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Based on the popular FASA paper-&-dice RPG, Shadowrun is a futuristic yarn set in the Seattle of the mid-21st century. Existing in an alternate universe wherein many conventions of traditional fantasy RPGs such as elves and dragons coexist with cybernetic enhancements and heavy ordinance firepower, Shadowrun presents a unique familiarity to the average Role-player with it's urban setting and fantastic magic and technology.
The player character, Jake, awakens in a morgue, suffering amnesia. Hoods attack Jake as soon as he escapes. As the story unfolds, it is revealed that someone was trying to kill him, and thought they'd succeeded. Jake goes throughout the city, breaking into computer databases, calling in markers, taking on every sort of foe from hit-men to evil animal spirits to vampires — all in search of the man (or thing?) that wants his head on a platter.
Shadowrun uses an isometric perspective map to move Jake through the urban sprawl. Combat is resolved in real-time; move the crosshair over the target and fire away. Mark your targets, however; gunning down a 'civvie' can result in the loss of karma points (experience). The player controls only one character throughout the game, but several allies can be found. These hired guns can be exceedingly helpful.
Atmosphere is where Shadowrun differs so greatly from other Super Nintendo RPGs. Whereas most games feature an unusually cheery motif in a rather mundane fantasy world, Shadowrun is dark, brooding, cynical — factors that make the game not quite for kids. ~ Joe Foster, All Game Guide