- Related Games:
- Blade Runner
Westwood’s 1997 Blade Runner adventure game is finally available for purchase again. The title has been out of print for decades, but GOG released it today, giving fans a chance to play one of the great adventure games of the 90s.
Blade Runner was one of the first games to extensively use motion-capture, and all the character animation was performed live and scanned into the game. This was an amazing feat for 1997, and it’s even more so when you know the hard work that went into making it possible. Each actor was scanned at 60 FPS, which was too taxing for computers of the time, so Westwood had to manually optimize each animation for the game one frame at a time.
Interestingly, instead of being a retelling of Blade Runner, or a prequel or sequel, this game occurs concurrently with the events of the movie. This means you’ll visit a lot of familiar areas like the Tyrell Pyramid and the LAPD skyscraper. The environments made especially for the game come from the art of Syd Mead, the concept artist for the movie. This means the locations from the movie and those exclusive to the game flow seamlessly.
This is also one of the first adventure games to feature extensive branching paths and randomization. In Blade Runner, there are fifteen individuals suspected of being a replicant. Of those 15, 2 are always replicants, but it randomizes the remaining 13. This means that each playthrough of the game is just a bit different.
Also adding to the randomized elements of the game is the AI system. Instead of being programmed to do the same thing every time, it gives NPCs certain goals they must accomplish. Since there are several ways to accomplish those goals, you can’t count on an NPC being in a certain place at a certain time. Because of these randomization factors, the QA team on the game reportedly had to play through Blade Runner 2,500 times to test each possible variation.
While it doesn’t receive the accolades that LucasArts titles do, Blade Runner was ahead of its time in a lot of aspects. The game is out on GOG with an MSRP of $9.99. However, if you act quick, you can get 10% off, which brings the game to $8.99.