Blade Runner is an adventure game with an emphasis on detective work rather than on puzzles. There are very few "real" puzzles in the game, and the gameplay mainly consists of questioning suspects, gathering evidence, etc. There are also some action sequences, and throughout the game the protagonist has the ability to use his gun. The player's decisions can (and will) influence the outcome of the story, bringing the game to one of the six possible endings.


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I loved all the homages to the movie, the beautiful, pixilated, cyberpunk art design, and the hilarious dialogue. The moody environments, combined with a soundtrack that incorporates songs from the movie, really pull you into the blade runner universe. Rainy, neon streets, dingy cop offices, weird ass sewers with giant rats and fucked up sewer people -- just a delight walking through this game. And the storyline is engaging enough to keep you interested. Though, it's not perfect. I mean it's glitchy as fuck and completely unplayable at times. I nearly gave up on this game, but I'm glad I stuck through it. This is definitely a hidden gem, and as a blade runner fan, it scratched that cyberpunk itch perfectly.

What does Ryan Gosling have to do with this?

A great companion piece to the movie, fantastic story, lots of interesting 'choices-that-matter', very evocative art design and music. Shame that the open world sometimes hampers gameplay - it can be unclear where to go and what to do next sometimes, and this is frustrating.

An interesting experience, albeit too short. Replay value can only take it so far.

I also wish this strayed from the movie and tried to be its own thing. I did like the elements it took from the book, though.

For the French - https://lacritiquedumoment.wordpress.com/2024/01/11/blade-runner-avant-le-livre-et-apres-le-jeu/#bladerunnervg

A very intriguing reinterpretation of the point-and-click adventure genre.

The narrative unfolds almost concurrently with Scott's film; on one hand, this is an inconsequential factor since the protagonists do not cross paths. However, it allows for encounters with several characters; we can also collect some useless items for the game's progression that serve as Easter eggs.

The game was marketed as "the first major real-time adventure"; on one hand, it is true that it represents the initial foray into exploration games where certain events unfold in real-time. However, by the beginning of 1997, "The Last Express" had already been released. The characters were confined to the limited space of a train's compartments, and yet it was nevertheless an adventure game where the ticking clock held far more significance for the investigative work required of the player.

In "Blade Runner," this supposed real-time element translates simply into a set of characters who, at times, can be found in a certain location and, at other times, mysteriously disappear. To be honest, there is also the factor that other Blade Runners, on occasion, will share certain clues with us.
Throughout the game, as the player makes choices and discoveries, certain off-screen characters undergo their own missions and developments, but as players we never get the chance to really appreciate this since it doesn't really impact any kind of development: be it story wise, character wise, whatever.

This was the first aspect that left me mumbling, occasionally forcing me to backtrack without any better alternative. Another issue that I found problematic for a non-frustrating progression is that the player's character is a taciturn individual. Let me explaing my issue with this: in the game, one of the technologies commonly used by Blade Runners is the ESPER, a computer capable of analyzing photos by zooming in on details and displaying them from physically improbable perspectives. The first set of photos I got contained several crucial details for the continuation of the story, but I missed a couple of them. Consequently, I found myself wandering aimlessly, without understanding what I had overlooked, as there was not a single line of dialogue or clue to draw my attention to the matter.

Regarding exploration, fortunately, specific areas are not overly spacious, and there is no unpleasant pixel hunting. All collectible objects are quite conspicuous, with slightly thicker outlines, standing out from the rest of the environment, which appears more natural somehow. One thing that I did not like is the fact that there's not enough things to interact with. Some areas serve merely as passageways or corridors to reach the next zone. The downside is that this makes the experience overly minimalist. One of the joys of this genre lies in the ability to inspect the many objects on-site, allowing the PC to share his thoughts and memories with the player. I understand that, being inspired by the '82 movie, this may seem like a fitting choice given the film's tone. However, since many of the dialogues in this game, in my opinion, largely draw from a more lighthearted and less captivating noir style, this choice ends up being, I believe, more impoverishing rather than adequately minimalist

Nevertheless, the art direction and sound design make the entire city very captivating: Ray McCoy's (the protagonist) apartment, the police headquarters, the districts of Chinatown and the ones filled with shops dedicated to the sale of (both artificial and real) animals. Everything is highly evocative, and the use of slice animations (not voxels, contrary to what might be read or assumed) contributes significantly.

Gameplay wise, the game has some peculiarities that don't fully satisfy me. Firstly, a shooting component has been included: the bullets at your disposal are infinite (more powerful ones can be purchased in limited quantities), there's no need to reload, and they are primarily used to take down certain enemies. Additionally, you can use your gun to shoot certain objects like locks or a bomb. The gun is kind of essential when you are randomly attacked by replicants and, surprise, giant rats. How these rodents managed to survive and are never mentioned in the game (despite the common citizen treating animals reverentially) is a mystery. I also fail to comprehend how it's allowed to kill them in the first place since in its context it should be regarded as animal murder.
In any case, the need to include shooting in videogames here and there has become a bit tiresome for me. It was done tolerably in "Snatcher", but enough is enough.

Now we must delve into what, in my opinion, alongside the art direction and graphical rendering, is the true strength of the game: paranoia. It never gets as strong and as significant as in the movie, not in the slightest, but it's here as well

The "Blade Runner" presented here takes a concept from the book/movie and ingeniously adapts it to the gaming medium. Many of the characters interacted with may or may not be replicants, and this revelation is entirely random. There is no way to know before administering the Voight-Kampff test. Furthermore, the results are not necessarely trustworthy; in fact, in some cases we might get an uncertain outcome. A curious choice was allowing the player to choose from various personality styles. This is also where the paranoia-factor comes into play: the protagonist can behave trustingly and be accommodating, friendly to NPCs, or can be very tough, distrusting their answers and insisting they submit to the test to determine if they are androids or not. To avoid this, players must choose the "?" option provided by the developers, allowing them to decide what to ask to the NPCs. Several ideas are thus implemented in the game to convey that sense of insecurity caused by the impossibility of discerning whether the person in front of us is genuinely human or not, or even questioning our own humanity.

McCoy has many possibilities in light of this: he can decide whether to believe a subject claiming to be human, whether to trust the test results, and most importantly, determining what to do with that particular individual. Letting them escape, killing them, or taking them into custody are all viable options. Based on these choices (which can also be made at different points in the story in certain cases, depending on how one has behaved), players ultimately gain access to one of several main endings.

So, to summarize this review: well done, nice game, but fuck yall.