Mar 012014

Well, it’s been a few days since Dragonfall dropped and as a backer of the kickstarter I got a free copy. While I haven’t had a lot of time to play through the entire game yet, I thought I’d jot down some of my first impressions of the new campaign.

First and foremost, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of this adventure. It’s easily superior to the original campaign, Dead Man’s Switch. In many respects I wish that this campaign was the default, not DMS. I think that it serves as a much better introduction to Shadowrun and the more open ended hub-based style is more comfortable for modern gamers. With more choices, better writing, and far more interesting teammates I find it a full on upgrade for the game.

Dragonfall is set in the Flux, an area of Berlin that should be familiar to many old school Shadowrun fans. For those not entirely familiar, the basic rundown is that Berlin is mostly free of Corp influence and the government is in a state of semi-stable anarchy. It was never a setting I really ran in, but I find that they’ve done a good job of translating it quite well. There’s a great deal of flavor packed into a small area.

I’m not that far into the game, but so far I’ve really liked what I’ve seen. I’ve already noticed a lot of small improvements, such as being able to use your rigger teammates much more often (though not as often as I’d like). Biotech has gotten a lot of love as well, with several conversation triggers based on it. Plus spellcasters get the chance to flex their muscles as well. All in all it feels like you have more options and that your character archetype matters a bit more.

One very nice feature is that they’ve added in a “save anywhere” function – a feature sorely lacking in the original campaign (and that feature has been added to DMS as well). I’ve also noticed some new cyberware and weapons as well. Conurer’s even get a weapon spell similar to the mage’s powerbolt. Some new totems for Shaman’s as well, including one that reduces spirit escape chance to 0% for a short time (very nice for Shamans!). All in all the new stuff are nice extra features that don’t detract from the original setup.

Other than that the game is still much like the original. Isometic and turn based combat. All of the old stuff is there and still functions just fine. Really the improvements here all in the story and campaign. I’m not going to spoil the storyline or really talk about it, since it’s a lot more fun to discover that for yourself (and I haven’t finished it anyway).

The greatest new thing I like is that you now have a core team of runners that you can hire for free. They’re nicely written and have a lot of extra dialog options. It also appears that each companion has their own little story that you can unravel. So far my favorite new companion is Deitrich, a Shaman with a fun past. Glory is great as well and I cannot wait to find out what’s going on with her (though I will say that if you’re playing a shaman/mage you have some interesting options when you first start talking with her).

So far the game looks great and I’ve been having a ton of fun. I highly encourage everyone to check it out. It’s well worth the price of admission (and if you were a backer you get it for free!).