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Shadowrun Game to Rewrite the SR Universe 115

adamp writes "Shadowrun has officially been confirmed as a squad-based FPS for the PC and Xbox 360. From the look of the trailer released at Microsoft's Press event yesterday, it's not the game we know and love. Fasa Interactive has decided to rewrite the universe in an attempt to not make anyone angry. It's currently not working."
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Shadowrun Game to Rewrite the SR Universe

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  • We'll always have the SNES game. Right?



  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @01:36PM (#15302370)
    If you're just using the Shadowrun name to sell copies of the game, without the intent to stay reasonably compliant with the pre-existing material, you suck.

    If you cannot stay reasonably compliant with the material, then make the game you want to make and call it something else.

    You have the license so you can still use the terminology and such. Just don't call it Shadowrun.
    • by Seraphim_72 ( 622457 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @01:44PM (#15302432)
      I Robot, [] StarshipTroopers [], Johnny Mnemonic [] , I could go on. So Hollywood and gaming are converging. Great. I wish they would let tinsel town keep their bad ways to themselves, and out of gaming.


      • Yea, I agree, those are all wretchedly abused pieces of IP.

        The thing about Shadowrun that makes this really funny, is that the most unique thing about it was the actualy game mechanics, which will in no way translate to a console system, leaving them with a backstory that's much less fully developed than a lot of competitors (or was the last time I played it, which has been 10 years or more, so don't flame me too hard).
      • Although I agree with your intent, I think it's worth noting that William Gibson wrote the screenplay for Johnny Mnemonic. If an author decides to cannabalize and butcher his own work, that's his choice.
        • except the movie that he wanted to make was NOT the movie that actually got released. the original screenplay was VERY different than the final edit that the studio spit out.

          They finished the movie how they wanted to, but the studio didn't like it so they literally re-edited it into a story that they liked better...which resulted in the final movie as it was released.

          Hence why william gibson is unlikely to release any other of his books to licensee's...
          • the original screenplay was VERY different than the final edit that the studio spit out.

            I've heard this claim every time Johnny Mnemonic the film comes up, but I have yet to see the supposed "VERY" different screenplay. There are a few minor things that didn't make it into the theatrical film, but they are more of the same - e.g. more screentime for the street preacher character.

            The flaws in the film go much deeper - the basic plot of Keanu Reeves having to get something out of his head before it kills him
    • They're just following Battlestar Galactica's lead and "re-imagining" the Shadowrun universe, I guess.
    • Now, tell me if I'm interpreting this incorrectly, but I don't see anything where he says they're rewriting it. All I see is him saying they're restarting the timeline which, to me, means that they're keeping everything the same, just that they're starting from 2021 in the SR world rather than 2070.

      Still, I'm kind of peeved with the gameplay. OH YAY, another FPS! Just what we need! Shadowrun seems perfect for KOTOR-style gameplay.

      • Just saw this: x []

        That's all fine but I wanted an RPG!!!: FASA Studio (though called FASA Interactive back then) took over the Battletech franchise on PC and consoles in 1996. In the time we were shepherding that franchise we developed Battletech as the sim it originally was on PC in Mechwarrior IV and Mechwarrior IV: Mercenaries. We also developed the Mechcommander series of RTSes and the Mechassault series of third person action games. I guess what I am
      • Good catch, I re-checked the Mitch Gitelman article. He says "...allowing the world we loved to unfold over time." So everyone upset appears to be missing the point entirely. He leaves himself some wriggle room if they change some pieces, but that shouldn't be a huge problem (to most people).

        Then there's "We figured that if people got addicted to the game, they would forgive our trespasses and stay with us while we developed the world step-by-step." Easy to read into, but it doesn't nearly say that they'e c
    • f you're just using the Shadowrun name to sell copies of the game, without the intent to stay reasonably compliant with the pre-existing material, you suck.

