Shadowrun Returns to have branching story, may one day be multiplayer

By Brenna Hillier
24 April 2012 03:02 GMT

Harebrained Schemes boss Jordan Weisman has let slip a few details of upcoming, crowd-funded RPG revival, Shadowrun Returns.

Speaking to Shack News, Wesiman said Harebrained has no plans to take the sandbox route alá Skyrim, but won’t be entirely linear.

“Admittedly this is a space we’re still charting out, but I do believe that a good RPG at its core has to be a branching structure,” he said.

“You have to be able to give the player the ability to explore, both physically as well as emotionally, different directions that they might take.”

The game’s story will be presented as an “anthology”, with different writers contributing stories.

This will likely leave the game open for future content updates should demand prove high enough, and it certainly sounds like Harebrained intends to continue support well after release. The team is even considering taking a multiplayer path eventuallym with “a PvP mode for deathmatch arena play, or cooperative RPG play”.

Weisman confirmed the game’s engine is designed to support multiplayer features at a later date, but that they won’t be present at launch.

“We got very excited and I mentioned it in a video and then we sat down and realised in the time frame and realistic budget, even that we were starting to see the fans might extend us to, it would stretch us too thin to commit to that for launch,” he said.

We haven’t sene much concept art or images from the RPG’s development yet, but Weisman said Harebrained is working hard to balance a retro-style which evokes a feeling of the 16-bit era Shadowrun games, without looking grimy and weird.

“We want to make sure that we capture that essence without being dated. That’s a fun challenge, but also one that we know will take several iterations to get right,” he commented.

Shadowrun Returns has been fully funded, winning well over $1 million in funding through Kickstarter.

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