I really enjoy the Shadowrun games by Harebrained Schemes. The writing is great, the quality jumps up every iteration, and new, interesting options arise with each new release. This past week, SR:HK got updated to the Enhanced Edition, offering a new “epilogue” portion of the game to come after completing the main story.
I’m really excited about this. The ending of Shadowrun: Hong Kong left some loose ends, and it seems like the epilogue is there to help tie them up. I jumped in briefly this afternoon and I’m already interested in the setup and its new characters. It’s got layers of stuff going on and I get a lot of opportunity to express my character, really quickly. It also pulls from my complete-game save file, and so I’m starting with my gear and stats, so I’m already pretty badass to start with, no mucking about with terrible roomba-drones, I’m going straight to the flying minigun drones.
Part of the reason I really like the Shadowrun games is because they give me that “running around in a high-tech future” feel without getting bogged down in unwieldy controls or overly-convoluted technology or stories, or being post-apoc. There are precious few really solid sci-fi games out there, and I often find myself frustrated that I just want to jump into a cool cyberpunk world and explore, but there aren’t many of those. I’m really excited about the upcoming Deus Ex, for example, but otherwise pickings are slim.
What I like about the Shadowrun games is that I get the impression there’s a lot of world out there beyond what I’m immediately looking at. Even what I’m doing, the big victories, are still fairly personal and likely not one for the history books– even Deus Ex, which I love, has a whole thing where the earlier games in the timeline are literally in the history books of the later ones. Another game that feels similar is Satellite Reign, which I haven’t had time to play more of but I really enjoyed right off the bat. It seemed a little more story-lite than Shadowrun, though, but I liked the mechanics more.
I often finish games and want *just* a little bit more, which is why the SR:HK epilogue is so exciting for me. I don’t necessarily want to extend the experience out forever– I’m actually frustrated when I try to do this in games, because it feels like I’m not actually moving forward, I’m just spinning my wheels (a problem I often have with Fallout games once I’ve finished the main storyline, and why the main story is important for me in those games). The addition of the epilogue really adds a lot for me, and often makes me want to restart and play the entire game again, something I rarely do. I wasn’t totally happy with my SR:HK ending, for example, and kind of want to play through it again and make some different choices before going into the epilogue.
In a similar vein, I want to return to Mass Effect 3, since the “citadel party” DLC came out a while back and I’ve heard it’s very good. It makes me want to go back and look at some of my other games and see which have come out with cool post-ending DLC with more epilogue-style content, there’s got to be a number of them.