      I agree completely, but I'm not entirely convinced that they're changing all that much. It sounds more like they're doing a prequel to show how it all started. If that's the case, that would be great. It could be that some of the details of their awakening world differ a bit from the official history, but I don't care too much about that, as long as t

  • Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cyborat ( 718885 )
    Not sure I understand... why would you want to rewrite something that's already so unique and fun? "If it ain't broke don't fix it" must not have sunken into their brains as kids.
    • If they stay completely canon, the long-time shadowrunners will know exactly what's going on at all times, but the new people will be going "huh?" the whole way through.

      Ever played Neverwinter Nights? (spoiler warning!) the first time I heard Desther talk I knew he was chaotic evil and involved in the conspiracy. Too much D&D backknowlege. Similar hints throughout the game took away the challenge for the observant.
      • I'd never heard of Desther before playing NWN, and I knew off the bat he was a bad guy. It's not that hard to figure out based on the way he treats the main character and others. :)

        Back on topic, they could tell their Shadowrun story using brand new characters in the existing world and new and old players alike would be in the dark from the beginning.
    • Because Shadowrun has, what, 15, 20 years worth of cruft, and if you didn't grow up with it, it's DAMN hard to get in to.

      It makes sense to start out with the basics, and gives you room to grow, new things to introduce in future sequels, and so on.

  • Got to love slashdot not checking links..

    the last link on the summary goes to a forum that has a wmf with an embeded trojan back with it..

    exploite the masses.. almost as bad as when they post links straight to binaries
    • I was wondering why McAfee popped up when I went to that page.
    • What are you talking about? The last link goes to a blog, and I don't see any wmfs in there.
      • the site has i belive a js script loading it when you start it.. if you have js turned off then you woln't see the popup from ff or opear or sefari to download it.. and ie woln't load it but if you have js turned on it will be there
        • It appears to be a blog I've seen a while back. Is this a forum you are seeing? Or did they change the summary link?
          • Sorry that was a bad use of words.. it was a blog but it still had the WMF on it..

            blogs/forums they really are mostly people complaining about something... right? :)
    • Thats what you get when you don't run Linux.
      • what the ability to realize that slashdot is posting a link to a site that is trying to exploite people..

        you can view pages securly without using linux.. i hate to break it to you.

        i just posted it because i think they just might want to take that link off the story
    • I went to the page with firefox, javascript still enabled for some things.

      Am I infected? What steps can I take to analyze the damage?

      • dunno, but the first two links are broken in firefox anyways - the text scrolls off past the bottom of the page and you can't scroll down to view them...stupid web designers...
        • The only problem I see is that the footer is positioned in the middle of the page. Apart from the line it's interfering with, I can read everything fine.
    • Glad my AV software was on the ball. Hope there wasn't something else there that it missed though.
    • Ok, seriously, whats the deal here? I didn't see anything suspicious on that site, am i going to die?
  • by sesshomaru ( 173381 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @01:43PM (#15302420) Journal
    Honestly, I was perfectly willing to keep an open mind. But rewriting the entire universe? That just doesn't make any sense. That's like taking a Zelda game, saying it's now a football game, and then announcing that Link has always been a black American football player who grew up in the Bronx and then expecting people to be okay with it. The only thing that was left in the Shadowrun license was the Shadowrun universe, therefore it logically follows that the Shadowrun license is the Shadowrun universe. So why even fucking bother to use that license if you don't want it? What the fuck? Just make an original game.
    This sounds more like the Shadowrun movie, as directed by that delightful Uwe Boll.

    Or... is this what we can expect from big budget, HD blockbusters now. "We can't risk alienating the stupid people if we want to have the broadest audience possible for our game..." "We need a paradigm shift?" "I know how about making one of the Shadowrunners an anthropormorphic dog, say a Hip-Hop Surfer who's totally 'In Your Face' named Poochie!"

  • by the_demiurge ( 26115 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @01:45PM (#15302436) Homepage
    I was a big fan of the Genesis Shadowrun game and although I didn't enjoy the SNES one quite as much, it still gave a good feel for the game and the setting.

