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SR Gamer Pleased With Playtest of Xbox Game 57

Posted by Zonk
from the we're-a-picky-bunch dept.
Like many Shadowrun players, Philip Richardson felt frustrated by the announcement that the SR title for the 360 was essentially Counter-Strike with elves. Mr. Richardson, though, happens to be the Program Manager at Microsoft's CRM team. He was invited by the folks at FASA studios to give the game a try, and GameSetWatch reports that he's actually pretty pleased with the situation after all. From the post: "Yes folks: it's share price increasingly good... Artwork: Feels like Shadowrun. Good Job! The SR universe has a lot of different types of artwork (as Tim pointed out yesterday). From the gritty stuff in the early source books to the more cartoonish work in the more recent editions. Gameplay: Feels like Shadowrun."
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SR Gamer Pleased With Playtest of Xbox Game

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  • by Alaren (682568) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @08:12PM (#15491282)

    "Mr. Richardson, though, happens to be the Program Manager at Microsoft's CRM team. He was invited by the folks at FASA studios to give the game a try."

    So... someone working for Microsoft... was offered a chance to play the game that will be for Microsoft's console. And then... let's see if I got this straight... he said he liked it.

    Well, I'm convinced. I can think of absolutely no way these statements might be colored by a, I don't know, conflict of interest or anything like that.

    And just so you all know I'm not being cynical without cause, here's some more of the article:

    "[I really liked] When I saw an Elf meld through a wall carrying a submachingune. Backstory: Needs some work here. A bit of butchered Shadowrun. My advice to FASA: Cut it out. You don't need much backstory for a squad shooter!"

    So... I'm not sure if this is astroturfing (his "critique" is all of a paragraph and is hardly the serious critiques real SR players have been making) or if he just plays Shadowrun differently than the people I play with, but saying, "I like it, but can we cut the backstory crap? I just want a swuad shooter" does not seem like a truly "pro Shadowrun" statement.

    Conclusion: I stand by my previous post [slashdot.org].

    • You left out that FASA, makers of Shadowrun, are also owned by Microsoft.

      So this is like the head of the Windows Vista team saying, "Wow, Office 2007 is great!" ...
      • Ummm...not quite... Microsoft bought the computer games division of FASA & has all rights to produce computer games off of FASA titles (Battletech, Mechwarior, SR, etc) pre 2002. The RPG/settings are still owned by FASA which was sold to WizKids which was bought by Fan Pro or Fan Pro has exclusive rights to produce/distribute content.
    • Hmmm... I wouldn't say that working for MS automatically makes you a fan of everything they do, and CRM is vastly removed from the Xbox and FASA teams - they are a huge company. Although maybe I should be more cynical...

      However, I reckon that whether he works for MS or not is irrelevant given that Xbox 360 owners will be able to download demos of the game from Live to see if they personally like it before they buy it. Plus at least he's up front enough to blog as an MS employee, rather than it being some c
      • by NightRain (144349) <ray@cyQUOTEron.id.au minus punct> on Thursday June 08, 2006 @01:29AM (#15492661)
        Hmmm... I wouldn't say that working for MS automatically makes you a fan of everything they do, and CRM is vastly removed from the Xbox and FASA teams - they are a huge company. Although maybe I should be more cynical...

        Perhaps you should. Sure, being a worker for MS won't automatically make him a fan. It may however make him unwilling to continue to say negative things about his employer when in the public eye, and said employer is aware of it.

        I just can't believe that anyone who knows Shadowrun would say an elf melding through a wall "feels Shadowrun".

    • Read the guy's original critique after the announcement was made. If that doesn't convince you the guy played the game and honestly thought it was decent, then nothing will.

      Re: backstory ... the game is a squad shooter set in the shadowrun universe, not a shadowrun rpg. What is the purpose of backstory? Nothing short of a novel will do the "universe" any good.
      • "I'm usually not one to openly criticise my employer (Microsoft) on my blog. However the travesty which has befallen Shadowrun demands that I speak out. After FASA imploded many years ago Microsoft ended up with all the computer game rights to the FASA properties (Battletech, Shadowrun and even freaking Earthdawn). Now I understand that we must make some comprimise in the nature of a game when we transfer it from pen & paper to a computer. I'm a PM: I understand the business of tough comprimises. What h
      • Read the guy's original critique after the announcement was made. If that doesn't convince you the guy played the game and honestly thought it was decent, then nothing will.

        How do you figure that? Seems to me like someone high up (and recall that Billg himself has been touting this game and its Vista/360 LiveAnywhere capabilities) didn't like his comments, and he was told that he should "take a closer look", and then take another shot at making public comments. So he toned down his comments to a much le

        • How do you figure that? Seems to me like someone high up (and recall that Billg himself has been touting this game and its Vista/360 LiveAnywhere capabilities) didn't like his comments, and he was told that he should "take a closer look", and then take another shot at making public comments. So he toned down his comments to a much less critical, yet still somewhat credible level.

          Riiight. You just flipped the "paranoid tinfoil hat man" bit.

          Nobody has been disputing that.

          Yes they have. The whole "the guy w
    • I stand by your previous statement also. The main problem, of course, is that Microsoft owns FASA Studios, which is currently the only company with the rights to make video games with the Shadowrun name. Same with Crimson Skies. Which is why it's so disappointing when they pull something like this.

      I mean, it would only seem reasonable that Microsoft would think, 'You know, the biggest criticism of our Xbox console was that it was nothing but FPS', there just wasn't a big enough variety of games. Hey,

      • I mean, it would only seem reasonable that Microsoft would think, 'You know, the biggest criticism of our Xbox console was that it was nothing but FPS', there just wasn't a big enough variety of games. Hey, we have this great RPG licensce that we own the rights to. Let's make an FPS out of it, and trick the people who like RPGs into buying an FPS. Then they'll have to buy all our other FPS', or be ridiculed by all their friends!'.

        Anyone dumb enough to buy this game because of the Shadowrun name deserves t

  • by Mac Degger (576336) on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @10:00PM (#15491776) Journal
    An MS shill who is supposedly an avid SR fan like a game when his boss plonks him in front of it?

    Wow...that's too blatent even for slashdot. It's paid-for 'viral' marketing trying to put apositive slant on a squad based CS clone which has no business using the licence it does. Even if it were the best CS clone around, it shouldn't be using the SR license for a straight twitchbased FPS.

    Hell, even if it were a good tactical game, in the GTA:SA engine, using voice comms and a planning session like Rainbow six used to have, or a limited 6 player ORPG, an article by an employee of the publisher saying it's a good game should NEVER make the /. frontpage. Bluesnews, maybe, more likely a smaller gamesite, not /..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 07, 2006 @10:08PM (#15491825)
    As Shadowrun fan, a game developer, and game player who played the SR demo at E3, I call bullshit on this evaluation.

    I walked away from the E3 demo shellshocked at how un-Shadowrun-like this game concept turned out to be. While, I'll grant, perhaps, that something has changed in the meantime, the game at E3 captured zero of the spirit of what defined the Shadowrun RPG (you know, the one that was good enough to make this game worth talking about in the first place).

    I really have a hard time understanding who they're making this game for:

    FPS fans? The gameplay at E3 was pretty standard stuff. The "innovative" new gimmicks include gliding-mode, which allowed you to float from platform to platform (in other words, FPS platform jumping - oh, how we all love that), teleportation through obstacles (but only in certain areas - I found this very confusing in practice), and the ability to resurrect fallen comrades (the opposing team can prevent this by continuously shooting corpses until they disappear).

    RPG fans? The dev who demoed that game with me said that the single-player mode was essentially the same as multiplayer. In other words, there is no real story or quests or, god forbid, actual SHADOWRUNS to go on. Instead, singleplayer gameplay is apparently arena-style combat versus bots.

    Shadowrun fans? I, for one, am disgusted that they have thrown away everything that made the setting interesting and special to me. The lead designer all but admitted that they've dumbed it down because they were unable to present the world in marketable way. In the end, all they've really kept is the name. That's too shallow for me and, I imagine, too shallow for others who love the SR universe.

    Everyone else? Well, everyone else hasn't heard of Shadowrun anyway, so I don't see how they could be interested in tepid offering in an overcrowded genre, with a premise and setting watered-down for the sake of "ease of understanding".

    Microsoft Beancounters? Bingo. This game is developed solely to make money. From the lead designer, to the guy who paints the little LEDs on the gun textures, they are all under the thumb of Microsoft's accountants who want this game because they know that it will cost X money to build, and earn them Y dollars back. I know that, by definition, all commercial games have this same burden, but its still possible for them to rise above it and have some spirit.

    All this game has is elves with machineguns.
    • This game is developed solely to make money.

      As opposed to all the games developed to lose money? Every game is developed solely to make money.

      • You're mixing up "solely" with "primarialy". Most games are developed to also provide a form of entertainment :P.
        • You are confusing means and ends. It provides a form of entertainment as a means to making a profit (the ends). You don't aim for the means, you aim for the ends.
          • You are confusing means and ends. It provides a form of entertainment as a means to making a profit (the ends). You don't aim for the means, you aim for the ends.

            Not all games are produced solely to make money. Many are produced because the developers wanted to create something cool and fun that they would enjoy themselves. Especially indie developers. They are primarily concerned with being able to sell the game, but they are also concerned with it being something worth creating in the first place.

          • I think you're confusing "EA" with "game developers". :P
    • The game looks like a horribly outdated arena shooter. Just look at the screenshots: wide, undetailed arenas that look like they came from Quake or the first Unreal Tournament. Bad character models too. The pre-rendered trailer makes the game seem far cooler. I was kind of hoping that Shadowrun would more like Deus Ex or System Shock, but I guess that's not the case.
      • I was kind of hoping that Shadowrun would more like Deus Ex or System Shock, but I guess that's not the case.

        I was hoping for that too. Unfortunately, it looks like the offspring of Unreal Tournament and Counter-Strike, but with elves! I'm not gonna say that the game will suck. It might actually be fun. But it's nothing revolutionary, and it's definitely not Shadowrun. Shame the graphics looks so mediocre. It's going to have some stiff competition when it comes out. I think it will probably end up

    • From http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1043 5 5 [neogaf.com]:

      This is a game that will appeal to FPS fans first, and Shadowrun fans second.

      Apparently the goal was not to make a Shadowrun game, the goal was to make a shooter, and they (ab)used their Shadowrun IP for it. And although I'm not at all a FPS fan, this combination of guns and magic could turn out to be a very interesting, or at least original, shooter.

      From the same site:

      I'm actually selling up my Shadowrun books since I'm playing less RPGs

  • by ludomancer (921940)
    I played this extensively at E3. Shadowrun in name only.

    And actually, the description they are eager to avoid that is mentioned in the article; "counterstrike with elves", is probably the most accurate .

  • "Guy Critical Of Microsoft Gets All Expenses Paid Junket, Changes Mind"
  • Okay this has been bothering me for awhile. Ever since Penny-Arcade talked about shills, it seems like everyone is calling everyone a shill. Marketers like G&W aren't shills, they're just marketers. :Conspiracy theory alert: It seems like guys not unlike Gabe and Tycho, who create a huge backing of respectful PA-like fans who talk about how good a certain game is on their blogs or webforums are the ones who most resemble the PA described shills. now I suppose I'll have to take the karma hit from some
  • Seriously, that headline sounds like something straight from the front page of The Onion. I mean, if that doesn't elbow you in the ribs right away then RTFA'ing won't let you in on the joke.

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