Game: Shadowrun: Dragonfall DC v2.0.11
Developer: Harebrained Schemes
The Shadowrun games are all standalone games that originated from a successful Kickstarter back in 2012. The director's cut of Shadowrun: Dragonfall for Android is the second in the series, and it puts you right in the thick of things early, beginning with your team (on a supposedly easy mission) outnumbered and in a tough fight to survive that sets the tone of the game immediately. Kicking off from that strong opening, the sci-fi cyberpunk story then branches into a fairly deep affair with a diverse cast of characters. You can choose to explore the backgrounds of your team members, which are interesting, and each one responds a little differently to your speech and style of leadership (usually someone will be complaining about something). The Shadowrun series is notable for having fantasy style characters (orcs, elves, etc) in a cyberpunk setting and your team is a mix of these elements, but in a nice bit of world-building, you'll also discover how these different races live in the world through seeing the slums of a futuristic Berlin, complete with various gangs and churches. Somewhat akin to The Witcher 3, there are some "no win" moral choices to make throughout the game, with a lot of paths to take in terms of completing missions. There are a few moments of cheesy technobabble mixed in, but the main story is written very well overall.
From a graphical standpoint, Dragonfall is a very good looking game. The cyberpunk setting is done very well, with most of the backgrounds oozing with detail, good lighting, and usually some subtle animations to keep your interest. The character portraits are well done during conversations and the character animation is solid in combat. On the negative, the character models themselves lose a little bit of detail on Android from the PC edition and, at least on a phone, the text comes across as very small so it is sometimes hard to read. All that graphical excellence comes with a price in the form of load times, as on older phones Dragonfall's different areas can take a full minute or two to load up. It plays well once the area loads up, but a newer device is recommended to avoid the extreme load times.
Audio-wise, the game sports a very good sci-fi Carpenter-esque soundtrack befitting the cyberpunk setting. It has some good smaller pieces and some set piece style tracks. The sound effects are done very well throughout the game as well, with blasts from a shotgun sounding appropriately meaty and the like. It also has a nice variety of noises for the various creature types you'll run into in the game. The negative here is simply that there's no voice acting.
With all the positives mentioned above, the strongest point of Dragonfall is it's gameplay. Dragonfall has very tight, diverse, and intense tactical combat, with challenging AI even on lower difficulty settings. You are encouraged to use the environment to your advantage, taking up flanking positions, getting behind cover, and finding things laying around the background to use against your opponents as a few of the options here. The game has a nice set of character classes and races with good balance and diversity between them all. There are many ways to go about solving problems and plenty of exploration and optional side stuff to do during the 20+ hour journey through the game. It is a deep, challenging, and rewarding experience. It also offers a lot of replay value with all the classes and options available to the player. The small negative here is that while the touchscreen interface is decent, it can be a pixel-hunting experience at times on a phone. Dragonfall is also a large game in terms of file size at 813 MB, so depending on your phone making space for it might be problematic. Overall though, Dragonfall is an excellent game that offers a strong story, graphics, and great tactical combat. For the current price of $2.99, if you like strategy RPGs, you'll get excellent value out of Dragonfall.
- Very good story.
- Solid soundtrack.
- Good replay value.
- Detailed backgrounds and good animation.
- Great tactical gameplay with a lot of options.
- Load times.
- No voice acting.
- Large download.
- Character models lack detail.
Device/OS used: Samsung Galaxy Note 5/Lollipop 5.1.1, Samsung Galaxy Note 2/Kitkat 4.4.2
Purchase at Google Play
Mobilism: Shadowrun: Dragonfall DC v2.0.11