Blade Runner is a huge name in the cyberpunk scene. Criminally underrepresented in the video game space, Nightdive Studios has taken it upon themselves to bring back the last attempt we had at a Blade Runner game.
Unfortunately this is an “Enhanced” edition in name only.
The original Blade Runner game was released back in October 1997. A point and click adventure game developed by Westwood studios, it was praised for its voxel visuals – a rarity at the time – and its strong narrative, the game garnered a positive reception from critics and gamers.
Putting you in the shoes of Ray Macoy, a rookie who’s set on hunting down a group of vicious replicants (bioengineered androids designed to mimic humans), you have to hunt down clues, dissect evidence, and interrogate witnesses.
The story itself is set in parallel with the 1982 film, intersecting with it at points. Which underlines the game’s lofty ambition for the time.
Fast forward to 2022 however and the usually reliable Nightdive Studios have struggled to justify bringing this game back from the pits of (relative) obscurity with this Switch port.
Our play through was littered with repeated crashes and whining audio glitches. We often found ourselves losing hours of progress due to poorly assigned auto save points – which often left us scared to interact with objects after multiple crashes.
Not ideal in a game where the core of the gameplay is interacting with evidence and characters.
Just as bad are the menus. You are equipped with a gadget called the kia, this keeps track of all your clues, evidence and potential suspects.
This should be an easy and simple to use part of the game, but it’s absolutely ruined by the clunky and confusing control scheme you use to navigate it.
It’s so bad and confusing, there’s even an ugly overlay with a button guide to help you actually work it out. And yes, we did need it throughout. It’s that poorly thought out and unintuitive.
We were also surprised at the standard of the visuals. Especially in portable play, areas look blurry and washed out. It feels like no real care has been put into bringing this ageing game onto modern platforms.
Overall Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition is a massive let down. Under the surface there’s a fun and interesting point and click adventure here – one with an ambitious story, interesting world and great characters.
Unfortunately this version is let down by annoying controls, weird audio glitches and multiple crashes – meaning this is hard to recommend unless you’re one of the biggest Blade Runner fans out there. And even then…