Blade Runner

Moby ID: 341

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 86% (based on 39 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 172 ratings with 12 reviews)

Simplified cyberpunk

The Good
Blade Runner attempts to discard traditional adventure game puzzle-solving routine in favor of a more realistic gameplay approach, taking cues from Rise of the Dragon, a seminal adventure that was clearly a major influence here.

The game has bits of non-linearity here and there, introducing major decision points that lead to different endings as well as a general choice of attitude during interrogation. This is not a new concept: Pandora Directive had almost exactly the same (and better implemented) system. But at least Blade Runner sometimes gives you the possibility to just take out your gun and shoot a person. This creates some varied and interesting situations in some cases.

You are allowed to perform actions which are not required to finish the game (such as conducting Voight-Kampff tests on subjects of your choice, etc.). Investigation methods also include scanning pictures of crime scene and zooming in on suspiciously looking spots. I found this gameplay feature interesting and refreshingly realistic, though I wish it had more effect on the game.

Blade Runner is technically very impressive. The video sequences are top quality, with fluent, natural animations. Too bad the in-game character graphics don't reach this level by far. The background graphics, however, are stunning, with great views, nicely designed objects and overall impressive artwork.

The moody music fits the game nicely, and both the graphics and the music manage to reflect the dark, post-apocalyptic setting very well. It's raining all the time, neon signs flash, people in shabby clothes walk around on dirty streets, and flying machines cover the sky. One thing the game does almost impeccably is capture the atmosphere of the movie.

The Bad
The creators of the game claimed it was the first real-time adventure. The first part of the statement is clearly wrong, since Rise of the Dragon, with its comparable approach to time mechanics, was released much earlier. In any case, both games do not qualify for what was achieved by Last Express - true real-time gameplay with constant motion and events happening regardless of the player.

Character graphics are quite blurry and sorely lacking close-ups during dialogues, making gameplay curiously static and devoid of a component that apparently should be among the first priorities when designing a game based on a movie: cinematic direction. Watching characters wave hands constantly while talking without being able to see their faces properly is not particularly exciting. There are no subtitles, and often I simply couldn't hear what the characters were saying.

The story is confusing and too vague. It is a variation on the themes introduced in the movie, but that alone still doesn't turn it into a cohesive narrative. The main protagonist is rather distant, and events that are supposed to bring him closer to the understanding of the replicants' cause make little sense. The supporting cast members also lack charisma and appeal. Plot progression has little logic: you'll have to visit locations over and over again, hoping to trigger an event that would perhaps magically spawn another character in another location, allowing you to advance the plot, much like in Japanese adventures such as Snatcher.

The choice system is unclear as well. I finished the game two times and I still have no idea which actions triggered which ending. It was almost as if the game arbitrarily decided what ending I was going to receive. This fits together with the lack of direction in the plot; you feel as if you are wandering through a maze of situations, never able to understand much of what's going on.

The thing I disliked most in Blade Runner, however, is its lack of interactivity and general gameplay-based connection to its world. It is simply not very fulfilling as a game, and certainly less than satisfying as an adventure. There are no puzzles and little to replace them - no dialogue choices, potentially lethal situations, or anything that would require you to think and plan. The "smart cursor" has replaced all possible interactions: just click on anything that makes it green in any given scene and you'll be fine. Text descriptions and feedback are sorely missing as well. Some of these problems (though not all) were present in Rise of the Dragon as well, but seven years later they become much less forgivable.

The Bottom Line
Blade Runner succeeds in imitating the movie, pushing the right buttons to create atmosphere and compelling fans of the original material to eagerly overlook its gameplay deficiencies. However, those looking for a well-constructed, challenging adventure game should look elsewhere.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (181780) · 2014

A Good Game, but could have been SO much better...

The Good
Blade Runner the game is, at first glance, a wonder to behold. Particularly, if you're a fan of the 1982 movie starring Harrison Ford. Here is a game that plunks you into the steamy, gloomy world of Los Angeles 2019.

Visually speaking the game nails the look of the movie perfectly. The graphic artists were able to emulate the dark urban landscape created by Syd Mead and Ridley Scott in the original movie with aplomb.

The story isn't half-bad either, and somehow it is able to tip-toe around the continuity of the original movie without mussing it up. That's quite a feat!

