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Review: Shadowrun Trilogy (Nintendo Switch)By Ofisil At 03.08.2022 18:14

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Shadowrun Trilogy is a straight up port of three games, and nothing more than that. No fancy new mechanics or QoL systems, and no upgrades to talk about, apart - maybe - from some polishing. That's not a bad thing, just a word of caution for those who are already in possession of the original titles. It should also be mentioned that all these are offered in their best version available. One final thing that newcomers should be aware of, is that this is less of a trilogy of three different games, and more like three separate stories, essentially running on the same engine, which means that one should avoid playing all three back-to-back. Whatever the case, this is a pretty good collection, of some pretty good games, although it would be better to wait for a discount. Then again, what you are seeing here is about 50 hours of gameplay, so this is far from a cash grab.

All three games have you playing a lot like a detective. After all, a 'Shadowrunner' is basically a private investigator (or mercenary) who works under the radar. The tales that will be experienced start like simple crime investigations, thefts, and the like, but slowly but steadily the protagonists will discover secret conspiracies, in storylines that heavily revolve around class, power, and corporatocracy, with lots of fantasy elements thrown in as well, like spirits, magic, and so on. The writing, as well as the stories themselves can't hold a candle to genre classics such as Pillars of Eternity, Planescape: Torment, or Fallout, as the twists and turns aren't really something to write home about, but they are good stories nonetheless.

The visuals, while pretty, are nothing special either, but the atmosphere is what makes this trilogy such a joy to play. Gritty, dirty, and somewhat pessimistic, the world of Shadowrun will definitely give cyberpunk afficionados their fix, even if the immersion will most likely be achieved via text, rather than nice graphics. Yes, you need to read a lot in here. Thankfully the dialogue is good, and the whole role-playing bit is one of the best parts of the games. Sadly, the text is tiny, making it extra tiring to read when in handheld more.

If you are looking for something super-complex that offers a new crossroad every three steps, and all sorts of sub-systems that require micromanaging, you won't find any of those here. While there are multiple ways to do things, this plays it a lot safer than most CRPGs. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however. Not all want to play a "hardcore" RPG. In other words, this is especially welcoming to greenhorns, as it doesn't ask much of them. Even the campaign structure follows a mission-based format, which means that one is always restricted to a single exterior area, and the few interior areas that can be accessed from there. The character creation is equally simple. It gives you enough in order to create your own custom build, whether that's a strong melee brute, an agile sharpshooter, or a sneaky hacker - just don't come in expecting tons of options.

This is definitely an RPG for those who prefer a good story rather than good gameplay, the perfect example being the turn-based combat on offer, which is nice and all… but it's just nice and nothing more. It's what you would expect from such a system, basically. Action points, a bunch of skills, a typical cover/accuracy system, and so on. The battles also lack the necessary "punch." The sound effects are very weak, and the whole thing is far from flashy - not what you would expect from a Dungeons & Dragons-flavoured cyberpunk game, right? If you find yourself feeling too bored, drop the difficulty to 'Easy,' and just enjoy the story.

In conclusion: should you buy Shadowrun Trilogy? If you are ok with a somewhat simpler than usual RPG, with ever simpler turn-based combat, but high-quality writing, and great atmosphere, do give it a look. Those who already have it on PC, should keep their money, as this is a straight up port and nothing more, and while the Switch offers portability, the tiny text of this text-heavy game can be quite annoying.

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Final Score
A very good bundle of some very good games, [i]Shadowrun Trilogy[/i] packages together some of the best cyberpunk-meets-fantasy stories. While far from what can be considered classics, all three of the titles on offer are lots of fun nonetheless, as long as one can stomach the somewhat simplistic combat, and the tiny text that almost renders the Switch's portability useless.

7

/10

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