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Shadowrun Online Early Access First Impressions

“Watch your back, Shoot straight, Conserve ammo, and never, EVER cut a deal with a dragon.”

Shadowrun Online Early Access

Shadowrun Online has gone into early access stages via Steam since 31st March. Fans of the long running tabletop RPG can experience the dystopian cyberpunk universe in this first hands on experience.

Developers Cliffhanger Productions have made it clear that this really is Shadowrun Online early access stage. They’ve given players the chance to try out 4 missions and some 1v1 PvP. These 4 missions give players a taste of game play mechanics and an overall feel for what they are trying to achieve.

The world you are placed in is in the midst of magic and dragons returning to a futuristic world set in the 2070s. The type of missions players will journey on range from “hustling a local Ork gang, to stealing valuable cargo from a ghoul-infested warehouse, through infiltrating a remote megacorp research lab to sabotage a top-secret project.”

Shadowrun Online Early Access

While 4 missions doesn’t sound like much and they are not long missions, they really are difficult. You have two characters to control who are placed in a 3D dungeon on a gridded map. The maps thus far are really detailed and portray a certain edgy grittiness. Strategy comes into play heavily while you decide to go for all out combat or try some stealthy moves.

In the final release you will be able to choose from a mage, shaman, samurai or hacker. Each class will interact with the world differently and have the opportunity to obtain unique augmentations.

Shadowrun Online early access

It is similar to most table top RPG games; one move action, free action and standard action. While in early access skills were limited, it’s got me super excited to suss out the inevitable skill trees to experiment with.

While co-op is not available in early access, already you can tell it will be a game that will be so much more enjoyable to play with mates. I can hear the heated “strategy” conversations to be had already.

It was a little bit disappointing to not be able to get the PvP matchmaking to work. It would loop from Start to Abort without doing anything. But who can really complain in an early access.

Shadowrun Online Early Access

Shadowrun Online received its lifeline from a Kickstarter. Aiming for $500,000 the team surpassed this with fans pitching in just over $550,000. Cross-platforming will be the way of the future, being able to log on and play on your PC at home and still play on the way to work on your tablet is awesome! Shadowrun Online will be available on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Ouya.

Upon release there will be two types of playing models that will be used. Campaign model and free to play model. I love the concept of keeping these two very separate. It eliminates the unhappiness of players that can’t “pay to win” yet satisfies the gamers that choose to pay for micro-transactions.

Shadowrun Online early access

If you are considering picking up the game for early access be advised you are more purchasing the journey and the opportunity to be apart of the making of Shadowrun Online.

It has certainly piqued my interest and will be a game I’ll be following the updates on closely. At the end of the day who could turn down the opportunity to play a Bladerunner cross Lord of the Rings universe!

Source: Shadowrun Online Kickstarter

Shadowrun Online will be available at PAX East 2014 in the Reverb Booth on Level 0, Exhibitors Hall.



  1. Hoi Chummer! Wiz article!

    The Matchmaking for Shadowrun Online PvP works, but it’s a time of day thing as to when other players are around to be matched with for now, not being an official game release there aren’t thousands waiting 24/7, yet.

    If you get a chummer to go in to matchmaking with you at the same time, you can check it out easily enough.

    When you press the Matchmaking button changing it to say “abort matchmaking ” (or whatever the cancel message is now) it’s actually actively testing connections and attempting to pair you with someone. If chummers are around to play against, just wait a couple minutes and a game will start.

    It’s gonna be a lot of fun watching Shadowrun Online develop with new content/features every few (4 to 6) weeks. Can’t wait to see how long these multiplayer shadows grow, chum! ^_^


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