    I would have loved a Oblivion-type game with lots of different NPCs and missions, with hireable shadowrunner buddies and stealing random paydata in the matrix. I would have loved a Deus Ex style FPS/Adventure game. I would have even liked a top-down RPG like Neverwinter Nights.

    The new game looks like a version of counterstrike with magic. Even if it does have magic, we don't need another multiplayer FPS where two teams shoot at each other and buy better weapons afterwards. I'm not impressed.
  • So they went out and bought the rights to a developed universe so they could rewrite it? It seems they just shelled out a ton of money for brand-recognition.
    • Why shell out money for brand name recognition if you're going to scare off the people who actually do recpgnise the name. The people that the changes are aimed at are going to be people that have never actually heard of Shadowrun before...
  • The tabletop Shadowrun RPG is well known for its detailed "living" world, with a timeline that advances with each sourcebook published. To not use anything from that world in this game is a wasted opportunity but not a complete disaster.

    The real problem is that this FPS is multi-player only. So even if it did work strictly within the canon of the tabletop game it wouldn't matter because story is not a consideration when choosing a multi-player FPS. Only things like weapon balance and running speed matter
    • You're assuming "multi-player" = "deathmatch". Story can be just as important to a cooperative multi-player game as it is to a single-player game.
      • If it was truly a multi-player cooperative game, that might actually be cool. But then what are the odds of them actually making a good game out of this? Let's face it, it's gonna turn out to be Counter-Strike with mages and fireballs and shit. Lame.

  • That sound (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @01:55PM (#15302530) Homepage
    That loud clicking sound is the sound of all the Slashdotters who got their hopes up simultaneously clicking the back button on their browser in disgust.

    This could have been great, but instead its just a cheap money-grab using an established brand that is easier to see through than most of Paris Hilton's wardrobe.


  • Comment removed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @01:57PM (#15302538)
    Comment removed based on user account deletion
  • Okay, I can see his point on starting from the beginning...being one of the first shadowrunners might be kinda cool. As long as they don't go overboard and rewrite the whole history, and keep with the majority of the timeline as the games unfold, I would have bought it...

    But a squad based first person shooter??! I'll tell you what Mitch, sit down one night with 4 or 5 of your friends, a gob of 6 sided dice, some Coke and a pizza or two and play the pen and paper again. Let that feeling you get sink in
    • I can think of a better franchise to associate it with (sans magic) that I think a lot more people would be happy with: Syndicate

      The original Syndicate was a top-down squad-based game (I never played Syndicate Wars). They would probably need to get the rights from EA (who assimilated Bullfrog), but MS does have an advantage for that franchise... They have Peter Molyneux to make it the way a Syndicate game should be.
    • Uh, Mitch has written published books for RPGs. He knows how to roll Nd6.

      I love pen & paper games, but they're making a game for the XBox360 here. Most people don't want to roll a gob of 6 siders on their $400 Next-Gen console.

      I was *really* hoping on seeing a RPG too, but I'm not surprised they went with this after what they did with MechWarrior. Even their table-top games have been replaced with a collectible action figure "Clix" games.

  • I just love the genesis version, I love hacking the ICE and buying new equipment and bio-upgrades, how am I going to do some hacking, am I going to shoot the Black ICE with rocket launcher, MS and Stupid FPSes.
  • But..but..there already is a perfectly good Shadowrun movie!

    OK, so it's only in spirit, but still: []
  • The really sad part. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @02:34PM (#15302841) Journal
    That means in our first game, magic has just returned to the near future. It means that you are one of the first people to combine magic, technology and weapons to accomplish a clandestine goal. You are one of the first Shadowrunners.

    You know the really sad part? There probably could have been a great game here. The backstory for the Shadowrun game had a great buildup involving the return of magic to the world, and Unexplained Genetic Expression, the Indian War, and the conflict between haves and have-nots and tribes and governments and corporations and whatall in general. The backstory included tons of "pre-Shadowrun" goodness that would have made for a great story setting.

