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A first look at the new Shadowrun coming to Kickstarter next month

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Shadowrun Returns developer Harebrained Schemes showed off a preview of the "new setting" for its new Shadowrun project, hinting that the next installment in the cyberpunk fantasy franchise will take place in Hong Kong.

"Here's a piece of look & feel concept art for our new setting," the developer wrote in an update on its Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter page. "We'll show how it translates into Shadowrun's isometric gameplay view when our Kickstarter launches in January!"

Harebrained Schemes teased earlier this month that it was returning to Kickstarter in January to raise money for a new, unspecified Shadowrun project. A new expansion or standalone project set in Hong Kong seems likely, since the developer surveyed Kickstarter backers in 2012 to ask which location they'd like to see explored in Shadowrun Returns. The winning city, Berlin, was featured in Shadowrun: Dragonfall, but Hong Kong came in a very close second.

Here's how Harebrained Schemes described the Shadowrun version of Hong Kong in 2012:

Hong Kong finds itself now as an independent city/state in 2050. Both ancient and modern Hong Kong seems to be at peace on the same island. It's corporate sponsored City Center rivals any in the world for splendor and corporate intrigue. All the megcorps are there as well as all smaller ones that love to think they can play with the big boys (and maybe even steal a secret or two). Yet, just outside the city center you will find ancient temples and shrines. Each one situated on the many dragon lines that cross the island. Dragon lines are mysterious and powerful paths of magic that the monks claim hold the secrets of the great dragons themselves. Protecting the monks and running the underworld are the mysterious syndicate called the Triads — gangs that control their island, protect their secret masters and really really hate the Yakuza.

Shadowrun Returns raised more than $1.8 million through a Kickstarter campaign in 2012, and was released on a variety of PC and mobile platforms in 2013. The developer released an expansion, Dragonfall, and the stand-alone Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut in 2014.

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