I always have certain concerns about PC games heading to consoles. They’re designed to be played right up close, so someone can analyze everything. These sorts of titles may be created with a keyboard and mouse in mind. They’re text-heavy affairs. All three points are ones that might cause concern when on a big screen in a living room. After spending hours with Shadowrun Trilogy on the PS5, which consists of Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun Dragonfall, and Shadowrun: Hong Kong, I was pleasantly surprised by how perfectly all three fit on the system.
As the name suggests, all three entries in this collection are Shadowrun games set in a futuristic, cyberpunk world that is filled with both technology and magic. People are as likely to encounter an elf or orc as they are a human being. Each installment features its own campaign set within the world. Players create a character using one of the five races (which also include dwarves and trolls) and can go with a certain “archetype” that acts as something of a class for their avatar. In each case, this Shadowrunner gets involved in events that might start out personal. Perhaps a former acquaintance is killed, making their dead man’s switch go off, and avenging them gets them an insurance payout. Maybe an estranged father gets in touch, but find the Hong Kong police are involved. There could be a heist gone wrong. In each case, there’s a domino effect that gradually increases the scale of things as time goes on.
Just in general, Shadowrun Trilogy looks good on a PS5. The UI for the PC version was solid and offered all the necessary details. This remains true for the games on consoles. It’s also especially easy to act in battles. All of the skills you might need to use are clearly displayed. Icons are descriptive. It’s easy to move on the field, so there’s no need to worry about inadvertently making a major tactical error. It is comfortable. Which, I suppose is telling about the games in general. They were so well-crafted to begin with that there’s an easy transition.
I was also incredibly impressed that, well, I could actually read everything in all three games in the PS5 version of Shadowrun Trilogy. Which is very reassuring, given what a text-heavy game it is. Not to mention the absence of voice acting to fall back on. The use of colors made everything quite clear. The font used is a very legible one. The size is adequate. Even when there is an accent color to call attention to certain text, it felt like it was very legible in every game. Given how often I have trouble even reading text in Switch titles in handheld or TV mode, it felt so reassuring for everything to be that crisp.
I was also so happy with how well Shadowrun Trilogy controls on the PS5. I mean, there’s no reason it shouldn’t, when you think about it. Exploring the isometric world is simple enough. Interacting with things only takes a click of a button. But I think I was most concerned about the strategic battles going into it. I was curious how well it would handle implementing certain skills and ensuring the fights would work well. But I didn’t need to be. Everything is so intuitive and works perfectly with the DualSense.
I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising that Shadowrun Trilogy does fit so well on the PS5. Still, I was delighted nonetheless after playing some of each entry. The fact that they all are so clear, with the UI and controls adapting so well, is heartening. It means that these classic RPGs fit perfectly and work well. Sure, a console version means you can’t go through the custom campaigns people made for the PC version. But there’s something so satisfying about Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun Dragonfall, and Shadowrun: Hong Kong being good-to-go on a rainy or over 100-degree summer day.
Shadowrun Trilogy is now available for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. All three of its games are also available on PCs. People can find Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun: Dragonfall on mobile devices as well.