Shadowrun Returns (2013)

by Ji-yeong
7 minutes read


Shadowrun Returns: A Cyberpunk-Fantasy Masterpiece

In the year 2054, the world has been irrevocably changed. Magic has returned, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks, and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry.

In this dystopian future, you are a shadowrunner – a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies. You survive day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done… by any means necessary.

Shadowrun Returns is a single-player, turn-based tactical RPG that brings the unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun to life. Developed by Harebrained Schemes and published by Paradox Interactive, the game was released in 2013 to critical acclaim.


Shadowrun Returns is a turn-based tactical RPG in which the player controls a party of up to three characters. The game is played on a grid-based map, and players can move their characters and attack enemies in a variety of ways.

Each character in Shadowrun Returns has a unique set of skills and abilities. Some characters are better at combat, while others are better at hacking, casting spells, or sneaking. Players must carefully consider the composition of their party and the skills of each character in order to succeed in the game’s many challenging missions.

Shadowrun Returns features a branching storyline with multiple endings. The player’s choices throughout the game will affect the story’s outcome. The game also features a robust character creation system that allows players to create their own unique shadowrunner.


Shadowrun Returns is set in the Seattle metropolitan area in 2054. The city is a sprawling metropolis of towering skyscrapers, neon lights, and dark alleys. It is also a city of contrasts, where the ultra-rich live in luxury while the poor struggle to survive.

The world of Shadowrun Returns is a dangerous place. Corporations wield immense power, and crime is rampant. The streets are patrolled by heavily armed security forces, and gangs control many of the city’s neighborhoods.

In this dangerous world, shadowrunners are a necessary evil. They are the ones who do the jobs that no one else wants to do. They are the ones who fight the corporations, rescue the kidnapped, and bring justice to the wicked.


The player-created character is the protagonist of Shadowrun Returns. The player can choose from a variety of races, backgrounds, and skills to create a unique character that fits their playstyle.

In addition to the player character, Shadowrun Returns features a cast of memorable supporting characters. These characters include:

  • Gaichu: A troll shaman and the leader of the player character’s team.
  • Eiger: A dwarf decker and the team’s hacker.
  • Is0bel: An elven mage and the team’s spellcaster.
  • Duncan: A human street samurai and the team’s muscle.

These characters each have their own unique personalities and motivations. They will help the player character on their journey, but they will also challenge them and force them to make difficult choices.


Shadowrun Returns explores a variety of themes, including:

  • The nature of good and evil: In a world where corporations wield immense power and crime is rampant, it can be difficult to tell who the good guys and the bad guys are. Shadowrun Returns forces the player to make difficult choices that will have a lasting impact on the world.
  • The importance of community: In a world where it is easy to feel isolated and alone, Shadowrun Returns emphasizes the importance of community. The player character’s team is a family of outcasts who support each other through thick and thin.
  • The power of hope: Even in the darkest of times, there is always hope. Shadowrun Returns is a story about the power of hope to overcome adversity.


Shadowrun Returns is a masterpiece of cyberpunk-fantasy storytelling. The game’s unique setting, memorable characters, and thought-provoking themes make it a must-play for fans of the genre. Whether you are a long-time Shadowrun fan or a newcomer to the series, Shadowrun Returns is a game that you will not want to miss.

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