Trade in. Get paid. Go shopping.
Ship it to us for free.
We are unable to process your trade-in order.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Have a question?
Find answers in product info, Q&As, reviews
Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question.
Armed with your investigative skills and the tools of the Blade Runner trade, you'll be immersed in a world that lives and breathes around you with breakthrough lighting and visual effects. Your ability to survive will be put to the test.
Westwood Studios has been extremely vocal about how its adaptation of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner would revolutionize the adventure genre. Touting it as "the first real-time adventure game" and promising a "constantly changing plot," the designers have made numerous claims about how the game's characters and story would be unpredictable, creating an entirely new experience. Unfortunately, almost none of the claims are true. Blade Runner is an interesting mood piece, built upon some very detailed graphic work and an interesting premise - but somewhere along the production line, someone forgot to include a game.
The events of Blade Runner, the game, take place in November 2019, precisely the time of Blade Runner, the film. The storyline itself is strikingly similar: You assume the role of Ray McCoy, a Blade Runner who hunts down a scourge of replicants hiding out in Los Angeles. The leader of this gang is a philosophical, brooding sort named Clovis who wants to find a way to extend his factory-provided four-year life span and sulks around, pointlessly quoting William Blake and steadfastly protecting his "family," a motley assortment of other replicants. One of Blade Runner's "constantly changing plot" elements is that, with repeated playings, different characters will be replicants. And McCoy may or may not be a replicant himself (a plot element that was subtly hinted at in Scott's film), and every character seems to say "What about you, McCoy?" at some point or another.
The story itself is relatively static, though the course of events is slightly altered by the choices you make throughout. Most of the major events will take place no matter how you play, though the ending and the last few scenes of the game will be different (there are over a dozen different endings, but they are slight variations on three major themes). The designers have chosen a strange way to affect the plot - your behavior in the game actually affects your fate. Sympathize with the replicants, and you will turn out to be one. Kill 'em all, and you'll find commendations from your superiors at the end (a strange sort of anti-Calvinist fatalism that can send the mind reeling if pondered too long). The strange thing about Blade Runner is that there's no real way to lose, just as long as you finish the game. Although it's an interesting structure, it has its inherent problems. To justify the number of wildly different endings, the designers have tried to keep some elements of the story very vague for the bulk of the story. But even with these safeguards, there are always a number of confusing contradictions and loose ends no matter how the story winds up.
Despite the claims to the contrary, Blade Runner does not take place in real time (and even if it did, it wouldn't be the first - Broderbund's The Last Express came before it and actually lived up to the claim). The passage of time has no impact on the game; as in most adventure games, all events are triggered by key actions. If there's a bomb in a lab, detonation isn't an issue until you actually enter the room. If a character tells you to meet him somewhere in the game, he will immediately be at the agreed upon location and won't leave until you get there. The only actions that don't follow this trend are some random character locations, which aren't even really random. Some characters are either in one location or they aren't anywhere at all. Simply walking offscreen and returning a few times is all it takes to make them appear.
Technically the game is a mixed bag, combining well-rendered backgrounds with incredibly pixelated sprite-based characters. The ambient music fits comfortably with the moody environments, while the voice acting ranges from competent to downright uncomfortable (and the characters have a strange habit of repeating awkward gestures over and over again at inappropriate times).
Perhaps Blade Runner's biggest flaw, though, is its most glaring: It's simply not much of a game. There are only a few honest-to-goodness puzzles, and not very interesting ones at that. You get to assemble all sorts of clues and information, but, because of the automated nature of the game, it never comes into play. There's no real interface, just a cursor that indicates possible movement paths and changes color when you can interact with an object or character. Simply clicking on everything will take you from the opening scene to the end, with only one or two possible stumbling blocks along the way. The most interesting aspect of the gameplay is that you can use the tools of the Blade Runner trade - the Voigt-Kampff test ("you see a tortoise...") to interrogate suspected replicants and the Esper device to enhance photographic images. And while this could have led to an interesting "work is fun" structure, a la Spycraft, these elements aren't utilized enough. Finally, the game is only a few hours in length. The first run through the game's four CDs won't take even the most inept gamer more than a dozen hours, and subsequent plays will last less than a quarter of that.
The designers have managed to invoke the mood of the film, re-creating a neon-lit Los Angeles constantly bombarded by rain. The perennial Blade Runner images are here, including the winking woman in the Coca-Cola billboard and vehicles flying over the flaming smokestacks of the industrial outskirts. Unfortunately, most of what's interesting about the game is exactly what was interesting about the film, and not much was done to extend the concepts or explore them any further. Fans of the film will undoubtedly overlook the game's flaws and enjoy living the life of the Blade Runner, even if it only lasts a few hours. But those who are awaiting the next generation of adventure games are advised to keep waiting. --Ron Dulin
--Copyright ©1998 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. -- GameSpot Review
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The install was easy and straightforward. My thanks for giving me back one of the old classics!
Put on the Vangelis BR soundtrack, and you have some good times. The pixels stand up ok for an ancient game. It's got a good SciNoir feel to it. Have some drinks while playing, and you'll find yourself calling your old GFs from the 80's.
Rather than base the game entirely on the film they created a new character in the Blade Runner world to take on a host of bad guys who show some similarities to the replicants in the film.
The game recreates the atmosphere from the film extremely well down to the music, constant rain and general tech noir/cyberpunk feel. Also, they sprinkle in elements of the book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" to give the story a bit more flavor.
Blade Runner is not too tough and not too long, which is a good thing. You won't find endlessly frustrating puzzles and the pixel hunting is kept to a minimum.
The voice acting is a mixed bag. From a technical standpoint (clarity, editing, etc) it's top notch. As for the voice acting itself, the voice of the main character sounded way too "goody goody" for what's supposed to be a grim future sci-fi story.
Lastly, the graphics are gorgeous, but unfortunately they run at a fixed resolution and that resolution is pretty low. On a 15" monitor, which was standard fare when the game came out, it looks fine. On a 20" widescreen it's quite blocky and pixelated.
Is it worth the $10 it costs to buy this game these days? Absolutely. If you enjoy adventure games you will love this one.
Westwood Studios decided to take a stab at the Blade Runner franchise and make a game so true to the movie that you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. I think they succeeded in this. They do it in three ways: Plot or story structure, visuals and sound. All of which holds onto an important credo: be true to the source material.
The plot itself puts you in the Blade Runner world as a Rep Detec (a Blade Runner) on the hunt for a group fugitive replicants. Apparently this is all happening at the exact same time as the movie events as well (kinda like two different cases going on in the department). The mood and manner of the story is well done and they brought in a wealth of talent to do with voice acting, including a few from the original movie (Sean Young, Brion James, William Sanderson and more). Add some really nice cut scenes and you get a pretty theatrical experience. One "scene" where you walk out of your apartment balcony so see the city streets and skyline is almost worth playing the game alone.
The visuals are stunning for when the game was made. Actually they still are. The backgrounds are pre-rendered with some interaction here and there. While that sounds like it makes a rather static game it does mean when you walk into a familar Blade Runner movie location you REALLY feel it. Down to the little details the background visuals really inspire.
While the visuals are great I think what really makes the difference in this game is the sound. I think this game takes full advantage of having 32 channels of audio, and if it doesn't it sure does sound like it. Every location you go to is filled with environmental sounds. This more than anything else sucks you into the setting. Add to that the occasional cues from the Vangelis soundtrack (which mixes in perfectly by the way), PLUS the incredible voice acting, and the audio experience in breathtaking. Even with two speakers it's incredible. Add some surround sound and you will get lost in the game.
Okay that's all the good stuff about the game, but I did say the actual game play was merely average. I meant that. The game is incredibly static. While you can travel all over the place and see the beautiful sites and sounds (which is a good thing if you think about it) the game will not progress until you take a specific action or interview a specific person. You play a detective in the game, but since the game is so linear you really don't get a chance to stretch your detecting skills much.
Also while the backgrounds and static images or animations are incredible Westwood made a compromise and decided to reduce the resolution of the items that are more dynamic so more people with "average" systems at the time could enjoy the game. The end result is you are a very pixelated character and the characters you interact with are just as pixellated. While shading is not too bad on your pixelled self any time you compare with the backgrounds the difference is painfully obvious.
So the game had pixelled characters and VERY linear gameplay. That's not the reason to get it. The reason to buy Blade Runner is to get yourself immersed in the Blade Runner universe. This, more than anything else, is what the accomplishes in spades.