June 4, 2007 - From a distance, Shadowrun seems like a total calamity. The intellectual property (IP) was ripped from its pen and paper, role-playing roots, affixed to a skeletal online arena shooter, and given the visual character of an early-90s game box. It gets worse when you consider Microsoft is using Shadowrun, a game peppered with superficial pockmarks, as a launch vehicle for its Vista-only Games for Windows Live service. The service is supposed to mimic what Xbox 360 users already enjoy on their consoles, but unfortunately GFWL in its current state is a terrifically bastardized variation of the excellent console version, something no money-savvy PC gamer should bother shelling out 50 bucks for. While you could still use the Xbox Live Silver for free, the privileges allowed under such an account level are painfully limiting. You need Gold level if you really want to play, and for that you need to spend 100 dollars on a meager gaming package and a subscription to an online service that feels more like a beta test than a full launch.