Shadowrun: Hong Kong Review

The third in Harebrained Schemes’ acclaimed Shadowrun trilogy, this console release puts players in the midst of Hong Kong’s chaotic gang war and magic-assisted corporate espionage. It combines all the elements of its predecessors – turn-based combat, real-time exploration and a hefty amount of dialogue.

It also features a lot of new additions compared to either Returns or Dragonfall, including a more generous number of companions (this time with 3+2 characters), a 6+ hour bonus campaign and audio commentary.


Originally created as a tabletop RPG over 30 years ago, the one-of-a-kind dystopian cyberpunk setting of Shadowrun has since gained a cult following. Now, Harebrained Schemes has brought this world to life as an isometric tactical RPG with Shadowrun Returns, and has expanded the setting further with Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Shadowrun: Hong Kong.

The game is set 62 years in the future, in an age when magic has returned to the world after an era of wars and plagues that destroyed much of the world’s civilization. This has split humankind into subtypes and resurrected some fantasy races, while animals have also regained their magical powers.

In the Shadowrun world, these changes have led to a massive increase in organized crime and espionage by corporations. These corporations, referred to as “megacorporations” in the game, are global and have taken over most industries through their control of resources and markets.

These corporations are in business to make money, so they often engage in illegal or even dangerous operations that involve espionage and assassination. Those who survive these operations are called shadowrunners. They operate with assumed identities, but are not always given full credit for their work. Runners who are successful, however, earn something almost as valuable as Nuyen (the game’s currency), a reputation for survival and for getting the job done.

To succeed in their missions, runners use a system of action points (AP) that is based on the player’s actions in their turn. They start with a base of 2 AP, but can temporarily gain or lose AP based on abilities, spells or items used on them.

A team of Shadowrunners consisting of a main character and a few other characters must complete missions and quests to achieve their goals. Players can choose from a wide variety of characters, each with unique personalities and powers.

The game features an open world that is heavily inspired by Hong Kong, with its underworld of triads and tongs, its wild magic, and its bleeding edge technology. The city is also characterized by its guanxi, a network of relationships based on social status and prestige.


Hong Kong is a great place for new players to get started with Shadowrun. It’s filled with classic characters, new tech, and a strong storyline that hearkens back to the cRPG roots of the franchise.

Hong Kong introduces you to a crew of flawed, dangerous runners who have backstories that only could happen in the tech-meets-magic Shadowrun setting. They are designed to play contrasting roles during missions, each with their own set of skills, abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Your team is composed of Street Samurai and Physical Adepts, Shamans and Mages, Riggers and Deckers, all of which have a specialized role in your mission. They use their advanced combat skills to dominate the battlefield, summon powerful allies and cast deadly spells, and provide critical technological support using drones or computer systems.

You can choose a starting archetype and progress through the game by acquiring points in their skills and spending them on weapons, spells, and more. You can also choose to invest in Totem powers – passive buffs that provide additional stats, health, and damage.

While this is a great way to customize your character, it’s important to consider how your chosen class will interact with other classes. For instance, while a Street Samurai can do well in melee, they may struggle to lob fireballs into a crowd of enemies. That’s why it’s best to choose a hybrid class, like Shaman or Mage, that will be able to perform well in melee while also being able to summon a caster or cast a strong spell.

The Shadowrun franchise is based on archetypes, and each of the four major classes (Street Samurai, Physical Adept, Shaman, and Mage) have specific characteristics that make them unique from other shadowrunners. However, many shadowrunners don’t adhere to these archetypes or delve deep into them, instead taking the path of developing their own character.

You’ll have a choice of five starting characters and a variety of abilities to build on as you progress through the story. This makes for an interesting experience and one that’s different from Dragonfall or Dead Man’s Switch in many ways.


Harebrained Schemes has put a lot of work into Shadowrun: Hong Kong to bring the classic cyberpunk role-playing series back into the spotlight. It’s a great game, and fans of the original will love it. But it’s not without a few flaws.

The environment is one of the biggest factors in a Shadowrun game, and Hong Kong is full of cool futuristic locations to explore. From the bustling docks to the ruins of Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong has something for everyone.

It’s a world of triads, tongs, and gangs, wild magic, and bleeding edge cybertech. And it’s also a world steeped in guanxi, the network of power and relationships that governs the culture.

Unfortunately, this can sometimes be a bit of a turnoff, as the story tends to become overly predictable. It’s still a decent plot, though, and it does have plenty of twists and turns.

But it’s also a bit dated, with some elements becoming less relevant as times change. For example, the idea of “shadowrunners”–hackers, fixers, and jack-of-all-trades mercenaries who defy Hong Kong’s cops and elite politicians–isn’t the same escapist fantasy anymore.

This is especially true in light of the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement, which protested China’s attempt to influence the upcoming elections for Chief Executive. The student-led movement resulted in the deaths of numerous young people and a wave of protests that were ultimately crushed by the Chinese government.

In this game, the player character travels to Hong Kong to meet their foster father, Raymond Black, and a private police organization called Lone Star. They decide to investigate a strange message he’s sent them, but are ambushed by members of the Hong Kong police force. This forces the characters to escape to a boat village on the outskirts of the city, Heoi.

While Hong Kong is a retread of Dragonfall in most ways, it offers enough new mechanics and bonus options to make it worth picking up. It’s not quite the same experience as a traditional Shadowrun campaign, but it’s still an entertaining one that is sure to please longtime fans of the franchise.


The soundtrack in Shadowrun: Hong Kong includes an array of tracks that play during exploration, conversations, puzzles and default gameplay. It also has several different tracks that accompany fights. These are categorized as Base, Intense and Wrapup.

The music is crafted by Jon Everist, who also wrote the original score for Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut and is a fan favorite. He has a diverse background with experience in hip hop and electronic music, influenced by artists like Aphex Twin, MF Doom and Bjork.

He is a member of the band Rudy and The Rhetoric, whose members have been featured on several albums. He is a composer, sound designer and audio director for video games. He has a degree in Music from the University of Washington and is a member of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

His music has been featured on multiple CDs and digitally through various platforms. He is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who enjoys creating musical compositions that combine live instruments with electronic elements. He is a fan of the electronic music of Aphex Twin, MF Doom, Bjork and Radiohead.

Jon has composed a variety of soundtracks for different games and is best known for his work on the critically acclaimed turn-based tactical RPG series from Harebrained Schemes, including Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Hong Kong. His scores are often described as cinematic and emotional, utilizing the rich worlds and characters of Shadowrun to tell stories.

In Shadowrun: Hong Kong, players take control of a team of flawed, dangerous runners with contrasting backstories. Each character’s actions and abilities are determined by a system of action points (AP) that is gained or lost by using their weapons, spells and items.

Unlike traditional RPG’s, Shadowrun is an action-oriented game that puts player skill at the forefront of the gameplay experience. Every move matters, from moving to better cover or lobping fireballs at your foes.

Each of the characters has a unique set of skills, strengths and weaknesses that make them different from one another. These differences add to the tension of missions and provide a variety of choices for players to consider during their journeys.

Leave a Reply