Classic Blade Runner Game Is About To Get A Lot Easier To Play

Westwood’s Blade Runner point-and-click adventure from 1997 isn’t just a fantastic game in its own right, it’s also one of—if not the—finest adaptations in video game history. If you haven’t played it, maybe now’s a good time to start.

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For a very long time, it’s been unavailable to purchase and play on modern systems. Indeed the only way to play it at all was to use a workaround involving modified .exes and .iSO files, which is fine for the committed, but isn’t a feasible solution for the masses.

That’s now changing, as the team behind adventure game front-end Scummvm have announced that testing is now underway to get it working again. That means it’s already playable, albeit in a state where you’re going to run into (and should report) bugs.

A big part of the game’s success was that it was set parallel to the events of the original film, meaning it could explore a lot of the same themes (and even locations) in the same spirit, without being bound to the same characters (though some, like James Hong and Sean Young, reprise their roles) and plot.

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If you’ve got a copy, or can get hold of a copy of the game, there’s more info here on how to get started.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

JohnGreenArt
JohnGreenArt

I still have my set of CDs from 1997 and ripped the necessary files to play this on my Mac just earlier today, and damn it takes me back, as it’s been that long since I actually got to play it.

I only played for about a half hour, but it mostly seems to work fine. The voice audio during the intro cinematic was slightly out of sync, but I didn’t mess with any options, so I don’t know if there’s a specific setting in ScummVM that works best. Other than that, aside from playing full screen, none of the upscaling options/anti-aliasing seemed to have an effect. I’m guessing that might be because this game isn’t at all actually based on the actual SCUMM engine, so there are some things that aren’t going to work with it. I haven’t played any other non-SCUMM games with it that are supported, so I don’t know if the upscaling options work with those either. Or possibly that’s just functionality they haven’t implemented yet since it’s still in testing.

I never completed the game with a satisfying ending. I’m not even sure if the game has a truly “satisfying” ending. There’s like a dozen possible endings, some dependent on variables that differ when you start the game (characters may be replicants kin one playthrough, but not in another.)