    But this doesn't sound like that game.

    Will that game ever be released? Dunno. In the meantime, I'll be waiting for Shadowrun: The Great Ghost Dance.

    • I'd always found that Shadowrun had *too much* backstory into it... granted, that's probably more my perspective than anything... but I'm just more of a fan of a game that gives the GM/players more chance to shape and make up the world, including the backstory.
  • the awakening in shadowrun was pretty close to now in the timeline. Maybe instead of setting the game way forward in the history, the game is set early on, and sequels will seek to press the player forward in time.

    One can also play shadowrun from a few different angles - not everyone was a decker, remember. There are also street samurai and the city shamans to deal with - which is more what the trailer looks like.

    Idunno, the trailer looked kinda neat. Not the usual shadowrun world I'm used to, that's for
    • One can also play shadowrun from a few different angles - not everyone was a decker, remember

      Ha, no one wanted to even play deckers in my group. I always had to throw in decker NPCs for hire to assist my play group. Eventually someone rolled up one, but I had a hard time keeping their character involved, everyone else were mages/samurai/shaman/mercs, they wanted to beat on all the security guards, not wait around while the decker disabled the security systems.

      • Ha, no one wanted to even play deckers in my group. I always had to throw in decker NPCs for hire to assist my play group. Eventually someone rolled up one, but I had a hard time keeping their character involved, everyone else were mages/samurai/shaman/mercs, they wanted to beat on all the security guards, not wait around while the decker disabled the security systems.

        I think that just shows that the games were made too easy. If you could brute-force your way through everything, then it's boring. Not mu

  • The offical formums just opened recently and the feedback/response has been overwhelmingly poor. Fans are angry. The FASA Studios Community Manager's response [] He does make a statement that other genres may be explored but that response rang hollow to me. I honestly can't understand why they wouldn't make a Deus Ex or Oblivion or GTA style (meaning free-roaming mission based) game instead of a squad based counterstrike-type game. Where's the continuity or roleplaying element in that type of game? Makes abso
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "We decided to restart the Shadowrun timeline"

    The games are prequels! They'll be set in approx. 2011 or so, which explains what we've seen so far: it'll be the corps/armed forces fighting a retreating action against the mysteriously powered Ghost Dancers (and you pushing out the "invader" pale faces as a Native). The chaos of the civil war will cover the "unexplainable" appearance of the usual SR races/magical creatures, and the early time period will cut out most of the unbalanceable
    cybertech - no wired re
    • Okay you obviously haven't read any of the stuff on the official site. This is a battle to control magic. That's right. Magic is a non renewable resource that shoots out of the ground. It's oil! Second there is no Salish. There's no Seder Krupp, there's no Dunklezahn, etc. etc.. They're not starting from the beginning, they've thrown the beginning out and they're going to rewrite it.
    • Er, I Read The Fabulous Article and the only thing it had in common with any of your post was your introductory quote. None of the rest was there.

      Bitch out people for coming to class without doing the readings if you like, but don't complain when people who've read all the linked material form an opinion that clashes with your independent knowledge.
  • Exactly Backward (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Onan ( 25162 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @03:03PM (#15303104)
    FASA's strength was always creating fun, compelling (if derivative) settings. And their weakness was always in creating rules systems to actually enact a game in those settings.

    (Battletech and Shadowrun were littered with tables of numbers that never quite lined up into a sane equation, supposed rules that could never really be applied in practice, and huge gaping optimization holes. I couldn't begin to tell you how many different groups of people I met who were playing "Shadowrun", by which they meant playing "a game set in the Shadowrun universe, but we rewrote all of the rules from the ground up because FASA's were so awful". I suspect that Shadowrun has been the most-rewritten game in history.)

    So I'd be perfectly happy with a game that kept the setting and feel of Shadowrun, but used completely new game mechanics. But substantially altering the universe means throwing away the one genuinely good thing the game had going for it.

  • ...none of you actually read the f'n article.

    They're not throwing it away, at least not completely. They're taking it a piece at a time. The pertinent quote:

    "We decided to restart the Shadowrun timeline and grow the fiction over a series of games, allowing the world we loved to unfold over time."

    So to start with they're doing magic, cybertech and weapons. Kind of like Deus Ex, I suspect, which many people will be familiar enough with to (hopefully) draw them into the world, then move through it introducing
    • Of COURSE the majority of the posters read the article. We're SHADOWRUN FANS. The problem with taking it one part at a time is that it isnt SHADOWRUN. Shadowrun isn't unique because of how the world EVOLVED but HOW IT ENDED UP.

      "Wow, we need need more game concepts...oh look, here's a license we have been sitting on. Fanbase is kinda small, so we're going to BUTCHER the universe in the interest of simplicity and release date. When the first game comes out to a lukewarm reception, we can always try to adapt t
      • See, my first thought on reading the article was that it was set in the pre-Awakening era of the Shadowrun setting. Magic is around (esp. shamanic) but fairly rare, and everything else fits: there's plenty of worldwide excitement to deal with, corporations have been granted nation status, etc. Most of the big things from the Shadowrun universe are just starting, and that seems like a decent place for a game to begin, at least to me. And yeah, I'm a Shadowrun fan too from back in 2nd edition.
        • Let's follow the decent start...

          6 years in the future, people just turned into elves and trolls. We're gonna toss the Politically Incorrect racial tensions and just assume that everyone loves every elf and troll. We're gonna toss the distinction between mages and shamans and make magic ridiculously common and take away all the drawbacks to altering reality. We're gonna turn the idea of a Shadowrunner into a Shadowcommando who shoots, rather than sneaks or engineers, their way in. Shadowcommandos with almost
    • But the thing is, they're not starting at the beginning, they're changing almost the entire premise. Insted of dropping people into season 3 of Lost, they're going to drop people into season 1 of Miami Vice.
    • You obviously don't know a few of the main "rules" of Shadowrun.

      1) Magic cannot screw with physics without either a heavy, heavy drain upon the caster or being in a very mana-heavy zone. Such as: Teleportation. Cannot be done unless you are either ridiculously powerful (Immortal Elves and Dragons come to mind), can somehow take a stupendous amount of drain (if you've got a few friendly spirits willing to take drain for you and not bitch about it to their friends back in Astral Space) or are in a zone th

      • Hah - I saw a teleportation. It was in Berlin - damndest thing I ever fraggin' saw. High Mana Zone my ass!

        What's the Third Degree Mage say in Berlin? "You want Fries with that?"

    • I have been seeing a lot of people tearing down I, Robot. While the title of the movie had nothing to do with the Asimov short story, it did raise some interesting implications to the Zeroth Law from Robots and Empire. In fact, all of the "through inaction" clauses make assumptions about human behavior and human desires. The movie implied that these assumptions are fundamentally flawed. Well, you can see the implications once you look past the title, the special effects, Wil Smith, the explosions, the g
  • Well, I'm going to have to say "I'll wait and see" as re-imagining is not all bad (and can really pull off a saving grace to a franchise.)

    From Star Trek I (the movie) to Battlestar:Galactica 2004, updating the core concept to a new audience can make or break your franchise.

    Nostalgia is a powerful force, look at all those old 70-80s TV show moves that have been spawned?
  • Let's see...

    - no matrix (available after 2029)
    - no asist technology in the streets.
    - not enough magic... it's just too early for street magic.
    - no street cyberware (first artificial hand was 2019 !)
    - no orcs/trolls (second goblinization wave happened 2021 !)

    Yes, this sounds like Shadowrun... really.
  • I've seen gameplay videos posted to the web and Xbox Live ( ml [] ) and they show a game which doesn't stand up at all well next to Halo 3, Huxley, Gears of War, Crysis or really any other true next-generation FPS title. Its all well and good to jettison, re-imagine, and otherwise butcher your own intellectual property in the goal of making an amazing new title, but to do so and not even make a good FPS game? It looks like a combination of Halo and Unreal To
  • Cyberpunk was a better game once they got into the big book edition and the orbital stuff. Shadowrun was for folks who couldn't get out of the DnD mindset and play a sci-fi game.

    Hell, Traveller was better.
  • by mbourgon ( 186257 ) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @05:16PM (#15304176) Homepage
    From reading the forums, Fasa Studios (the game devs) are promoting this as an team multiplayer title. It's Counterstrike, with teleport and wings.

    Some video. I personally wouldn't watch it. It'll just disappoint you. Very much an FPS ala Unreal Tournament. Sad, since Crimson Skies was a good game, and they've done a decent job (some good, some bad) with Battletech over the years. But this? *shudder* /706/706895/ []
  • I agree with most of the postings here. I've been a shadowrunner of somesort since I bought the Second Edition in the early 90's. Never played the Genesis game, but I own the SNES game, many of the novels, and tons of the PNP books.

    That being said, I DID RTFA. And I wept. Let me tell you why. I totally grok "starting" over. There is simply too much in the Shadowrun universe to drop into a new game. A game company is going to need a lot more people to buy this thing than just Shadowrun fanboys like

  • The link for "not working" that goes to the DancingRobots site came up with the Exploit-WMF trojan according to McAfee.

    Great, slashdot sending us to trojan infested sites!?!?
  • If you're like me and don't (or won't) have a working flash plug-in, the trailer can be downloaded from [].

  • Well that seals the deal. I thought Shadowrun was in good hands with FanPro, but apparently it needs to have a good public dragging through the mud to ensure its death. At least it won't have to suffer as many injustices as the BattleTech franchise has.
    • The game is a lumbering pile of steaming poo.

      That being said, WizKids and FanPro (the current purveyors of the PNP Shadowrun) have NOTHING to do with this game. In fact, Rob Boyle, the lead developer of the SR line at WK/FanPro, has a warning up on the official Shadowrun site [] that lets you know it is only "loosely" based on any type of previous Shadowrun developments.

  • Hello All, I am one of the administrators / editors at which is the blog that is linked under the title "not working" There are a few comments saying that we have a WMF exploit on the website? Could someone please elaborate on this for me? I have checked this on all the latest symantec / mcafee / virus scanners and found nothing being detected as dangerous or even a warning? I have no reason to infect people with a trojan, and if there is some sort of WMF exploit on the site, I sure as
  • Basing it off Shadowrun is a bad start! There I said it, I will never understand what perople see in that game, Dear god if we didn't get enough generic fantasy in D&D someone had to copy it wholesale into a Cyberpunk setting? Geez if you were going to add magic into such a dark and gritty setting at _least_ make it sympathetic to the genra rather than shoehorning every D&D fanboys favourite races/classes.

    I sware that game killed the Cyberpunk RPG genre
  • This post is a few days late but hopefully some will read it. I am sure quite a few of you readers out there are sick of seeing good titles such as this get ruined by some big name studio. Most of us sit by and post on forums about how crappy it is that a studio does this to a good title. Other then that nothing realy happens. The studio producing the crap may see the posts but they dont usualy bother taking to heart what people have posted.

    Thats why me and a large group of friends have decided we are goi

  • ... discontinuing classic Illuminati [] in favor of a fucking CCG []... I mean yeah, the new groups and art are nice, but I'll take the original. Of course, being SJG, they eventually figured out their mistake and corrected it.. Eventually... And I still can't buy a classic set with the deluxe plastic money chips that I had in my old deluxe set (which I gave to a friend, how unIlluminati I know, but he needed it more).

    (And how wicked would an Illuminati/Cthulhu MMO be, I'm thinking pretty bloody..)

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.