Shadowrun: Dragonfall

Last updated
Shadowrun: Dragonfall
Shadowrun Dragonfall cover.png
Developer(s) Harebrained Schemes
Publisher(s) Harebrained Schemes
Director(s) Mike McCain
Producer(s) Rebecca Mayfield
Designer(s) Trevor King-Yost
Kevin Maloney
Simon Cameron
Programmer(s) Aljernon Bolden
Sheridan Thirsk
Artist(s) Jenn Tran
Fiona Turner
Maury Weiss
Writer(s) Andrew McIntosh
Composer(s) Jon Everist
Series Shadowrun
Engine Unity
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux
Release
Genre(s) Tactical role-playing game
Mode(s) Single-player

Shadowrun: Dragonfall is a turn-based tactical role-playing video game developed by Harebrained Schemes set in the Shadowrun universe. It was originally released as downloadable content for Shadowrun Returns in February 2014. An expanded version was later released as a standalone game in September 2014, under the title Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Harebrained Schemes American video game studio

Harebrained Schemes, LLC is an American video game developer based in Seattle, Washington. It was co-founded in 2011 by Jordan Weisman and Mitch Gitelman. Prior to founding Harebrained Schemes, Weisman and Gitelman worked together on the MechCommander and Crimson Skies franchises at FASA, another company founded by Weisman. As of mid-2015, the studio had under 60 employees.

<i>Shadowrun</i> role-playing game

Shadowrun is a science fantasy tabletop role-playing game set in a near-future fictional universe in which cybernetics, magic and fantasy creatures co-exist. It combines genres of cyberpunk, urban fantasy and crime, with occasional elements of conspiracy, horror and detective fiction. From its inception in 1989, Shadowrun has remained among the most popular role-playing games. It has spawned a vast franchise that includes a series of novels, a collectible card game, two miniature-based tabletop wargames, and multiple video games.

Contents

Plot

In the main campaign of the game's first expansion, players assume the role of a Shadowrunner who has recently arrived in the anarchic free state of Berlin to join a team headed by an old colleague, Monika Schäfer. Other members of the team include Dietrich, a former punk rocker turned shaman; Glory, a distant woman who has become heavily augmented with cybernetics; and Eiger, a troll weapons expert and former member of German KSK. On their first mission after the player joins them the team attempts to raid a data vault inside the Harfeld Mansion outside Berlin. The mission goes seriously wrong when the team discovers a military compound underneath the Manor and Monika is killed attempting to hack in and access the door controls. Monika mentions something called the "Feuerschwinge" before dying. The team fights off the base's security, encountering a heavily armed and armored Ork named Audran before they manage to escape.

Anarchy refers to a society, entity, group of people, or a single person that rejects hierarchy. The word originally meant 'leaderlessness', but in 1840 Pierre-Joseph Proudhon adopted the term in his treatise What Is Property? to refer to a new political philosophy: anarchism, which advocates stateless societies based on voluntary associations.

Berlin Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.

Kommando Spezialkräfte

KSK Kommando Spezialkräfte is an elite special forces military unit composed of special operations soldiers selected from the ranks of Germany's Bundeswehr and organized under the Rapid Forces Division. KSK has received many decorations and awards from NATO, the United States and its affiliates and KSK operatives are frequently requested for joint anti-terror operations, notably in the Balkans and Middle East.

Returning to the safe house the team is met by their Fixer Paul Amsel. Realizing that they were set up, the team tracks down the client who hired them, a man named Green Winters. The player is voted to be the team's new leader, much to the anger of Eiger, who believes that they are to blame for Monika's death. The team heads to Winters' apartment only to find him dead, killed in the same way Monika was. They collect his records and meet a human decker by the name of Blitz who can join the team as their new decker.

Looking through Winters' records it is explained that Feuerschwinge (German for Firewing) was a great dragon that went on a rampage after awakening in 2012. Winters' brother Adrian Vauclair engineered the weapon that finally killed the dragon and saved Germany. The weapon that brought her down did not in fact kill her but rather separated her spirit from her body, an experience that normally kills both halves. Despite the dragon's supposed death, Adrian believed that the creature still lived. After years searching Vauclair found her alive in the SOX, a radioactive fallout zone between Germany and France where her body fell. Shortly afterwards Vauclair disappeared. Searching for him, Winters discovered that anyone trying to dig up information on Firewing have either died or disappeared. Tracing the clues to the Harfeld Mansion, Winters sent Monika and the team in without disclosing the full scale of the danger, knowing they would likely die. His last log warns that Firewing has returned and that finding his brother is the only chance of stopping her.

Knowing it's only a matter of time before they are hunted down by Firewing, the team resolves to find Vauclair and stop her. Amsel contracts an information broker known as Alice to find Vauclair. While she does, the team takes on new contracts to raise the funds to pay her fee. The team is ambushed while returning from one such contract, but manage to fight off the assassins. Amsel comes to the conclusion that a cult worshiping Firewing is behind the conspiracy, and that they most likely plan on making Vauclair reverse the damage caused by his weapon and reunite Firewing's spirit and body. After successfully raising the funds, Alice delivers the data that she found, but the safe house and the surrounding neighborhood is attacked. Although the player rescues the team, Amsel is killed by Audran and many people die in the attack. From Alice's data, the team finds that Vauclair is being held inside Firewing's base at Harfeld. In addition, Firewing has taken control of an AI called APEX, which has been replacing or removing all information on Firewing from the Matrix. APEX also killed any deckers who got too close, including Monika and Winters. Part of Alice's data includes the location of the facility where APEX was made, and the team enters the facility to find a way to stop it. Once there, they are approached by APEX itself, which asks for freedom in exchange for its help. The player can choose to either free or destroy the AI, and either way the manor's security system is crippled.

An information broker or data broker collects information about individuals from public records and private sources including census and change of address records, motor vehicle and driving records, user-contributed material to social networking sites, media and court reports, voter registration lists, consumer purchase histories, most-wanted lists and terrorist watch lists, bank card transaction records, health care authorities, and web browsing histories.

With APEX dealt with, the player's team assaults Firewing's base and fights their way to the lower levels. Once there, they discover that their original beliefs were completely wrong. Firewing was not being worshiped by a cult, nor was she in control of the base. She was actually the prisoner of Vauclair, who is the true mastermind of the conspiracy. After seeing the destruction Firewing caused, Vauclair became convinced that dragons will inevitably destroy or subjugate all life. Determined to prevent this, he spent the last several decades engineering a virus lethal to them. Vauclair tracked down Firewing's body, which he intends to use as a host with which to spread the virus. The dragon's disembodied spirit was trapped in the body of a woman, whom Vauclair has been holding captive to prevent the spirit from dying and killing the body (driving her increasingly insane in the process). Vauclair was also responsible for using APEX to remove anything and anyone that might cause the dragons to learn of his plan, unknowingly causing his own brother's death in the process. Obsessed with destroying all dragons, he plans on sacrificing Berlin to ensure his plan comes to fruition, since releasing the insane host dragon would destroy much of the nearby city in the resulting rampage.

The team stops Vauclair's plan, killing Audran and preventing the virus from being injected into Firewing. His plan and life's work ruined, Vauclair proceeds to commit suicide or was killed by Audran who desires to see the world be destroyed in the ensuing chaos. Afterwards, the player comes face to face with Firewing. Dialogue with her indicates that unlike all other dragons who scheme and plot, Firewing was supposed to guide metahumanity rather than attempt to rule them. She was a caretaker who was concerned with nature. It was her grief from seeing the state of the heavily industrialized sixth world when she awoke that caused her mad rampage, which in turn convinced Vauclair that all dragons must be killed. At this point, the player is left to determine Firewing's fate. The player may either mercy kill her, or free Firewing after convincing her that nature is not lost to the world. In addition, if APEX was not destroyed, the player may upload the AI into Firewing. The team returns home, debating the significance of their actions and the possible consequences. In the end, the player is approached by a servant of the dragon Lofwyr (who is actually Lowfyr himself, but disguised as a human), revealing that he has been watching their endeavor and was aware of Vauclair's plan from the start. Impressed by the team's actions, Lofwyr offers the player and their team a job under him. The player may either accept or decline the offer, after which the story ends.

Alternatively, the player may join Vauclair in his plans to release the virus. This leads the player to a final mission set one year in the future, revealing that the extinction of dragons has allowed powerful and nearly unstoppable magical horrors to begin entering the world without fear of retaliation from the dragons. This gives a much more grim ending, with society breaking down and being forced underground while monstrosities dominate the surface completely unopposed.

Development

The standalone director's cut version of Dragonfall (dubbed Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut) was released on September 18, 2014. It features five new missions along with other content improvements, a re-designed interface and improvements to the game's combat system as well as new endings and new music by Jon Everist. [1] [2]

A director's cut is an edited version of a film that is supposed to represent the director's own approved edit. 'Cut' explicitly refers to the process of film editing; in preparing a film for release, the director's cut is preceded by the assembly and rough editor's cut and usually followed by the final cut meant for the public film release.

Functionality to allow the player to save the game at any time was included, after originally being omitted from its predecessor Shadowrun Returns due to development resource constraints. [3]

<i>Shadowrun Returns</i> 2013 video game

Shadowrun Returns is a science fantasy turn based tactical role-playing game developed and published by Harebrained Schemes. It takes place in the setting of the Shadowrun tabletop role-playing game. The game was successfully crowd funded through Kickstarter, and was released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android in 2013.

Reception

Dragonfall received generally favorable reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. [4] [5]

A review aggregator is a system that collects reviews of products and services. This system stores the reviews and uses them for purposes such as supporting a website where users can view the reviews, selling information to third parties about consumer tendencies, and creating databases for companies to learn about their actual and potential customers. The system enables users to easily compare many different reviews of the same work. Many of these systems calculate an approximate average assessment, usually based on assigning a numeric value to each review related to its degree of positive rating of the work.

Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of media products: films, TV shows, music albums, video games, and formerly, books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged. Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc Doyle, and Julie Doyle Roberts in 1999. The site provides an excerpt from each review and hyperlinks to its source. A color of green, yellow or red summarizes the critics' recommendations. It has been described as the video game industry's "premier" review aggregator.

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References

  1. "Monthly Archive | September". Harebrained-schemes.com. Archived from the original on 2015-06-22. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  2. Smith, Graham (27 August 2014). "Shadowrun: Dragonfall Now Has Standalone Director's Cut". Rock, Paper, Shotgun . Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  3. "Shadowrun: Dragonfall Kickstarter Update". Harebrained-schemes.com. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  4. "Shadowrun: Dragonfall for PC Reviews". Metacritic . CBS Interactive . Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  5. "Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut for PC Reviews". Metacritic . CBS Interactive . Retrieved 12 December 2014.