#331 Blade Runner

Posted: 16th June 2021 by Jeroen in Games
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968th played so far

Genre: Adventure
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 1997
Developer: Westwood Studios
Publisher: Virgin Interactive

As I’m writing this, Cyberpunk 2077 has been released a few weeks ago and its first big patch failed to make any sort of dent in the bad reception of the game. It’s odd to watch from the sidelines – knowing their history with The Witcher, I figured I’d wait until the game had its expansions released, if any, and until any kinks were worked out.

The game draws from a lot of cyberpunk references and the Blade Runner movie is one of the big influences on the genre. Today’s game comes form the same source – not using the movie’s story for various reasons, but having a story that run parallel with that of the movie. The re-release made it to GoG a year and a half ago, a few months after I bought the discs, which makes the game a lot easier to play in a modern age. I wanted to wait to play it properly though and while a Covid-filled Christmas meant I didn’t get quite the time I wanted, I get to jump in now.

Our Thoughts

At its core,ย Blade Runner is a point and click game. It’s a genre that lends itself well to detective stories of various descriptions. Fahrenheit does a bunch of it and the recent Disco Elysium, despite its RPG elements, draws a lot on the same source as well. Blade Runner really seems like it loads up with these elements, from the many consequential and inconsequential details at crime scenes, gathering information from bystanders and even the high tech “enhancements” on analyzing pictures that’s taken from the movie. It’s a fiddly tool, where you have to find the exact position of what look like random pixels, but it’s quite cool when you find it and it starts to zoom in on a clue.

What adds a lot of tension to the game, as well as replayability, is that the game randomizes a bunch of elements at the start. It changes who are replicants and who are real as well as some other story details that change how some thigns play out. At the same time, there are several other detectives out there solving cases at the same time you are, which means you may not be around to do certain interrogations and checks. None of it completely changed the game for me so far, but it did feel like all of my investigations were more important because you couldn’t just rely on the flow of the game.

While the game has some action elements, I don’t feel like they were really that difficult on the default difficulty – none of them stood out as being that difficult. They just add that bit of tension to the proceedings.

Final Thoughts

The downside of the game’s age is that you have to do a lot of pixel hunting to find clues on some photographs and, with the old 3D prerendered style, it ends up with a lot of clicking of blobs of pixels that may or may not represent anything. Sadly, the downside of the rerelease is that we got what we did since the source art was lost and there’s little to be done. Still, with some hints on these bottlenecks, there’s a great game here to play further.