Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39526)
Written on  :  Jun 19, 2007
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

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Whether or not you saw the movie, it doesn't matter

The Good

Based on the movie of the same name, you are “Rep-Detect” Ray McCoy who is hired by the Los Angeles Police Department to retire a series of replicants. The game is spread across five acts that has Ray searching a crime scene and gathering any evidence that tells him that murder was committed by reps. The first crime scene is Runciter's Animals where two men, believed to be reps, slaughtered birds and trashed the place.

Before I played this game, I saw the movie several times (the director's cut, not the 1982 original) in order to understand fully what it was about, but little did I know that the game is slightly different but still retains the plot. There are some similarities between the two mediums. The main one being that five of the actors who were cast in the movie lend their voice in the game. Also, during the game, Ray uses the ESPER machine to zoom in and pan around a 3D image to look for clues. Some of the locations that were in the movie (eg: Chinatown, Animoid Row) also feature in the game.

New characters are introduced. Some of them may help you, some of them will get annoyed at who you are. There are five modes that you can play the game at. Each mode will determine what a true Blade Runner you are. You can start a conversation with the characters, and pick any topic that you want to start with first as long as you play the game at “User's Choice” level. You can change modes in the game. This means that you can start off as a polite person but later in the game change into a more erratic or more aggressive person. The bottom line is whatever mode you are at will determine what McCoy says and does.

Blade Runner has several endings, some of them have minor adjustments. Which ending that you will view depends on what you do in the game such as shooting replicants or saving them (because you have a soft spot for them.) with all the critical decisions that you must make in the third act. Before you start a game, Blade Runner decides which characters are human or replicants. The game is replayable, mostly to see how many endings you can view and see which characters the game picks out as humans or replicants.

The game has no puzzles, which is good for people like me who are annoyed at solving them. There are some timed sequences, requiring you to either pursue a character quickly before you lose him or run away from an area where you are going to get killed. Blade Runner also has a number of cut-scenes, which usually shows a character talking to another character. More often than not, their conversations add more depth to the game, and you are anxious to see how these cut-scenes affect it. When you are at a location that requires you to turn corners, the game zooms in onto what is around it, and this is a technique not seen in any adventure game.

The voice acting is superb. As I mentioned earlier, some of the actors from the movie lend their voice for the game, and each play their respective characters. They include Sean Young, William Sanderson, Brion James, and James Hong. With the exception of Young and James, most of the actors have the same type of voice as their one in the movie. I could not recognize the rest of the voices as being the original.

The type of music in the game varies. When you are in McCoy's apartment, for instance, a jazz melody is played. But when you enter a scene that is likely to have more action in it than others, than heavy metal and techno music is heard. Some of the music is well composed. As for the sound, they are good. I like the chime that plays when McCoy picks up something.

The Bad

Nearly all the characters are a bit blocky when they walk toward the player.

You have the opportunity to engage in target practice which occurs in the police station. I found that the targets never come out on a state-of-the-art system, meaning that you would never achieve a better score.

The Bottom Line

Gamers who have not watched the movie need not worry. Blade Runner is a complete rehash of the story. It introduces new characters, locations, and objectives, and there are several modes to play the game at. These modes determine what personality Rep-Detect McCoy has, what he does, and what he says. In addition, there are several endings, and the ending that you will view will depend on the actions that you take. The game decides at the very beginning which suspects are human and which suspects are replicants. Because of this, the game can be played over and over again.

There are some similarities. One location is taken straight out of the movie, and some characters return, voiced by the same actors from the movie. The cut-scenes, voice acting, and sound effects are excellent. The game is suitable for people 15 or over because there is a fair dose of nudity and violence, but those who were entertained watching the movie will be entertained playing the game.