Blade Runner

From Westwood studios

Brief game description

You are the rookie Blade Runner, Ray McCoy. It is your job to find any replicants (reps) in the city and give them early retirement (kill them). Your first assignment is to track down some animal killers. You need to go to the scene of the crime, interview the owner of the shop and find any clues the killers left. Better watch your back, those reps are everywhere and they don't like Blade Runners.

The game is described as a real-time, 3-d action/adventure game. It features computer animated 3-d characters, that are beautifully rendered. Many of the locations in the game are from the movie Blade Runner, if you know the movie well, you'll know the locations. The time frame overlaps that of the movie as well, Deckard has visited the Tyrell building earlier the day that you interview Tyrell.

The game also has some in-built variations. One time, you may find hints that there were some Nexus 6 entertainment replicates built. The next time you try, those hints may not be present. Watch for such hints and don't go around shooting the humans, they lock you up for that.

Game play and hints

The game uses a fairly standard mouse interface where you click on an item or person to interact with it. Left-click McCoy to bring up your handheld computer, which has your collected clue database and the normal game functions. Right-click McCoy or press the space bar to put him in combat mode. Use your computer to track clues, and check after each upload to the mainframe to see if anything new is reported.

You should run the combat course until you are comfortable with your scores. You should be able to get close to the top of the score chart (the computer monitor just outside the combat course will show the scores). I like the fact that the gun has a bit of kick-back, so you need to aim between shots. Frustrating, but very realistic.

Setting the game on easy gives you infinite money, infinite ammo, and makes you harder to kill. Medium means you have to keep an eye on the money, you only have an infinite amount of the wimpy ammo, and you are easier to kill (while your opponents are harder to stop.) I'd assume that hard is worse, but I couldn't manage to kill the first rep when playing medium. All up, I am very pleased to see the different game levels, I am a definite wimp when it comes to needing perfect timing or death. I can get past the sequence with a lot of practice, but it isn't fun to die too often.

Gripes about the game

The lab in the police station is frustrating. I think that after act 2, you never see the lab guy in there again.

Warning, the computer requirements of this game are quite high. It probably won't run well on older machines.

Conclusion

Buy it if you are a Blade Runner fan. There is, of course, a bit of violence. There is some bad language. Because of the type of game it is, you can expect to die if you aren't sufficiently alert and quick. Also, some of the clues in crime scenes are tiny, so you'll have to be careful about that. In other words, it has both death and 'hunt-the-pixel' which tend to be disliked by some adventure game players. In this case though, I think that it is justified.

I'd highly recommend this game to anyone who wants a detective game, and doesn't mind real-time action sequences. If you aren't fond of real-time anything in your games, you better wait for this one to hit the bargain bins.

Order Blade Runner from Amazon.com

Some final thoughts on the game.

It's not often that you see something that works in two different media. Books don't necessarily translate well to movies. However, this has been a wonderful job in taking the film and making a playable and enjoyable game of it. I watched the movie soon after finishing the game and was amazed at how much of the feeling they managed to successfully translate into the game. The number of major locations that are duplicated from the movie is quite large.

Love that the worst Blade Runner in the combat course was Deckard with a score of 10. Once you run the course, your score should be better than his by a lot.

As a final note, in the credits, they give credit to the four actors who were in the movie as well as the game (Rachael, Tyrell, Chew and Sebastian were in both). Having voices you recognise from the movie definitely adds something to the game.

Blade Runner: The Director's Cut. The only version of the movie to watch.


Last update 21 March 1999

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This review is copyright © by Lynn J. Alford (more about the author). Send mail lynn.alford@deletethis.gmail.com.


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