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Freeze Frame
What Dishonored Stole from Shadowrun
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 26, 2012   |   Episode 89 (Show Archive)  


Old timey Hollywood has done it all before!
Like millions of other deal-hungry consumers, I braved the climates to take part in Black Friday. Every year I convince myself that I'm not going to succumb to the one-day bargains, but secretly I know I'm weak. There's always some impulse purchase that sends me to the store at some ungodly hour just to save a few bucks. I may not be crazy enough to camp outside Best Buy to be the first in line, but I'll do just about anything else to save 60% off today's hottest games.

This year it was Dishonored that sent me racing to the store. Released the same week as XCOM: Enemy Unknown, I didn't have a chance to review Bethesda's top rated stealth/action game. Seeing it marked down to $25, I knew this was my chance to see what all the fuss is about. It's one of the few games I have left to play before deciding on my list of the top10 games of the year.

I walked out of the store, game in hand. There was no waiting in long lines, minimal pushing and no sign of the paramedics to be seen. But just as it felt like I had dodged a bullet, I looked down at the box and was saw a familiar sight. I was frozen with fear. There was something about that logo I didn't like. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but every time I looked at the logo I heard ominous organ music in my head.

I raced home and ripped my game collection apart. What could it possibly be that triggered this sudden anxiety? Where are these feelings coming from? And then I found it. Mixed in amongst my Xbox 360 games was FASA Studio's seven year old first-person shooter, Shadowrun. To my horror, I discovered that both of these games have very similar logos.

Trumpeted as the Xbox 360's most revolutionary game by lead designer Mitch Gitelman, Shadowrun took a beloved pen-and-paper board game and turned it into a mediocre online-only first-person shooter.

It's easy to imagine the amazing adventures that could take place in future Seattle!
It offered then bare minimum content at full price, leading many critics to scoff at the terrible value. To make matters worse, Mitch defended the pricing by bullying the press and making unfounded accusations. The whole thing left a terrible taste in my mouth.

For the past five years I have successfully managed to avoid thinking about Shadowrun. With dozens of better online first-person shooters on the market (all with single-player campaigns), there's little to no reason why anybody would continue playing Shadowrun. Perhaps even more damaging is the bad name it gave the otherwise solid role-playing series. Gone are the days of hackers fighting ogres in futuristic Seattle, today's Shadowrun is little more than Mitch Gitelman being an asshole.

Now I don't want to play Dishonored. I fear that every time my body gets ripped apart by flesh-eating rats, I will curse the name Mitch Gitelman. Whenever my blink ability comes up short, I will yell at the man who ran FASA into the ground. Haven't you done enough damage, Mitch?


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