Shadowrun Chronicles - Boston Lockdown

  • + Co-Op Campaign

Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown Co-Op Review - Page 2

Player synergy extends to character advancement and customization, which occurs in-between missions in a colorful back alley which also functions as the lobby for pick-up team building. Successful missions award karma points that are spent on abilities in various talent trees. The first two trees, labeled Mind and Body, are sort of generic, aiding damage and survivability and providing additional ways to loot during missions. (My favorite loot ability is organ harvesting. Don't ask me why people in the dystopian mutant future have money hidden in their kidneys, but they do.)

All the other trees are based upon certain gear. So pistol skills are only useful when you are carrying a pistol, and rigging allows you summon drones to fight with your team, but only if you are carrying a remote control. You can only carry two pieces of offensive gear into each mission, and they can't be changed during a mission, so if you are regularly playing with the same group of friends, it makes sense to specialize in different trees to cover the most bases.

If a player is downed during a mission, it starts a timer, and you have just five turns to finish the mission or you lose. In some missions you'll be escorting the usual dead-weight NPCs, and if one those goes down the mission is immediately lost. But if you lose a mission you just go back to the hub and you can try again.

The game length is solid, with 32 main missions and about half as many optional side missions. For whatever reason, the first few missions, though, are only two-player co-op, and then starting around the sixth mission you can play four-player co-op. If you don't have enough live people to make up a party you can recruit from a pool of NPCs; the NPCs appear to automatically be level-balanced with the party, which is nice. When you are all done with the main missions, there's an endgame with repeatable missions.

The main missions show good variety, with some missions offering multiple paths to the end, or optional ways to bypass certain enemies if you keep your eyes open. And while most missions have you marching from a starting point to a goal, others require you to defined a location. In other cases, the mission must be completed in a limited number of turns. Even with this variety, though, the action can get a little stale after a while. In the end, it's all combat, and the combat tends to play out similarly in missions with the same types of enemies. That said, there's a decent variety in enemies, too.


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