Remember Shadowrun? No, not the tabletop RPG with incomprehensible rules. Nope, not the very good 1993 SNES game either. And no, not Shadowrun Returns. Rather, I’m talking about the oft-ignored, largely forgotten Xbox 360 multiplayer FPS. It wasn’t a very good competitive first-person shooter, but if you want to revisit halcyon days of 2007, now’s a good time, as Microsoft just fixed the game’s matchmaking services.
Shadowrun, originally a tabletop roleplaying game first published in 1989, has been adapted to video game form a few times, and 2007’s Xbox / Windows Vista release was certainly one of them: A multiplayer-only first-person shooter, it wandered far from its RPG origins. Shadowrun wasn’t terribly notable as a first-person shooter, and it didn’t necessarily win over any fans from the RPG. But the game did do something very cool for 2007: cross-platform play between Xbox Live and PC (using the dreaded Games for Windows service). Shadowrun has otherwise drifted into relative obscurity since then. But could it be back? A new update for classic Xbox 360 Call of Duty games fully broke multiplayer matchmaking recently, but a subsequent update has Shadowrun online play working better than ever.
As documented in a thread on Resetera, Shadowrun’s dedicated servers had been shuttered a year after release, leaving the game to rely on very slow, peer-to-peer matchmaking. And the small gathering of folks who were still playing Shadowrun ‘07 weren’t too pleased when updates to Call of Duty games on Xbox Live seemed to bork matchmaking entirely.
Thankfully, Microsoft quickly fixed the unpopular, 16-year-old game’s new technical snafus. After fans reached out to Microsoft, the publisher restored service on Xbox and PC and it’s apparently better than it was before. According to wwm0nkey on Resetera:
the game usd to fake search for servers which would take a while before putting you into a match, well whatever [Microsoft] did they eliminated that process fully and now Search > Match takes like 3 seconds where ti used to be about 30+.
Between Shadowrun and 360-era CoD games, now’s a good time to get some late aughts gaming nostalgia in. Dare we hope for more old online games to get refurbished? Hey Sony, let’s talk about Dust 514.