Games of the Year

Shadowrun: Hong Kong

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Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Extended Edition is the definitive version of Shadowrun: Hong Kong, the third standalone game in Harebrained Schemes’ critically-acclaimed Shadowrun cRPG series. This Extended Edition adds the all-new, 6+ hr Shadows of Hong Kong Bonus Campaign to the game as a free upgrade - delivering on a funding goal achieved by fans in Harebrained Schemes’ wildly successful Shadowrun: Hong Kong Kickstarter. The Extended Edition also adds audio commentary to the game, and a long list of improvements since the game’s initial launch - including new visual effects, updated dialogue, and new editor features (for User-Generated Content). HONG KONG. A stable and prosperous port of call in a sea of chaos, warfare, and political turmoil. The Hong Kong Free Enterprise Zone is a land of contradictions - it is one of the most successful centers of business in the Sixth World, and home to one of the world’s most dangerous sprawl sites.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Pros: Better graphics than the previous two games in the trilogy. Decking has some minigames that make it more interesting (you can bypass them and take some heat instead if you're bad at them). Enjoyable sidequests. Fun writing.
Con: Bugs. There are a bunch of bugs that will seemingly never be fixed - there's a cool gun you can win, but it vanishes at the end of the level. There are some missions and situations where the game gets to a state where you can't do anything but ctrl-alt-delete and reload your last save. It's mostly playable, just expect to replay a mission or two if you find one of these situations.
This would easily be the best game in the trilogy, if it weren't for the bugs. I'm disappointed that Harebrained left the game in this state.

Review from Steam

If you liked Vampire the Masquerade, this is like her sister you thought was in prison who ambushes you in a parking garage with a meat cleaver and cuts off your fingers until you admit that 80s punks were just Reaganites with better fashion sense.
It's the only cyberpunk game I've ever played that treats cyberpunk like the retro genre it is– it got the tech of the 21st century exactly right, and the culture exactly wrong. So the game doesn't try to be speculative– it's a modern dark fantasy, like Vampire, using the cyberpunk tropes to draw parallels between now and the 80s. What did punk-the-scene ever accomplish? Maybe it was poisoned from the start. Maybe it's best that rock is dead.
Speaking of dead, the companions are amazing. They're outlandish and self-destructive and actively dangerous to you and each other, and they still feel like real people. It rules. I'd bring Gaichu and Racter with me into every game if I could.
It also has the absolute best "evil route" of any modern RPG, no contest.

If you're 25-30 and your main circle isn't frequently:
~Eating human teeth.
~Accepting the logic of capitalism.
~Eating human teeth.
~Twisting the order of the universe to your dread design.
~Eating human teeth.
You need to elevate your circle.

Review from Steam

Last entry in the SR trilogy, and it's pretty much as good as Dragonfall.
Let's identify immediately the one downgrade: the Matrix. Every incursion is now a real-time arcade/stealth session without stealth mechanics, then a bit of Simon Says, then some other disappointment in the same vein, unchallenging but thoroughly annoying. So much so that I came to ignore obstacles, raise all alarms, then wipe out all defenses in combat. Yet even that proved more tedious than running through detectors and playing only 1 round of each mini-game.
Unfortunately, visiting the Matrix might be more useful than ever.
Everything else is quite similar to the previous opus: narrative structure, good writing, visuals, skills, memorable moments, and so on.
Reviews warning you that verbosity is overdone are correct. Many of you who don't usually skim texts will start skimming here. Or skipping. You'll tailor the game pace to your liking by ignoring some seriously bloated - and not that fascinating - lore dumps. But you'll still want to have a look-see so as to not miss on side-quests and companion quests.
On the plus side, a follow up campaign is included. It acknowledges the ending you chose (or fought to achieve) in the main campaign. The variations alone are quite entertaining, in addition to the missions themselves.
Furthermore, the game depicts a Hong Kong that feels like Hong Kong; or a mix of its past and its future. Great setting, more colourful and compelling than Berlin in my opinion.

Review from Steam

Improves on the gameplay of Returns and Dragonfall Directors Cut, better cyberware, you can give companions items (even over their locked ones). Great writing and characters, especially Gaichuu, Racter, and Ambrose. You can start combat but only if enemies are nearby and are known to be hostile, seems to be kind of buggy and not that useful but it's better than nothing. More spell options but magic still isn't too interesting, decking is also improved but still not enjoyable or a good representation of the matrix.
Doesn't give necessary info on purchases or skills. For example you might be able to choose between one of two abilities for your companions but one of them doesn't tell you the AP cost of the ability. You might want to buy a new drone but it won't tell you what skills the drone has forcing you to buy each of the four one at a time, go into a mission, and then get into a fight to see. You might want to buy a new spell, drone, weapon, etc for a companion but some of those have skill requirements and you can only check your companions skills when going into or during a mission. You also can't change your companion's items until you load into a mission, even though the selection screen before a mission shows you everyone's inventory you can not make changes until the level loads and it brings up the inventory screen again.
There were a lot of bugs in the game back when I played it, I know that some have been fixed, at the time some of the bugs I had that should be fixed now include characters unlocking a new item but the devs forgot to put it in the game, upgrading a characters ability and then that ability disappears, conversation options not working.
It's a well written game with great characters and a great setting whose combat and upgrading mechanics can't quiet match the rest.
I still really enjoyed the game because most of it is just reading and interacting with the world while being able to take non combat focused approaches, but the actual combat gameplay is still poor and so easy that combat is basically just a waste of time that never really makes for a good representation of Shadowrun.

Review from Steam

This is a tale of two games: on one side you have a fantastic Shadowrun story with upgraded features. On the other you have uneven pacing and a first 15 hours of a novel's worth of optional text.
I enjoy reading in my RPGs, but I prefer when the reading is spaced with other activities. In Hong Kong you have hours of dialog in the first few runs and then next to nothing in the latter part of the game.
The strength of the story and characters makes this an easy recommend, however. Just skip the non-companion dialogs if you are getting bored. Better to gloss over that than quit due to lack of momentum.

Review from Steam

Should you play Shadowrun: Hong Kong? Depends. Do you like turnbased-combat, RPG systems and long ass plots? If yes, then don't hesitate to buy.
Shadowrun: Hong Kong is the last installment in Harebrained Schemes Shadowrun-series. Logically, if you played its to predecessors and liked them, playing this is an absolute no-brainer. Now over the years that this game has been released, there'd been much discrepancy among its fanbase: mainly, the dispute exists between wether Hong Kong is better than the second installment Dragonfall or not. And the divide was mostly about a central part of these games, their plot. For me, though, the answer is crystalclear: nothing I encountered in Hong Kong made me find it less compelling than the other two. In fact, production quality was amped visibly in this one. This alone is convincing enough to play Shadowrun: Hong Kong either as a standalone or as the final game in a trilogy.
In this game, as the title implies, you play a shadowrunner. An individual working often on the wrong side of the law, doing tasks that more than likely involve infiltration and private investigation. The saying often goes, that there a no milk runs when running the shadows. And quite often, you come out of an encounter not unscathed. This means, that shadowrunning asks for certain archetypes in their time and age: you either know your way with weopons, magic, or hacking. That's when the gameplay comes in, and also what your character will roughly be designed around. In this game, if you're not fighting your way out of a tricky situation you will either do it by sweettalking or hacking. One thing to note is that Shadowrun offers one of the most interesting worlds and environment. Its recipe of mixing magic with cyberpunk is delicately woven into the atmosphere and plot of this game making for a uniquely exciting experience. From the positive points about this game, I would say that the ambiance created by all the different details is simply standout impressive. Viewed on their own they're rather ordinary:
- combat is not as satisfying as like, say, Divinity Original Sin or XCOM
- story feels drawn-out and texts are overabundant
- charaterization-options are quite narrow for a game of this age and day
- graphics and animations don't impress even back in its release
But like an acquired taste, the game eventually grew on me. The most improtant thing is wether you like following the plot or not, because when you don't play close attention to the plot, it's very hard to get immersed. This mean that you need to read, alot. But when I did, the BGM and neon-lit streets of Hong Kong further drew me in. You meet many NPCs throughout the story and conversation is major part of the interaction between them and the player. It's like everyone has some sort of background and therefore will engage with the player in a certain way. Discovering the different maps felt like looking at different parts of a painting and when I finished the story I felt like having seen the whole canvas from different angles. There's even worth in replaying to see different playstyles leading to different outcomes and endings.
I really enjoyed Shadowrun with its many more oldschoolish nuances. You don't even loot in this game, nor do you do repetitive sidequests to stretch out playtime. All you do is distribute limited amounts of skillpoints (karma) and nuyen (money). How tranquil!

Review from Steam

This game is basically a variation the game Shadowrun Dragonfall, but in this version the futuristic setting is placed in Asia, namely Hong Kong. The game is a story-based tactical action-adventure with some RPG elements and lives through it's artistic level design and atmosphere. You have to read lots of texts to understand the story, so buy it only, if you enjoy reading books. Jakob Gu

Age Verification
To be able to see content under adult tag.