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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

Blade Runner Review

Mark_Cooke By:
Mark_Cooke
06/05/04
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE  
PLAYERS 1- 1 
PUBLISHER Westwood 
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE  
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
T Contains Animated Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes

What do these ratings mean?

"The flame that burns twice as bright, burns half as long."

Blade Runner -- an absolutely amazing movie. With visuals so strong and moral questions so deep, its no wonder it's a classic. Based on the book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Blade Runner was the epitome of science-fiction bliss. The film, 15 years old now, had amazing effects for its time, and had one of the greatest soundtracks to boot. Filled with voigt-kampff tests and rogue replicants, the game is true to its predecessor. It's amazing how similar it is, considering the amount of time that has passed since the film's initial release.

This time you don't take the role of Deckard, the role Harrison Ford played so well in the film. Instead, you're rookie Blade Runner Ray McCoy, the Blade Runner that gets no respect. Just like the movie, your job is to rid Earth of NEXUS-6 replicants. These replicants, genetically engineered human copies built by the Tyrell Corporation, are only legal off-planet. They're stronger and smarter than humans, the only thing they don't have is emotions. Or at least that's how it was supposed to be. After a few years the NEXUS-6 Replicants began to develop emotions - hate, love, envy. They become more unpredictable. It's up to you to retire (kill) them. However, whether you choose to do so is up to you. Help the replicants, or kill them, you can change the outcome of the game at any time.

Based in Los Angeles, 2019, rain pours down unrelentingly. The game takes almost every locale from the film and recreates it beautifully in pre-rendered splendor. Real-time lighting floods the game, and it looks absolutely great. Think of Resident Evil but much better and far more dramatic. As you move between different screens, instead of jumpy cuts, at times the camera will pan across and follow you to the next location. It's as if you have a whole film crew working just to make your game playing look great. The cinematic sequences also look good, but were not talking Oscar material.

The characters on the other hand, look somewhat silly. McCoy, your character, looks the best - but he is still fairly blocky and pixelated. The other characters, especially the less important ones, look extremely pixelated. Luckily, it's not that big of a deal, and since most of the camera angles are zoomed out pretty far, it doesn't cause much of a distraction.

There are over 100 different places to visit in the game. This may not seem like a lot, but it really creates a world to be explored. The atmosphere in this game is astounding. Just like the film, the alternate future portrayed is stunning and extremely disturbing. The thought of hardly any real animals left on the Earth, along with pollution and environmental damage so bad that the tainted rain never stops is an image most people wouldn't like to see happen - and that's exactly why this game is so interesting.

The story unravels as you explore the game collecting clues and retiring replicants, and, possibly humans. Depending on what you do, the game will end in different ways. There are some 10-odd endings, all different based on your choices. If this weren't enough, the characters act differently each time you play the game. Who knows, maybe the chef that was a replicant last time will be your friend this time. This adds incredible replay value, and makes the game fun for more than 1 run through - a feature sorely lacking in many other adventure games.

You may be wondering how this game could get any better. It does, and it's a great tribute to the film. Many of the original actors do voices for the game. With Sean Young reprising her role as Rachel and Brion James as Leon, these professional actors fix a huge problem that has plagued games - voice acting. For possibly the first time ever, a game has good voice acting that is sure to please even the most doubtful critic. Many music cuts from the movie are also included - a music track perfect for a science-fiction game. Ambient overtones coupled with sounds from the actual environment your in create some of the best sound effects and music in gaming.

This is one of the best adventure games out there, and it can't be missed. If you look past the pixelated sprites - which is actually quite trivial - you'll see a game filled with adventure, action, and a great story. Buy this game, now.

A- Revolution report card
  • + Great Environment
  • + Wonderful plot
  • + Great Voice Acting
  • + It's Blade Runner !
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