Just as I was feeling starved for more cyberpunk goodness (CD Projekt RED please), Harebrained Schemes have emerged from the neon-work with a new Kickstarter project, bringing cyberpunk tactical cRPG Shadowrun to the crowded streets of Hong Kong.
Shadowrun: Hong Kong will be the third release* by the studio, having decided on the location through previous backers’ votes. I’m personally thrilled to see an Asian city as the setting and it seems like Harebrained are making full use of their new surroundings.
Hong Kong contains fantastic elements for a new Shadowrun setting: an underworld of triads, tongs, and gangs to navigate, wild magic to harness, and bleeding edge cybertech to equip. Plus, Hong Kong’s culture is steeped in “guanxi” – a network of influence and relationships based upon a combination of social status, and prestige. All of these elements add up to a great new setting for running the shadows.
Unlike previously, the developers are focusing their efforts on a PC-only release: Windows, Mac, and Linux. Freed from the technical restraints of tablets they’re able to bring more in terms of visual fidelity and map size, which sounds like a reasonable sacrifice for their presumably larger market.
Now Harebrained Schemes aren’t asking backers to fund the project, as the game’s already set for a mid-2015 release; rather, the studio is seeking to increase their production budget and hence add more features.
As it stands, the Kickstarter has already exceeded its goal and stands at over US$400,000. That’s added two characters – Racter and Gaichu – and an extra side mission among other things, mere days after the campaign’s start.
The minimum pledge for a copy of the game is US$15 (approximately SG$20) which comes with the digital soundtrack composed by Jon Everist. They’re also tossing in soundtracks from the previous two games because why not?
DRM-free versions of Shadowrun: Hong Kong will be offered via GoG and the Humble Store upon completion, estimated to be August 2015 but we all know how release dates go.
In barely related news can we please do away with the film adaptation of Ghost in the Shell? I don’t care who’s in it, leave the classics alone.
*Harebrained Schemes have released Shadowrun: Returns and Shadowrun: Dragonfall so far. They were not involved with making the less-popular Shadowrun: Online.