By Marty Mulrooney
My latest review for www.adventureclassicgaming.com is now live!
Blade Runner (1997, PC) is a point and click adventure game based on the classic 1982 science fiction film of the same name. Created by Westwood Studios, players took control of ‘Blade Runner’ Roy McCoy, hunting down escaped replicants in 2019 Los Angeles. For fans of the film and adventure gamers in general this is still a must-buy. I recommend hunting down a copy!
The graphics. The mood of the film has been captured perfectly. Voxel technology may have made the characters look a little blocky (although it meant that players didn’t need a 3D graphics accelerator), but the world itself was, and still is, a rain-soaked, neon-lit work of art.
The references made to the film. Many locations will be familiar to fans and lots of the original actors make cameo appearances, including Sean Young as Rachael, Brion James as Leon Kowalski, James Hong as Hannibal Chew, Joe Turkel as Eldon Tyrell, and William Sanderson as J.F. Sebastian. The music is also superb.
The Knowledge Integration System. This allows players to analyse clues collected as they play and look up information from various different sources. Coupled with the use of the iconic Voight-Kampff machine and the Esper Photo Analysis computer, this game offers a very authentic experience that feels true to the film.
The Automatic Conversation Mode. The player can choose in the settings whether to be Polite, Normal, Surly or Erratic (random choice of the prior 3 choices) when talking to NPCs. However, a fifth option actually exists: User Choice, allowing the player to adapt on the fly. This is the recommended setting, and its use actually makes the other settings redundant. It feels like Westwood were trying to be too clever here.
The sewer sections. The shooting mechanic works well to add action elements to certain scenes (such as chasing the cook near the beginning). However, when giant mutant rats start to pop up in the sewers towards the end of the game, it takes away from the experience and forces players to wrestle with tacked-on combat elements.
Installation size. This doesn’t apply nowadays, but I thought I would talk about it anyway because it makes me smile. Back when I first played this game, I had a huge (!) 6GB hard drive. Installing this game fully (no disk swapping required) took up a whopping 1.5GB! I remember deleting every other game I owned just to play this game. Luckily, a 150mb option was also available but I found the game wouldn’t run very well unless the data from all 4 CD-ROMS was installed to the hard drive.
You can read my full review of Blade Runner: The Game here: