Tuesday, March 27


Shadowrun is a first-person-shooter for the PC and 360 in the vein of Counter-Strike. Shadowrun is developed by FASA interactive and Microsoft Game Studios. The game releases in June, but testers and the media are already checking it out. Unlike Counter-Strike and most all other online FPSs, Shadowrun is set in a fantasy setting with a large set of abilities available to players. Players can glide, teleport, and perform other feats that seem to really shake the strategy of the traditional FPS.

A report from Siliconera brings up the player class of healer. Many FPSs offer revival of some sort, Battlefield 2 has the medic for example. Shadowrun is no different, a spell available to the healer is "Resurrect." But unlike other games of the genre, Resurrect comes with a supsrising set of gameplay variables. Dan Zuccarelli from Siliconera posts:
In more than one match I was keeping numerous people alive through resurrect spells, and then running off and hiding so as not to get killed (resurrecting someone means they’re tied to you, So if you die so do they).
Resurrection comes with a cost, and a realistic one at that. Or at least, realistic enough for a fantasy setting. Healers are bound to their resurrected; if you die as a healer, all the players you revived will instantly die as well. Digging up some more stats on this feature, I turned to the official Shadowrun page. They offer a fine rundown of what to expect of the resurrect spell.

First, Resurrect requires a body for it to function properly. If your teammate’s body has been destroyed then it can’t be resurrected.

Second, if you resurrect someone you will have a smaller essence pool while your teammate is alive. A portion of your life essence is being used to maintain the life of your comrade. One quirk of the resurrect spell, however, is that if you resurrect two or more teammates with one cast of resurrect you pay the same essence cost as if you had resurrected only one.

Third, if you are resurrected it is considered customary to tithe some of your earnings to the teammate who resurrected you. Expect to make less cash once brought back to life. This, however, certainly beats the zero money you would have made if you remained dead.

And finally if you are resurrected by a friend then protect that friend at all costs! Because if he dies you will quickly follow him since his life essence is no longer sustaining your recently animated corpse.

Here is something interesting. Shadowrun takes the high-fantasy story and mythos and weaves it into gameplay. The gameplay is faithful to its source, there is a reason resurrect works the way it does. In addition, the spell effects have a tangible and strategic effect on the game. Their is a clear tactical aspect to resurrection now. Healers will have to balance use of their spells, so as not to drain their life away. And, good healers will have to work at staying alive. They take on a true "support" role, sacrificing themselves for the good of the team. Opponents will have a distinct advantage to hunting down healers by effectively killing at least two birds with one stone.

The tithing however could be an issue. I like it, its a cool concept. The exact fee for being resurrected is important though. If its too much, players will get upset, the healer is taking their money, and, maybe they didn't even want to be revived. Furthermore, sometimes its not advantageous to be resurrected in an FPS. Like when a medic revives you in Battlefield, and getting shot as soon as you wake up. So balance of these aspects will be important for the development team.

How do you feel about these resurrection effects on gameplay?

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