To a lesser degree the replayability the game offers is a nice feature but unfortunately this is partly based on your own actions, as some of the alternative sequences and endings are dependent on random variables set at the start of a new game.

The Bad
I must agree with another reviewer on this site that remarks that the game lacks a "logical progression" to obstacles and challenges. When chasing a suspect down an alleyway that ends at a closed door, the game just expects you to just leave it at that. It isn't until you return to your character's apartment that the suspect finds you... HUH?!?

I would go one step further and say that all the other problems of logic this game has stem from one source. Perhaps the game designers wanted to keep their game interface simple, or perhaps they didn't want to bother with a level of interaction more complex. The interface is extremely dumbed-down. Talking to characters is a simple matter of point-and-click. You don't really choose the topic, your character "decides" for you. The options screen gives you the ability to alter your character's "mood" that can affect the outcome of your conversations, but the outcomes aren't very apparent and again don't really give you control over what your character really should be saying.

Same goes for collecting evidence. It's a simple point and click affair, as well as hit and miss. Sometimes you'll pick up a key piece of evidence that will unlock additional dialogue with a character. Other times you'll pick up evidence that SHOULD be relevant, but the characters are oblivious. An excellent example of this would be the various photos that one scans into the ESPER machine. One of the photos clearly shows a suspect that your character needs to meet, but try as you might you cannot get an acknowledgment of this from anyone.

Things like this will have you running around the game's Los Angeles landscape for hours in frustration because you honestly don't know what to do. There's no excuse for this either since at this point in history, adventure games had matured considerably.

As I've stated the game's visuals for its various locations and scene transitions are dead on when it comes to the movies. However, I wish Westwood would have future-proofed the graphics a little more. Characters are generated using something akin to Voxel technology, but while this might have been state-of-the-art in 1997, today they are an eyesore.

Audio is excellent with Vangelis' soundtrack reproduced faithfully here by Frank Klepacki. However voice work is spotty, even by the supposed A+ Hollywood Talent. Sean Young makes a brief "cameo" here as her character Rachael, and her reading sounds stiff and wooden as if she's merely reading the words off the script rather than acting. This was a huge disappointment.

The Bottom Line
As a veteran of adventure games I can say that Blade Runner is decent, if a bit short. Once you know your way through the plot you could probably beat it in less than three or four hours. First time around might take you five to ten hours.

If you're a fan of the source material, it's likely you can look past the games inherent problems. It has lots of great Blade Runner moments that will have fans smiling knowing full well the developers are giving them a wink and a nod.

For those who aren't familiar with the movie, you might have a tougher time appreciating this, and for good reason, since there are other games out there that are longer, more complex, and better designed.

Overall, Blade Runner is not a bad game by far. I can't help but wonder what kind of game it could have been if done properly, with a more complex interface, and a more fleshed out story line. Perhaps Blade Runner was just too ahead of its time for its own good, and could have benefited from today's technology.

I guess we'll never know...

Windows · by Anonymous Gamer (161) · 2005

Do Adventure Gamers Dream of Electric Sheep?

The Good
Blade Runner is probably one of the most misunderstood and undervalued science fiction films. It failed to generate big box office success in 1982, only to slowly become a cult classic, decades later. This point n' click, graphic adventure game, loosely based on the film, seems to have suffered the same fate. The film's dark, dystopian look and mood is wonderfully recreated in the game, which features amazing animation, graphics, music and sound effects that help to capture the look and feel of the feature film. The voice talents are, for the most part, equally impressive and the game takes great pains to avoid being trapped in linear game play. The game features several different possible endings, depending on the choices that you make at key points in the game. The game unfolds in a real time format and is set in the same time frame as the film, but shortly after its events begin to unfold, thus weaving in plenty of settings and characters that are both familiar and new.

The Bad
The game does feature several fast paced, arcade action sequences within its vast point n' click, adventure gaming format, which needed to mastered to win. While the control is smooth (allowing you to easily run, walk, pull out and aim your weapon) the sequences can be a bit tricky for traditional adventure gamers who might not excel in area of arcade action, may have to spend some quality time at the police shooting range. The philosophical-political themes in the film have been, slightly, watered down in the game as has the mature sexual content. Some of the technology needed to advance in the game, i.e. the ESPER photo-enhancement machine, will take some trial and error before you fully appreciate them. Last, but not least, while the game does not need any special 3D graphics card, it does need a pretty fast computer to work. Getting it to work on Windows XP or Vista may be a challenge.

The Bottom Line
Blade Runner is an amazing graphic adventure computer game, which like the film that it is based on, has become a cult classic. It helped to redefined what was thought to be possible and if you can find a computer that will run the game, then you are in for a real treat.

Windows · by ETJB (428) · 2010

Fantastic graphic adventure

The Good
Despite the fact that this game didn't quite live up to my expectations/the hype. I found this game to be very involving. The voxel technology used may look dated today but when this was released it was pretty nice looking. The best part about this game is how many different ways you could play the game which would lead to completely different endings. I played through this game several times and have seen 3 or four of the endings, but I had read there are more. The cutscenes are absolutely beautiful. Great game, wish more games would come out just like this with updated graphics and as an engrossing storyline.

The Bad
At times you were pixel hinting with your mouse cursor. At times, at least my first time playing through, I got lost and wasn't quite sure where to go and was roaming around with no direction. Pacing could have been a bit better.

The Bottom Line
A great adventure game based on the Blade Runner universe.

Windows · by gilgamex (120) · 2002

A member of my personal "Hall of Fame"

The Good
Of all the games I've played in my life, Blade Runner is one of the best. It has been a few years since I played it, but I remember watching the movie (again) afterwards. During the movie, as good as it was, I felt there was something missing. The "missing" pieces were things I had done in the game!

If you are familiar with the story, you know that McCoy's main mission is to determine who is a human and who is a replicated-human, or "Replicant". With each new game, the engine determines which of the characters are humans and which are replicants - even you. Some of those can change as you make decisions during gameplay - others will remain constant. This makes for a game that is changeable with every new start. I have been told that there are 13 different versions of the story in all and 4 or 5 possible endings. I, myself, played it three times and found different things each time. I loved the fact that it was replayable.

Gameplay is full of futuristic, detective-type investigation. You'll be searching crime scenes, analyzing data, taking photographs and analyzing them, uploading and downloading data from a mainframe computer as well as questioning suspects and witnesses. There are some shooting scenes that depend upon timing and aim. The difficulty of those scenes depends upon whether you set your game to Easy, Medium or Hard when you started.

While talking to people, McCoy's attitude will affect what questions can be asked as well as how they will answer. I mostly played the game using McCoy's nicer "attitude" but changing that can help or hinder you - possibly even get you killed!

Overall, the interface had almost no learning curve. I liked the handy Travel Map for jumping between known or visited locations.

The Bad
Objects can be a little hard to find in the scenes, but you learn fairly quickly to search very carefully to find everything.

I don't particularly like "timed" segments in games, but those in Blade Runner were necessary and I understood the reasoning behind them.

The Bottom Line
I consider Blade Runner to be one of "the greats". Others have said that the game was too short. I disagree. I thought the length was perfect, especially since you can play it multiple times. Playing it a second time was even more fun than the first, believe me! Don't pass up this title. It is a worthy addition to any game library.

Windows · by Jeanne (75941) · 2009

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.

Windows · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2007

Westwood dreams of electric sheep

The Good
Once upon a time, when Westwood was a serious developer and didn't just go around pimping it's C&C franchise all over the place, them crazy folks decided to do a game out of the seminal sci-fi movie of the 80's: Blade Runner... disaster insues! I thought, after all the idea sounds good on paper, but it's a tricky deal to do a successful game out of a movie, let alone do one about one based on one of the biggest visual masterpieces in motion picture history which also happens to be a textbook example of "what happens when you don't give a damn about screenwriting" that while adding to the movie's charisma by injecting it with even more mysticism and ambiguity, had the downside of making it's plot as cryptic as hell.

Anyway, the resulting quality of Blade Runner's videogame adaptation came thus as a surprise to me, and proved that Westwood still had some life in it. First of all it doesn't make the mistake of trying to adapt the movie per se, but instead takes the basic material and runs with it, creating a brand new story with new characters that runs parallel to the movie's plot. Yes, you are a Blade Runner that looks exactly like Harrison Ford, but you are not him and in fact you are investigating a completely different case that starts from a Replicant assault at a pet store and evolves from that point on.

Following the many wild interpretations of the movie's story, Westwood gave players the excellent choice to allow you to swing into any direction as far as the plot is concerned, and depending on how you play the game you can end up running from the law as a replicant exile yourself, or doing your work as a human Blade Runner and closing the case like a good boy, with dozens of variations inbetween all related to a series of random events, as well as the attitude and disposition you take when questioning the many npcs in the gameworld and finally with the different solutions you find to the problems at hand (do you waste time questioning a bum about where did an escapee replicant go, or do you just lunge at the nearby alley hoping you don't lose him?, etc.).

The gameplay might make the game look like a classic adventure game, but it makes the right choice of leaving puzzles aside to some extent, and instead focus on the detectivesque investigative procedures and the like were just observing a certain event, or using the ESPER and the Voigt-Kampff test checks the right flags to move the game in a certain direction. Not only does this match the mood and tone of the game, but also has the effect of making you feel as if it's you the one who's driving the action instead of being a collection of plot sequences related only by "use hammer on nail"-like exercises.

The production values for the game are dead on. A must really, as Blade Runner the movie was all about creating a visual and aureal "vibe" that could only be done with quality visuals and the unique Vangelis soundtrack. The game uses a collection of pre-rendered backgrounds and even looping fmv's to illustrate the gameworld (which brings to your monitor all those haunting neon reflections, murky streets and foggy landscapes) with voxel characters placed on top. The soundtrack and sfx are excellent, basing the entire work around Vangelis and complementing the gameworld perfectly.

The Bad
The absence of puzzles plays against the game from a difficulty standpoint, and ends up making it a tad too short and a tad too easy. Aside from that I can only point out at certain cheesy elements that seem slightly out of place like the Crystal Steele (god! Who came up with that name??) character who is your stereotypical "badass babe with a gun" character and which always sets the game out of it's tracks mood-wise whenever she appears on a scene. At least the inclusion of stuff right out of the novel makes up for those moments...

Anyway, on the technical side of things, I do agree that the voice acting could have been more polished and while I don't exactly hate the character graphics and their voxels as some people do, I do question the graphical need to use them in some situations, I mean, yes the game is loaded with cool fmv expository sequences, but there are some moments that could have benefited from this treatment and are played out simply in your static gamescreen. I mean, wouldn't some firefights be a tad more dramatic with some well directed fmvs? or how about the shocking moment were a replicant is caught in flames and falls through a window to her death down below?? Isn't THAT something worthy of making it into an fmv instead of simply watching it develop from a mile away in your standard 3rd person perspective view??

...And were the hell is Pris??? Why is it that some of the coolest characters of the movie appear only doing cameos or not at all????

The Bottom Line
Excellent adaptation of one of the most fantastic visual feasts of the silver screen that not only is a great game on it's own, filled with replayability, interesting concepts and good gameplay; but it also catches the vibe and feel of the movie (and quite a particular movie which just so happens to be ALL about vibe and feel) and delivers it to your monitor in perfect condition.

Besides, isn't this like almost the last non-C&C game to come out of Westwood? That's got to count for something

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2004

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.

Windows · by Les Nessman (265) · 2004

I loved it 6 years ago. I love it now.

The Good
You’re detective Ray McCoy in this adventure game which combines elements from Dick’s novel: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Scott’s Blade Runner. You’re a rep dect, a Blade Runner, in charge of tracking down replicants that have returned to Earth from the off-world colonies and retiring them.

The game starts with an investigation of animal slayings at Runciter’s, a shady animal dealer. You’ll have to collect evidence, interview suspects, scan and enhance pictures for clues. As the game progress, you’ll meet a wide cast of characters, explore the kipple infested remains of post-WWIII L.A., use your Voight-Kampf test to determine who’s human and use your sidearm to take care of those who aren’t.

One of this game’s major strengths is the replayability. You can set your mood to determine how you interact with people and the choices you make during the game really effect the game’s outcome. Do you shoot first or ask questions? Draw your gun to threaten suspects? Let replicants walk or retire them?

The story is amazing and I must disagree with the person who said that it’s the same story as the movie. This game has at least six ending and the movie only has two. Any similarity to the story is the result of the fact that it deals with similar themes. This game handles events, even ones concurrent with the movie, in a completely different manner.

Although this is an adventure game, I enjoyed the lack of any real puzzles and the emphasis on detection and character interaction. When combat was necessary, it was well done and challenging without being impossible. Sound and voice acting is extraordinary.

The Bad
Blade Runner has terrific graphics except for the ingame character graphics. The voxel technology is too pixilated as characters move toward the foreground and become larger. As I understand it, this was a compromise in order to have realistic character motion, but… ug.

There were elements of Blade Runner that I wish were more interactive. I think I am being hard on the game because it is so interactive, so realistic that I want more. I want to ask people where the police chief is when he isn’t around. I want to call people and not wait to be called. I don’t just want to talk to the main characters I want to talk to everyone.

The Bottom Line
One of the best examples of an adventure game. It doesn't live up to its "real time" claim, but it is exemplary in the way it uses character interaction and exploration rather than puzzle solving or maze running.

Windows · by Terrence Bosky (5397) · 2003

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?

The Good
In 1997, Westwood Studios, perhaps best known for the “Command and Conquer” franchise. Released Blade Runner. Based on the 1982 film by Ridley Scott, and the novel, “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep”. By prolific sci-fi writer Phillip K Dick. Whose work has also spawned(Among others.) the films: Imposter, The Minority Report, and more recently, 2006’s A Scanner Darkly. It may surprise fans of the game to learn that it not only has references from the film, but many from the novel as well. But is this enough to make for a good video game?

“Man Has Made His Match… Now It’s His Problem”-Blade Runner Tagline-

Set it Los Angeles in 2019, the world of Blade Runner, is a dark, anti-utopian society. Continued social and economical problems, have left the world in a decayed state. Much outside of LA, is just ashes, or “kipple“, as called in slang of Blade Runner. Furthermore most animals have either gone extinct or have been driven near the brink of extinction. Thus McCoy’s Dog, and Deckard’s Sheep in the novel. Having a real, non-electric animal is sort of a status symbol.

Enter the Tyrell Corporation. They produce androids or “replicants”. Mainly for use of slave labor for the colonization of other planets. Replicants are illegal on Terra, as they instigated a massacre of humans in the past. They are stronger, faster, and at least equal in intelligence to humans. Occasionally, they escape to the Earth. Enter the Blade Runner. A type of detective, that is trained specifically, to track down and “retire” the replicants.

Set around the same time as the film, you are Ray McCoy. And are fairly new to being a Blade Runner. Replicants have broken into a electric-animal shop, and killed the pseudo animals, as well as the human shop keep. Now it is your job to find the replicants and retire them.

The game world is modeled after that of the film and somewhat from the novel. Which is a nice touch. Many areas were re-created based exactly from the film. On one hand it is cool that the game is set around the time of the film, but that also causes some contradictions. And the cast of the film reprise their roles in the game. More on both of these later.

Future Noir

Blade Runner, is an adventure game, in the vein of “Police Quest”. You explore various areas, find clues, question witnesses, etc. Other things unique to the Blade Runner game include, being able to administer the Voigt-Kampff Test. It checks the emotional response of the test-taker, with questions such as; “What would you do if some one served you dog?” Many of the questions are from the film, and novel. The test tells the test administrator if the subject is or is not a replicant. If they are in fact a replicant you have the option of retiring the subject. This is one of the coolest aspects of gameplay. Unfortunately this is only used about twice.

The Esper Machine is another cool gadget from the film, that you get to play with in the game. When every you come across a photo you can use it in the Esper, and get a better look of the snap-shot. You can zoom in, pan the view, and see things you would have other wise missed. And even take pictures of items in the picture. You will use the Esper much more often, than say the Voigt-Kampff.

The police spinner is also at your disposal, it lets you drive or fly, anywhere in LA. You will need to backtrack at times. You also often must meet a requirement in the game in order to unlock new areas, knowing what that thing is can be trickier than one would like.

A police issue firearm is also at your disposal, a fairly powerful gun it is practically a hand cannon. You have the opportunity to upgrade it during the game, once you get paid that is.

The game is very open ended. You can go about most situations various ways. That in the end change the game slightly, and will determine what ending you receive. I am told from my sources that there are six. I am not entirely sure of this, as I was only able to see one, despite the fact that every time I played the game, I did different things. WTF?

“Blade Runner Blues” Or, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale”

The audio in Blade Runner is nearly perfect. With Vangelis’ awe-inspiring score. All the music from the film is here. As well as some new arrangements from Westwood. From “Blade Runner Blues” one of my favorites, to the retro sounding, “One More Kiss Dear”. As well as two other favorites of mine the main and ending titles from the score. (In fact the opening of the film Blade Runner, as well as its score, was plagiarized by Squaresoft, in Final Fantasy VII’s opening, I shit you not.)

The voiceovers are solid for the most part. After all many actors from the film reprise there role in the game. So Rachel is voiced by Sean Young. Edward James Olmos returns in his most enigmatic role as Gaff. And often arrives to impart some help or wisdom to McCoy just as he did for Deckard in the film. Tyrell is once more played superbly by Joe Turkel. Interestingly enough M. Emmet Walsh does NOT return as Bryant. Nor does the character appear in the game at all. Despite the fact that, with the game taking place and the same time as the film, it makes little sense that he is in the film and not the game.

The only place the audio really hiccups is with the voice work of the new characters. Such as McCoy and Crystal. They do a fair job not quite as well as the rest of the cast. On top of that, I have to agree with fellow Moby Gamer, Zovni, that Crystal is not a very good character.

The Graphics for the time were excellent. Today they are okay. I do give Westwood credit for the graphic style they chose. The pre rendered backdrops are sharp and perfectly done as if they are the very sets used in the film. The also got the lighting effects down, which is often neglected in games with pre-rendered graphics. This still looks amazing. However, the characters and inhabitants of the world of Blade Runner fair less well. They are made up of ultra-realistic sprites. That at a distance look incredibly real. Yet up close they are fuzzy and oft undistinguishable. Furthermore when the characters speak, they motion with their bodies. But these movements are often delayed and look off. For example when McCoy is at the elevator at his apartment, and tells it, “McCoy, 88 F.” The motions he makes with his hands are off by at least 20 seconds.

The Bad
“All these moments will be lost, like tears in rain.”-Batty, Blade Runner-

Here I will talk about the bad aspects of Blade Runner. First on my mind is the discrepancies caused by the game, in respect to the film and book. I mentioned the auspicious disappearance of Bryant earlier. This as it turns out is only one of many such discrepancies. Perhaps I am being a little anal but bare with me. ( I could be worse, and say anyone that does not like this film, is a complete fucking moron, but I won’t go there.) The film and the novel tell us that, there is only one or two Blade Runners per Police district yet in the game there are at least six Blade Runners, at one precinct. WTF?

The multiple paths for open ended gameplay looks good on paper. But fails in practice. As I played the game several times, making sure to take different paths, and while the game does change slightly and lead seemingly down a different path. But I received the same ending, that just makes no sense. (If any of my fellow Moby Gamers have solved this enigma, feel free to drop me a Private Message.)

There are also some cool moments, one comes to mind that was seemingly torn from the pages of the novel. In which McCoy is captured and grilled by two Blade Runners from another precinct. They accuse him of being a replicant and threaten to retire him. With your help McCoy must escape. This is a very cool sequence, but unfortunately, did not go anywhere in the sense that I got the same outcome.

These coupled with the fact that the game can be frustrating when you are unsure how to advance the game. And the plot gets strained later on. And before you solve the first case, you are bombarded by others.

The Bottom Line
“It too bad she won’t live,…then again who does?”-Gaff, Blade Runner-

Blade Runner as a film created Neo-Noir. And led to the advent of the term Cyberpunk. Upon which many games are based, and other films. Games like Shadow Run, and films like the Matrix all spawn in some way from the film Blade Runner, and the novels of Phillip K. Dick.

So if you enjoyed this game, check out the film. With a new DVD due later this year. And the Directors Cut available now. I promise, I won’t make fun of you if you have not yet seen the film, or if for some reason, it was not your cup of tea;)

I would also recommend the novel, “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?” As they film and the novel are in the end better than the game.

If you have seen the movie, and read the book, I would recommend playing the game, as it is nice trip through one of the most influential movies of all time. And most prolific American writers of the 20th century. You may also be interested in the book, “Future Noir: The Making Of Blade Runner”. By Paul M. Sammon.

Windows · by MasterMegid (723) · 2007

Another game that didn't live up to its potential.

The Good
Blade Runner was one of the most beautiful games I have seen in a while. I was shocked how good it was when I viewed the first crime scene. Plot was terrific, and most of the game had me at the edge of my seat wanting to see more. Overall the music was great and the puzzles had just the right difficulty. Voice acting could have been a little better, but I think that the people that did the acting did the best that they could. (I.E. it would have been better to have well known acting talent do the voiceovers.)

The Bad
....After saying all that what could be wrong? Well the problem is that once you bring up my excitement you have to be able to end the game in a way that leaves me feeling good, Blade Runner didn't do that. At the end the possible outcomes didn't please me at all.

 I haven’t seen all the endings yet but the ones that I saw were shocking.  I cant really explain why I was shocked without giving away the ending.  needless to say I didn't like it.  If you know of a few different ways to end the game email me, I would like to know what the other endings were like.

The Bottom Line
Great game, but it never lived up to my expectations.

Windows · by William Shawn McDonie (1131) · 2001

Movie ain't worthy remembering, this game suuuure is.

The Good
No matter how many times I watched the movie, I could never see anything so... delightful or special as its fans can, and can hardly find it interesting at all. But seeing Westwood Studios developing the game with same name, and movie team, you can only guess my expectations weren't too hight. But hey, it was an adventure, it was point-and-click, and it was using third-person perspective, what more could I possible have wanted? Well, after I got the game, it didn't take me long to realise that the answer is nothing. The game was so live, so full of gloomy and incredibly real atmosphere, breathed the feeling of a Noir and it's soundtrack was as compelling as none I've ever heard (I am not going to criticize Vangelis who is a great composer, but what Frank did of it is simply uncanny). This game featured some of the most amazing pre-rendered cinematics to date, some with the exact looking characters as the actors in the movie (Dr. Eldon Tyrell comes to mind quite first), and dramatic direction is on top for all of them. The action sequences are only too well implemented in this game which doesn't stray from anything but pure adventure genre. I am very much against any replayability level within games, but this one makes an exception with its thirteen different endings and all differences that happen each time you start the game anew. Learning curve doesn't take too long, though handling inventory and option may prove challenging at first, but once you realise it's as simple as it actually looked from the start, you catch that wave and surf rather easily. This is one adventure game that is worth remembering for all the things it offers, one game you could go on playing for ages without getting bored, just to enjoy the exploring of its world and all its details.

The Bad
No way, this game doesn't require any 3d graphic accelerator using Voxel technology, it has awesome soundtrack that should've been released as standalone, and it's story is immense as you'll never believe. It is sad people don't notice a jewel such as this and go and select all kinda mindless games such as Doom and Quake instead. Well... it keeps the world running, I s'ppose.

The Bottom Line
Blade Runner features:

  • a true mixture of sci-fi detective/mystery with noir feeling and lots of detective monologues
  • 3d dynamic locations, some of them looking identical to those in original movie
  • movie characters look identical as the real actors from the movie, and voice-cast is consisting of movie actors such as Brion James and Sean Young
  • over dozen different ending, some similar, some completely different, give this game a great boost for replayability
  • re-done Vangelis original movie soundtrack with lots of new tracks added, as real and gloomy as the atmosphere for the game is
  • your character can shift moods at your own will, resulting with different friends, foes, and troubles he gets in
  • the unique science fiction detective story that blends action, mistrust, and love that movie so lacked to present
  • lots of new characters are entangling the events in a dangerous web where your every move can bare a different result
  • be an honest police detective, or turn into merciless killer that cares for nothing
  • enjoy the exploration of the striptease bars... of course, only due to the case's sake
  • Windows · by MAT (240794) · 2012

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    Critic reviews added by Scaryfun, Veniceknight, Tim Janssen, Parf, Jeanne, jean-louis, Xoleras, Apogee IV, Plok, Patrick Bregger, Havoc Crow, jaXen, eradix, Karsa Orlong, Utritum, deepcut, garkham, Wizo, Trevor Harding, Alsy, Ryan DiGiorgi, kelmer44, RealityHacker, ti00rki, Rellni944, firefang9212.