Shadowrun is a popular pen and paper role playing game that combines high-fantasy elements such as magic, elves and trolls alongside a cyber punk setting with a connected network and hacking elements. This latest Shadowrun game takes place near the beginning of the world's introduction to magic, so many of the magical elements found later in the time line are not present. The game is a multiplayer-only affair which pits human players against each other in a number of competitive game modes. Competition and training against computer controlled bots is the only form of a single-player game that is present. If you do not have Xbox Live Gold then 95% of the game will be inaccessible.
Each game mode contains two teams, one working on the rebel side and the other working for the corporation. Matches are split into rounds with the team winning the most rounds winning the overall match. At the beginning of a round the players on the team purchase skills, abilities and weapons to be used. Money to purchase items is gained by performing successful actions in the previous round such as killing enemy players, reviving teammates and completing objectives. Skills are divided into two categories: magical and tech. Players have a health bar, as well as a mana bar which limits the number of skills that can be used at one time. Examples of skills are teleportation, hang-gliding, and seeing through walls.
Shadowrun is also the first game released that allows computer players to play against Xbox 360 gamers on Xbox Live. For the PC version (which is $50) you need to have an active Xbox Live gold account to play with console gamers, otherwise you're limited to playing with other PC gamers. The developers claim they have achieved a balance of control that will satisfy both mouse and keyboard players, and controller players by tuning factors such as turn speed and auto-aim.
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