Gaming reviews: Shadowrun Returns; Eternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroes; Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark

  • @MikePlantGC

Shadowrun Returns

Harebrained Holdings

Originally created as a hi-tech neo-noir alternative to Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun makes for perfect gaming fodder; a history of complicated publishing rights being the main culprit for why videogame releases have been so few. Shadowrun Returns is Jordan Weisman's attempt to remedy that, the table-top version's co-founder having successfully crowd-funded the venture via Kickstarter.

As you'd expect, this Shadowrun sticks closely to its source material, the isometric turn-based RPG – that owes much to last year's XCOM – akin to a simulation of the game's rulebook. Such mechanical inner workings are in keeping with the Blade Runner-esque environments seen as players embark upon maiden quest 'Dead Man's Switch' – the first in a planned series of episodic content. Nods to the early 1990s Super Nintendo classic – a cyborg waking up on a slab for one – will please fans, but the lack of any mid-mission game saving and a relatively mundane plot means that, despite early promise, there remains work to be done.

Michael Plant

Eternal Descent: Heavy Metal Heroes

Incendium Records

Created by comic artist and guitarist Llexi Leon, Eternal Descent started life as a virtual rock band. Their multimedia expansion now reaches mobile gaming with Heavy Metal Heroes, an endless brawler where your 'axe' can vanquish demons as you run a literal highway to hell. A cast of heavy rock legends turn up to assist, with the likes of Joe Satriani shredding trademark solos. Sluggish controls do hinder, but this is still a slick and enjoyable distraction.

Sam Gill

Stealth Inc: A Clone in the Dark

PS Vita
Curve Studios

Stealth and platform genres clash in Stealth Inc., as players guide a succession of goggle-clad clones through increasingly booby trapped stages. Patience, planning and split-second timing are all key to progression, in a game as demanding on the mind as the reflexes. You will die (often) but the generous checkpoint system should reduce frustration; while the sense of triumph from solving a particularly irksome level is ample reward for your painstaking endeavour.