a game by Blue Sky Productions, Fasa Corp., Beam Software, and FASA Studio
Genres: Action, Adventure/RPG, Shooting Games
Platforms: XBox 360, PC (2007), Sega GenesisGenesis, SNESSNES
Editor Rating: 6.9/10, based on 9 reviews, 10 reviews are shown
User Rating: 7.6/10 - 11 votes
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See also: First Person Shooter Games, RPGs, Alternate History Games, Shadowrun Series

RPG fans can rejoice, because Shadowrun for the Genesis plays more like a traditional RPG than its SNES counterpart. There are two sides to that coin though, because the game also requires tedious character building and extensive game saving.

The Shadow Knows

In the year 2050, Seattle has become a wasteland frequented by thugs and mercenaries. Nestled within the grimy confines of the city are the Corporations that run things. These giant, powerful Corporations frequently hire members of the underworld to do their bidding. (Good thing that could never really happen.) Into the fray come the Shadowrunners, small-time mercenaries who take a job, or "run," for any amount of money. They're kind of like the Teamsters of thugs, and they can put a hurtin' on you in a hurry.

You play as a Shadowrunner who wants to know what happened to your brother. He's been fragged by someone with connections to the upper echelons of power in the city, and you want that slag-head dead.

Apocalypse Now

You pick from three types of characters: a Samurai, a mercenary hunter skilled with weapons; a Decker, who's a computer whiz; or a Shaman, a mystical magic-user. Each character has his own set of skills and specialties. You can hire other 'runners to help you out, but they ain't cheap.


  • The first Attribute you need to develop is your Negotiation skills. This leads to higher money for runs, and lower prices to hire 'runners.
  • If you buy a stripped-down Mach 22 submachine gun from Boris, remember that it's illegal, and if Lone Star stops you on the street, you're busted.
  • Whenever a character asks for money in exchange for information, be wary. Unless you have a high Reputation rating, they'll scam you every time. Save before you talk to them, then if It doesn't work out, reload the game.
  • Sleaze is your best weapon when in cybercombat. Use the Sleaze program when you're up against gray IC chips.

Running roadblocks in your path are the Corporations. They have a group of ores running the police-enforcement division, known as Lone Star. You'll also trip up with Ghouls, Street Gangs, Magic-Users, Vampires, and more. When you're not fighting these goons, you'll go up against the Matrix, a huge computer system that runs transactions for every business in the world. You "deck" into the system to gather information and Nuyen, which is postapocalyptic money. You'll need the money to purchase anything from guns to cyberhardware (the computer accessories required for Matrix runs.)

  • Don't waste your time buying illegal Frag grenades from this character. Most times it's an undercover Lone Star cop.
  • If you're trying to lay low and you're being chased by cops or thugs, you can try to outrun them. Duck into alleys and make turns until they're off-screen, then duck into the first door you see. You won't be able to enter any buildings if they're on-screen.

As you start to gather skill and Nuyen, you unlock clues to your brother's murder. You also meet some of the strangest characters this side of San Francisco, so keep on your toes.

Shadowy Figures

Shadowrun sports two shadowy views. The first view is an overhead look that takes place whenever your'runner is walking. This is when you'll fight the thugs and miscreants of futuristic Seattle. The graphics are small and muddled, and the sprites lack detail. The second view is a first-person perspective that takes place when your 'runner is in cybercombat in the Matrix. You'll see giant IC chips and computer Nodes flash in front of you while you try to zap them into memory hell. Although this view looks better, it's boring because nothing major happens.

The tinny sounds are out of place. Voice effects and more futuristic music would have enhanced this game. The only clear sound is the death-cry of your'runner when he bites the dust.

If you have a powerful weapon in hand, and your Negotiation rating is high, try to get the Ghoul run from the Johnson in the Redmond Barrens. You can make a certain percentage per hit, making big bucks in the process. Don't take a 'runner.

As for controls, it was easier playing the board game on which Shadowrun is based than guiding characters through seamy Seattle. It's especially awkward to use weapons, because you target your victims by pressing a button. If there are lots of heavies coming after you (which usually happens), you may have to press frantically to cycle through the entire gang in order to zero in on the guy in front before he turns your head into oatmeal. If he moves to the rear, you start all over again!

Run, Run, Run, Runaway

This game is much closer to a real RPG than the SNES version was, but the SNES version moved a little faster and was easier to play. If you're a real RPG die-hard, it shouldn't deter you. Be warned, though. You'll make hundreds of runs before you have the Nuyen to buy even basic items, or the Karma to build up your Attributes, so get ready to put in some hours.

If you like that kind of methodic character development and consistent game play, then this is for you. Or if you're tired of seeing knights, castles, and dungeons, then walk to the seamy side of the city and run with these Shadows.

Download Shadowrun

XBox 360

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Game modes: Single game mode

Player controls:

  • Up, Down, Left, Right - Arrow keys
  • Start - Enter (Pause, Menu select, Skip intro, Inventory)
  • "A" Gamepad button - Ctrl (usually Jump or Change weapon)
  • "B" button - Space (Jump, Fire, Menu select)
  • "C" button - Left Shift (Item select)

Use the F12 key to toggle mouse capture / release when using the mouse as a controller.


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

Game Reviews

I Played Shadowrun in a room of eight people, and the whole time we were playing nobody laughed. Nobody congratulated each other on a particularly skilful kill, nobody giggled at an embarrassing death and absolutely nobody slammed their mouse on the desk and screamed in anger at a kill they felt cheap or unfair. In short, as a PC deathmatch vehicle, Shadowrun is a failure. It's a joyless grind, mediocre on 360 and simply pointless on PC.

It's frustrating too since, alongside some isolated sparks of genius, there's a good premise here. You begin each round as you would Counter-Strike - using money you've earned to buy bigger and better weapons and equipment. In a stunning twist though, you don't simply buy (crap, ineffective) weapons, but also invest in different magical and technological abilities. These power-ups can then be stored in the buttons labelled 1, 2 and 3 on your keyboard and brought out to play whenever your magic-o-meter isn't drained of tech-juice. It's a decent enough system that (alongside a choice of races to play as) lets you build your character into a semi-personalised Team Fortress-style class. It also means that the action cascades from basic shooty-cuffs into ever more crazed fragfests - dwarves swooping around on gliders firing mini-guns into the fray, katana-wielding elves with upgraded reflexes automatically swiping bullets away and life-giving trees sprouting at tactically significant bottlenecks.

Shoot, Shoot, Shoot

It sounds cool, and is cool, and when supplemented by the RPG-inspired magical ability that lets you summon a terrifyingly strong minion to guard a particular area, you can't help but think that someone deep in FASA Studio is a rather switched-on individual. It's like they're a struggling football team with an ace midfielder like a Joe Cole or a Gerrard showing off all manner of fancy footwork and unexpected dashes towards goal, all of which is made thoroughly ineffectual by the crap standards of everything else around them.

Nonetheless, stuff like the magical resurrection ability that lets you 'do a Lazarus' on dead team-mates (who then slowly bleed to death after you've snuffed it yourself) brings a genuinely clever twist to the capture the flag and team deathmatch games on offer. Put into a well-produced UT mod or created with a decent engine in a PC-only game, all this would be a fairly tasty proposition - this much is undeniable. But unfortunately, the way Shadowrun looks and plays acts like a local anaesthetic on the joy department of your noggin - you're aware of what the game is doing, but are thoroughly incapable of feeling anything about it. It's mood-deadening lithium in gaming form. Sluggish, poorly balanced and graphically average, with kills that feel like the result of pure luck as opposed to any form of skill... I could go on.

No, I will go on. In fact I'm contractually obliged to go on. There's not even that much here to play: nine poorly designed maps (although there's one that's essentially a giant set of steps that's quite good) and two generic multiplayer game modes. Singleplayer, meanwhile, is so sparse that it's barely worth mentioning, while bots are almost on the Battlefield 1942 level of pure bloody stupid. In simple gameplay terms, meanwhile, you often find yourself dead without quite understanding how, and despite the resurrection process it can be extremely frustrating lying dead while the battle rages on several levels above you.

Dull, Dull, Dull

Iln short, if there's an FPS somewhere out in the ether that will prove that PC gamers and Xbox 360 gamers can play a happy song together in eternal happiness like ebony and ivory, then this is certifiably, undoubtedly and categorically not it. The battle to level the playing field between mouse and gamepad has simply left the PC version of Shadowrun woolly, hollow and redundant There are moments when the rock-paper-scissors mentality of the magical and technophile powers available suddenly connect and for the length of one firefight the game becomes exactly what its creators intended it to be: fun.

Such moments are fleeting though, and lost in an avalanche of dross. In all honesty the best thing about this game is that it's senselessly tied to Windows Vista, so no bugger will end up playing it. I don't have an irrational hatred of Microsoft - I'd love to report more positively on what they're up to with stuff like this. However, if they want to avoid being labelled as the numero uno evil corporate Loverlords of PC gaming, they're honestly going to have to pull their socks up.

Microsoft is conducting its own civil war: Mystical first-person shooter Shadowrun is the first title to let gun-loving 360 and PC gamers take shots at each other via the Live Anywhere service.The PC competition may scare off some (because of the expected advantage of using a mouse and keyboard), but developer FASA promises a fair playing field. "We started with a standard mouse/keyboard control scheme and a controller setup similar to Halo," says Lead Designer John Howard. "At first, the controller actually had an advantage, but we figured out what was going on and spent a few weeks dialing in the balance." And if the game looks different from its earlier showings, it's because FASA ditched the cartoony characters. "Originally, we'd tried a more exaggerated style," says Howard, "which we decided wasn't right for the game." We agree.

While FASA Studio might not have delivered a true RPG sequel to the Shadowrun games of yore, it's crafted a uniquely compelling team-based first-person shooter, laden with life-giving trees, teleporting, and all sorts of other genre firsts. The learning curve is more of a learning sheer wall due to the complexity of choices and the rock-paper-scissors relationship between them, but if you put in the time and find the right group of people to play with, you'll have some fun.

BOTTOM LINE: If you can learn its intricacies (easier said than done), you'll love it. We'll let you know if we do next month.

  • Manufacturer: SEGA
  • # of players: 1
  • Difficulty: MODERATE
  • Theme: ACTION/RPG

Your brother was set up on a run and killed. Venturing into the crime ridden city of Seattle, you must find out who had him killed. Based on the role-playing game system by FASA, choose from three of the character archetypes, each one possessing his/her own advantages and skills. Along the way, you'll be able to increase your attributes and acquire cyberware. You'll even get to enter the Matrix, a virtual reality world of corporate secrets.

Make your contacts and perform runs to make money. These jobs will range from courier work to annihilating hordes of ghouls. The more contacts and money you have, the closer you'll get to find your brother's killer. Search the sprawls of Seattle for the clues while always watching your back.

Shadowrun for the Genesis is a dark game with loads of action. Can you survive what lies ahead?

Welcome to Seattle in the year 2050. The governments have collapsed, and the corporations have taken over. Not only that, but magic has returned with a vengeance. The oppressed indian tribes have come to reclaim what has been taken from them. Beings from legend and lore have started appearing with dragons, krakens, and inspiring new terrors. Some seemingly human beings have shed their phony disguises, and have come forth as Elves, Ores, Dwarves, and Trolls.

Where do you fit in? Someone wants you dead - badly. After being gunned down, you awake in the city morgue, with little or no memory of your previous life. You are unarmed, and around here that's a fatal mistake. If you are to survive the streets, you must find some allies, learn magic, and find out who is sending the hit men after you. Can you find out who you really are? Will you summon the spirits to your aid?

Shadowrun is based on an extremely popular role-playing system, and remains almost totally faithful to its parent source. The game realistically depicts a gritty and dark vision of the future. It allows you to talk to people in conversations. The music rocks, and the attention to detail is phenomenal. Intense shooting action is even added in for good measure. Enter the foreboding shadows of Shadowrun!

It's 2053. Do you know where your Shadowrunners are? In this fantastic translation of the all-time number-one cyberpunk pen-and-paper RPG, you'd better hope that your 'Runners are close... and in a good mood!

A Gritty Adventure

This tale of corporate evil and computer-jacking has fascinated RPG fanatics for some time now, although it has just recently been brought to the home video game market. Data East hit the SNES first, and now Sega has brought it to Genesis owners, but with whole new look and story This is no small graphic adventure. Sega has turned FASA's Shadowrun into the monstrous, gritty, and realistic.

RPG that it was meant to be.

You can now choose to be either a samurai, a decker, or a shaman as you prowl the streets and alleys of a devastated, futuristic Seattle. You'll see action in the urban jungles, in the sinister corporate offices, and in Cyberspace -- a virtual reality world where deckers and data-jackers rule the electronic highways. To help you make it out alive, you'll need the help of Shadowrunnefs, the unique and lethal assassins who will "run" with you...for a price. Talk is cheap, but bullets cost.

Run for the Shadows

This new game keeps the classic RPG elements alive by incorporating a personal electronic secretary who keeps notes of all conversations you've had in the game. When you come across someone or something mentioned in a conversation, the notes are automatically deleted from memory. No more writing down vital pieces of information.

You awaken on a morgue slab with an orchestra of jackhammers going off in your head. Your body is strangely cold, and you can't remember who you are. Facing Monday after another rough weekend? Could be, except this day starts off in the year 2050 with hired guns trying to put you back on the cold bed of death. Shadowrun is here! If you're tired of kill-the-dragon RPGs, this game should be right up your darkened alley.

Me and My Shadow

Shadowrun by Data East is a one-player, 3/4 overhead-view RPG with a cyberpunk twist that sends you, Jake Armitage, on a futuristic treasure hunt. You awaken to the knowledge that people are trying to kill you, and everyone seems to know more about you than you do. This is obviously not a game for the paranoid.

The game begins in the futuristic, mega-corporate city of Seattle. Everyone lives in the shadows of huge corporations, which dominate life in the future. Information is power, and there's a struggle going on for control of the Matrix, a vast and intricate network through which all technical information flows.

ProTip: The frightened morticians will not come out of the closet unless you change your appearance. (They think you're dead, remember?).

Gangs rule the streets, though, and accessing the Matrix is a risky and dangerous business. Consequently, the business of sending couriers out to make the Matrix run is booming. Couriers need protection, though, and that's where the Shadow runners come in. These futuristic hitmen travel in your shadow and protect you, or die trying.

Read the key you take from the badly wounded man in one of the rooms. The message there will help you save your game.

Stiff I Were a Rich Man

Your first clue is the name on your morgue slab, J. Armitage (you'll find out that it's Jake later). Some clues literally fall right in front of you, while others take some digging up. You begin with nothing but the clothes on your back, a migraine the size of the Space Needle, and the determination to get your memory back. Along the way, you pick up weapons, Credisticks (futuristic Visa cards), fake I.D.s, scraps of paper with important notes and numbers on them, Nuyen (Shadow cash, 'cuz not everyone trusts your credit history), and other items that help you regain your past.

  • Talk to all the bar patrons in the Grim Reaper Bar. One of 'em is a Shadow- runner, but you won't need his services just yet. Another patron won't drink unless you're buying.
  • Save your Nuyen to purchase the Lone Star ID. You'll need it to get something from the morticians.

You also earn Karma points, which yuu can use to heighten certain abilities, such as Strength and Charisma (which you need for negotiating on the street). You also need to sharpen certain skills, like Computer Knowledge and Firearm Mastery. There are even some magic spells to cast, but it would give away too much to say anything about them.

So how do you go about obtaining and using the items and Karma points? As in any good RPG, you have to converse extensively with the citizenry. Talk is the only thing that's still cheap in the future. However, not everyone is a conversationalist, so you have to plug some people with holes until the information leaks out.

  • Don't be afraid of dark alleys. They hold clues and items. Besides, if you're scared of the dark, you shouldn't be playing a game called Shadowrun anyway.
  • As soon as you get your zip gun, return to all the goon-invested rooms and waste 'em. The guys got cash aplenty.

The interface is a basic RPG menu system, but this one is a lot easier than most. Follow the menu until you find the item you want, press a button, and you're equipped. There are no right or left hand configurations, no weapon alignments, just get your gun and shoot.

Don the leather jacket as soon as you see it It works like armor and helps to reduce your shot damage.

Game Noir

Because Shadowrun is set in a very gritty, dreary, and often darkened future (guess nobody remembered to pay the electric bill), the graphics are grainy and harsh. Not all sprites are easily recognizable. Be sure to search all rooms thoroughly, because items do not stand out from the background. Moving the characters, however, is much faster and much easier than in most RPGs.

The sounds make the game come alive and pick up some of the graphics' slack. Every groan, every shot, and some nice club music spice up the action.

You can time a sniper's shots by listening. To avoid getting hit, listen for the intervals between shots, and then zigzag just before you hear the next shot.

Shadow Fun

Shadowrun is a very entertaining and fairly addictive RPG. Since you start out just as much in the dark (no pun intended) as your main character, you'll enjoy solving all the mysteries and weaving through the intricate plot twists. There's enough adventure and challenge here for any die-hard RPG fan. You leave this game with the sneaking suspicion that you're being followed.

Shadowrun is a role-playing game published in five different years (1989, 1992, 1998, 2005 and 2009), with the story happening in the near future in which the player meets different fantasy creatures. The game is considered a bit violent, horror and has elements of conspiracy fiction and detective fiction.

The setting takes place in Seattle, Washington, in the year of 2050. Magic and mythological beings came back on Earth in the year 2011, while some humans "Goblinize" into trolls and orks. Human children were born as elves and dwarves, but as some other creatures as well.

The technology world is very advanced. Cyberware and bioware (body parts implanted in place of natural organs) are common in the game. The computer crash from 2029 have reshaped the financial and political landscape of the world in the game. Lots of conflicts arise over the world, and chaos and organized crime becomes more and more popular. Dirty work specialists, called "shadowruns", are skilled and very popular for getting the job done in style. They are powerful, can stay alive in difficult situations and are prospering in the game.

As the story happens in North America, several nations will appear in the game. Canadians, Americans and Mexicans are all part of this game. Some of them declare their independence (e.g. the California Free State).

The rivals and enemies of the Shadowrun world are the corporations, such as "megacorporations", "megacorps", "megas" or "corps". In the 21st century the megacorporations are global, and they represent the superpowers of the Shadowrun universe. The Megacorporations have way more political, economic and military power than any state in the world.

As said before, magic is back in the game. The ones able to perform magic are known as "awakened". They can be Magicians, Adepts of Mystic Adepts. They affect the world around them, and have control over it by focusing their magic inward. They are able to cast spells, summon spirits and create different magical artifacts, which are called "foci".

The game was very popular when first released, and due to its increased popularity it was re-launched four more times over the time, with the latest version being launched 20 years after the first, in 2009.

However, with the latest version, Shadowrun lost a lot of its popularity. IGN users offered a rating of 7.8, while IGN experts rated the game with 6.8, which is not really good. Users on GameSpot rated the game with 6.7, while the critics offered a 6.9 rating. As the game was developed, a lack of variety appeared, several users believe.

It's the year 2050. The world as we know it has become a desolate and desperate place. The Megacorps control everything, and a resurgence of magic is making survival near impossible. In Data East's Shadowrun, you are a shadowrunner, delivering between the law. Begin your journey in the morgue and travel the streets, stopping at the Grim Reaper tavern for clues. There's a bomb somewhere...

People say:


Although the story moves quite slow, I was able to appreciate the detail built into this RPG. While the graphics were only average, this is typical of this genre. I had hoped that the sounds would have been better but the quest is the most important part to the game and Data East did a good job in delivering the goods.


There haven't been many good quest/RPG games since Zelda and I am glad to say that Shadowrun is one of the better ones in this category. The story doesn't move along very quickly and I really had hoped that it would have had more action. Still, it is a game that will appeal to fans of this genre.


This cart has a really cool storyline and gets more interesting as you play. There are a few humorous moments and lots of things to interact with The graphics are not too impressive and the sound support is very weak. The game will definitely appeal to RPG fans but most players might not be too impressed with this cart.


Shadowrun is a really good RPG sporting plenty of items and people to interact with. The quest is long and rough, but it moves slow enough to keep your head on straight. Shadowrun may not be very exciting, but any fan of the board game will be very pleased to pick this one up. The music gets annoying after a while.

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    Andy said on Forum:

    This game is so cool, This game was very cutting edge stuff in the 90's and it's still great today, A sci fi RPG with guns you have to aim and fire and there is no warning when your going to get attacked and huge areas to explore make this a must even for thoughs who do not normally like RPG's.