Sometimes you need to get down and dirty in a city where people are struggling, and the job market is a little medieval. The Shadowrun Trilogy does a good job of satiating that need, but even with three campaigns in the neon-lit dusky cities, it’s hard to shake that sweet smell of smoke and car fumes once it’s all done.
So, if you’ve burned through the cyberpunk fantasy adventures of the Shadowrun: Returns, Shadowrun: Dragonfall, and Shadowrun: Hong Kong, here are a few more games you could fully jack in to.
9 Citizen Sleeper
A working-class android makes a living among the slums and shipyards of an interplanetary space station. The street clinics, gang members and hazy stalls of exotic fried goods make up the floating city and, just like Shadowrun, you must navigate interactions and jobs with these people to survive.
Trade your sidearm for a socket-wrench and fix ships or collect debts in this tabletop RPG where choices have an impact. Make the right choices, or the right friends, and maybe your unwanted droid will find a slice of happiness and a place to call its own.
8 Cyberpunk 2077
It might seem like a no-brainer, but the recommendation is sound. Instead of a shadowrunner, you play as a merc, a different name but a gun-for-hire just the same. In Cyberpunk's Night City, everyone is just trying to get by and your character has found that street fights, bounty hunting and crime pay well.
Adapt to the cutthroat society of Night City as a low-level thug making friends, enemies and hard choices along the way. An FPS-RPG with a shoot-first, ask questions later attitude; the dirty, fluorescent aesthetic has never been so grimy or rendered in such detail.
7 Disco Elysium
If the diplomacy and dealmaking in a grimy, morally-grey city are what grabbed you in Shadowrun, then try Disco Elysium. Good people in difficult situations, illicit substances and a thick layer of dust, Revachol is a city without law enforcement, and your detective has come to try to change that.
In Revachol, your character build has never been so impactful, with each attribute point riding the line between the success and failure of a quest. The taut realism of Disco Elysium will scratch that itch of role-playing in a derelict city, and, thankfully it has a killer sense of humour.
6 XCOM 2
If nail-biting battles with monsters and machine guns are your style, try XCOM 2. In this isometric RPG-Strategy, the aliens have taken over the earth, with robots and alien hybrids patrolling the streets.
You play as the commander of a revolutionary group of soldiers and scientists, as you capture resources and fight back against the extraterrestrial regime. To succeed, you'll need to guide your teams with military precision and careful planning; just know that in XCOM, even the best plans go awry, and with permadeath you’ll no doubt lose a few good soldiers along the way.
5 Fire Emblem: Three Houses
This may seem like a strange choice, until you realise that both Three Houses and Shadowrun have dragons. Add this to the fact that Three Houses is also a turn-based strategy in a place filled with battlefields where the dust never settles and the bodies are left where they fall, and you might see the comparisons a bit clearer.
The fantasy in Fire Emblem may be heavier than it is in Shadowrun, but the life-or-death strategy keeps the fights engaging, your stomach muscles tensed, and your eyes twitching. And if you’re looking to get to know your units between battles, the game’s support system will do just that.
4 Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The unwilling protagonist of Deus Ex: Human Revolution,, Adam Jensen, has been outfitted with robotic limbs and augmented to the point of barely being more man than machine.
Jensen is a high-tech Robocop in a cyberpunk immersive sim full of terrorists and corporate greed aplenty. If the corporate espionage and sabotage in Shadowrun were what got your heart beating, Deus Ex will do the same and then overclock it. The hacking, augmentations, and arsenal of futuristic guns are all great fun, and running around arm blades is a little like if Shadowrun: Dragonfall's Glory had her own spin-off.
Human Revolution is often recommended as the best place to start with the Deus Ex series, so if you’re looking for another grim world of hackers and cyborgs to dive into, give Human Revolution a try.
3 Divinity: Original Sin 2
Putting aside the genre differences and gameplay similarities, there’s plenty of overlap between Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Shadowrun. You’re dropped into a dingy place with hardly a friend nor a cent to your name, and you’ve got choices to make and monsters to kill.
The denizens of the Shadowrun universe, the vampires, banshees and ghouls, are at home in the fantasy world of Rivellon and if that doesn't convince you, know that Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a shining star of the genre. Few lovers of Shadowrun will turn down its bandit-trodden roads, princely lizards and glorious call to adventure.
2 Wasteland 3
Trade-in your cyberware and body mods for improvised armour made from scrap and sawblades in post-apocalyptic Colorado. A place overrun with marauders, bandits and insectoid robots; Wasteland 3 is like Shadowrun, if it was set out in the wilds of the American southwest and not in the built-up cities of Seattle, Berlin, or Hong Kong.
In this isometric RPG strategy, firefights are your bread and butter, and you’ll have to make deals with warlords, coordinate ambushes and scavenge what you can. Life in the wasteland ain't easy, but maybe your team will bring some law ‘round these parts.
Make deliveries by hovercar and meet the people of a sci-fi city in the night sky. Cloudpunk is what you'd get if the original Blade Runner film had more scenes driving among the neon-bathed buildings and walking in the rainy gloom. That and a fun tongue-in-cheek sense of humour with full voice acting.
The actual deliveries quickly take a backseat as you stumble onto situations like a tower full of corporate androids named Anderson, and the death of their creator and CEO. Watch as the city’s structural engineers burn incense and cross their fingers as the city starts to crumble. Cloudpunk: come for the cyber-highways, stay for the android detective who talks in third-person.
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