Two games that I love dearly, and would probably have somewhere among the ranks of my favorite games of all time are Fallout Tactics and Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magic. These games come from a period in gaming history that was in many ways typified by deep, turn-based, RPG gaming models. Both quintessential PC games and both a strong blend of RPG and turn-based tactical combat, they both exist in a genre that, like great space simulators, seems to have faded into irrelevance and obscurity. This is tragic to me.
Which is why my eyes turn hopefully toward Shadowrun Returns from this week's release list. The last time Shadowrun got the video game treatment, the result was a mostly disappointing effort from FASA that was more notable for its Games For Windows and cross-system play than anything having to do with the actual game. An first-person shooter, multi-player only, Counter-Strike cash-in that quickly faded into obscurity, the less said about 2007's Shadowrun the better.
Shadowrun Returns, however, is a Kickstarter funded RPG that immediately harkens back in my mind to games like Arcanum and Fallout. Based on the long-established Shadowrun pen-and-paper RPG, Shadowrun Returns looks lovingly dense with the deep RPG elements and strategic gameplay that this kind of franchise deserves. Along with other similarly crowd-funded games like Torment, Project Eternity and Wasteland 2, I am anxiously hoping that these games deliver on their promises, just so we can see more of these kinds of projects.