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Shadowrun

Hands-on: Better than expected

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FACE-OFF
The debate over who's better between the PC and console FPS camps has raged for years, and so as Microsoft's first cross-platform Live game Shadowrun has expectedly been surrounded by a fair bit of controversy.

Mainly because the lightning-fast response times of the mouse and keyboard blatantly can't fly on the Joypad battlefield, and so tinkering with mouse movement speed is inevitable to make Shadowrun work. Ever battered by dumbed-down ports, PC gamers aren't happy, and they've got the knives out for the cross-platform deathmatcher.

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Much to our surprise, as slight-cynics ourselves, it looks like there's little to moan about for both 360 and PC sharpshooters. As expected mouse movement doesn't feel as smooth as your Counter-Strikes or Unreal Tournaments - and aiming as well seems to skip slightly - but the control-tinkering isn't enough to make Shadowrun feel clunky or sluggish on the PC. In fact, it works fantastically well.

Stuff like third-person sword combat naturally lends itself to the comfort of a joypad, and sniping to a mouse and keyboard, but through a mix of joypad auto-aiming and mouse cursor dithering Shadowrun somehow manages to hit that balancing sweet spot, and scoreboards stayed pretty evenly matched throughout our recent hands-on time.

You could even say that the PC edition doesn't really 'feel' like a PC game at all; with an Xbox 360 pad in hand and the new Games for Windows Live popping up friend events it's a similar experience between both PC and 360 versions of Shadowrun. It's also a testament to the balancing work that's gone into the game that the choice between of either control method comes down purely to personal preference, without PC users feeling tied down.

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