Home Entertainment Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition Cinematic Update – Nightdive Studios

Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition Cinematic Update – Nightdive Studios

by Bill

Nightdive Studios
Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition is currently in development.

Blade Runner is a 1997 point-and-click adventure game developed by Westwood Studios and published by Virgin Interactive for Microsoft Windows. The game is not a direct adaptation of the 1982 Ridley Scott film Blade Runner, but is instead a “sidequel”, telling an original story, which runs parallel to the film’s plot, occasionally intersecting with it.

Set in 2019 Los Angeles, the game tells the story of Ray McCoy, an elite detective charged with hunting down a group of dangerous replicants (bioengineered androids designed to look and act like humans). Although several of the film’s characters appear in the game, with some of the original actors returning to voice them, the film’s protagonist, Rick Deckard, does not appear in a speaking role. Instead, he is referred to on multiple occasions, is seen several times, and his activities as depicted in the film are mentioned. Other parallels with the film include the reproduction of several prominent locations, as well as scenes and dialogue closely modelled on the original. The game also features extracts from the film’s soundtrack.

Blade Runner was advertised as a “real-time 3D adventure game,” since it was one of the first adventure games to use both 3D character rendering and a game world which progressed in real-time (as opposed to waiting for the player’s actions). Unlike many games of its time, which used polygon-based renderers exploiting 3D accelerators, Westwood opted for their own software-based renderer using voxel technology.

The game received generally positive reviews, and was a commercial success, selling over one million units worldwide. It went on to win the Interactive Achievement Award for “Computer Adventure Game of the Year,” and was nominated for “Best Adventure Game” by PC Gamer. Virgin Interactive wanted Westwood to make a sequel, but it was thought the cost of production would make the game commercially unviable, and the idea was scrapped. For many years, it remained trapped in legal and intellectual property entanglement; preventing a re-release on digital storefronts, until it finally arrived on GOG.com in December 2019. Night Dive Studios and Alcon Entertainment are developing an Enhanced Edition of the game for release on modern computers and consoles in 2020, but was later delayed to an unspecified date.


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