grown man’s spine, so what do you think it’d do to your kid?





One player or more?


Oddly, you can’t play by yourself (other than a handful of instructional lessons). As an online-only game, you have to have an Xbox Live membership to get into multiplayer matches of up to 16 players.





What’s missing?


A single-player mode. The game hints at all kinds of plot points that are never properly fleshed out due to the chaos that is online multiplayer play. It would’ve been nice to understand more about what you’re fighting for before you head into battle.


A co-op mode where you could play in your home with a friend would’ve been nice, too.





The (not-so) secret to success is…?


Play as a team. Chances are when you go online you’ll end up in a match with seven other players (thankfully of your own skill level) and deciding who will take which magical abilities like the health-giving Tree Of Life and Resurrection spells is key to survival.





And in the end?


The lack of a single-player (and co-op) campaign unfortunately takes away from what is a fun and inventive shooter concept. This one’s only for the hardcore online gamers.