Written by  :  Les Nessman (281)
Written on  :  Mar 22, 2004
Rating  :  2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars

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A great looking game with an absolutely clue-less storyline.

The Good

First of all, I should mention that I'm a fan of the movie Bladerunner, so my expectations were high for this game. Visually, Bladerunner (the game) is stunning. The sound effects and music are awe-inspiring. The game does a fantastic job of putting you in the world of the Bladerunners. The interface is well thought out. I especially enjoyed mucking around with Esper, the photo analyzer.

The Bad

As a Bladerunner, it is your job to hunt down some renegade replicants. However, the story completely fails as a detective story. Time and time again we are not allowed to act in ways that a detective (or even just a rational human being) would. Example Number 1: Our hero questions a witness, but has doubts about his truthfulness. He warns the witness that if he is caught lying, he'll pay him another visit. Later in the game, we find absolute proof the witness was lying. However, questioning the witness is no longer an option in the game. Example Number 2: Our hero is unable to follow a replicant he is chasing through a door. No attempt is made to break down the door, pick the lock, or find another entrance. Our hero simply stands there scratching his head, telling us the door is locked. Example Number 3: Our hero is bound and gagged in a hotel room by replicants. After finally breaking free of his constraints, he bursts through the door (this door poses no problem) to find himself in the hotel lobby. The hotel manager is at his desk, right beside the room our detective was held hostage in. Can we talk to the manager? Inform him we were just held hostage a few feet from him? Arrest the manager? No, none of the above. Conversation with the manager is not an option. Telling him that a cop was held hostage in the next room is apparently not important.

These are just a few examples of the way the story fails to progress logically. Instead of having the player make thoughtful choices, Bladerunner forces the player to move the mouse over every square inch of the screen in an attempt to find the magic "hotspot" where the golden key is concealed. Remember those old Sierra "Quest" games? Same sort of thing here.

The Bottom Line

Don't waste your time. The game is beautiful to behold and absolutely awe-inspiring at first, but the story does not progress logically. In the end, Bladerunner disappoints.