Development studio Cliffhanger Productions today announced that Shadowrun Online is now available as an early access title through Steam. The game is a turn-based RPG set in the world of the Shadowrun tabletop game.
Shadowrun Online is a different game from Shadowrun Returns, the early Kickstarted video game project that was released to moderate success though Steam last summer. That game is not early access and has recently received a major update in the form of an expansion titled Shadowrun: Dragonfall.
Though Shadowrun Online is a different game, it too began as a Kickstarter project. Cliffhanger barely reached its funding goal for the project of $500,000 back in August 2012.
Shadowrun Online will feature similar turn-based combat to that seen in Shadowrun Returns. Players will take on the role of metahumans or humans who use their technological and magical powers to run the shadows for profit, glory, or their own personal reasons.
Unlike Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun Online will feature cooperative and player-versus-player gameplay. Cliffhanger is also promising a campaign that will change and evolve based on the collective actions of players. These features in some ways make Shadowrun Online a more ambitious project and help to explain why the title has been repeatedly delayed.
As an early access title, Shadowrun Online is far from complete. The game currently has only what developers are calling a "prequel" to the full game's campaign. The early access build offered today has only an "impression" of what Shadowrun Online's gameplay will be when complete, offering some PVP gameplay and four missions for players to try out. Though Cliffhanger states that the game is "mostly bug free," the studio is promising that new content, game elements, and fixes will be release every four to six weeks.
Earlier this month Cliffhanger posted an update to its Kickstarter page announcing today's release. Included in the announcement was an update video showing off Shadowrun Online in its current state and detailing what the studio believes the game will become in time: