Top Critic Average
If you've been round the neon block a few times already, then Hong Kong's going to feel pretty familiar, despite being perfectly solid and having a few new toys plus a wider, more ostentatious stage than ever before.
Just like the previous two games, Shadowrun: Hong Kong has stayed with me when I'm not playing it. The flawed, moody characters and the clever use of Asian magical traditions got into my head, and when it finished, I missed all of the main characters. It takes a pretty cool game to do that. For that intensity and depth to be maintained over a series of three games is pretty remarkable.
This is a game that transcends its name and should be spoken of in the same breath as the genre's best. In years to come people will be comparing the new cRPGs to Hong Kong, because it's easily a benchmark for what developers in the RPG arena should be looking at when designing their games.
A fantastic isometric CRPG that has a very well developed story and great varied combat that just might be a bit on the tedious and boring side for those not wanting walls of text to read through.
Harebrained Schemes has again struck gold within the Shadowrun universe. Refined Decking and brilliant writing as well as some genuine surprises breathe life into the fantastical future Hong Kong setting. Sadly, some pacing and level design issues stop it just short of the heights it was reaching for.
Shadowrun: Hong Kong is a solid experience both for veteran "chummers" but also for newcomers. Harebrained Schemes has managed to once again impress by adding a few, but only a few, good improvements to the recipe, while delivering a very interesting setting and some imaginative missions. However, it might not feel like a whole new experience, just "more of the same."
Players who have already taken this trip with Shadowrun Returns and its expansion may find themselves wanting a bit with the gameplay, and newbies will have quite the learning curve to surmount, but if you see the gameplay as an adequate means to experience the more satisfying narrative end, Shadowrun: Hong Kong more than earns your attention.
Shadowrun: Hong Kong may be a familiar cyberpunk paradise for some and an altogether alien destination for others. However, for tactical RPG fans, it's still home sweet home.
'Shadowrun: Hong Kong' is an old-school style strategy experience with one of the most interesting settings in contemporary tabletop gaming. Instead of expecting the license to do all of the heavy lifting, Harebrained has instead created a good game and then set it into the mythos of 'Shadowrun'. With the inclusion of the Unity editor, this platform will only get better as time goes on.
These are quibbles. Shadowrun Hong Kong's success boils down to a smart early decision to stay true to Hong Kong, and exaggerate the flaws of the city's bizarre governing philosophy to find a new, urgent relevance in the cyberpunk genre.