Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition was released last week on Steam and GOG (opens in new tab), and expectations are high for a visual remake of arguably Westwood’s greatest game…well, at least in the PCG offices.Sadly the truth is it’s more of a disaster than a remake (opens in new tab).
Nightdive has been working on this for a while, although a big complication is that no one has been able to find the original source code (opens in new tab)Created by a group of volunteers in 2019, the .ScummVM version is sadly still the best way to play this groundbreaking game; this is a problem as the release of the enhanced version sees the original removed from GOG and merged with the new one tied together.
There is no OG version on Steam at all, but after receiving the enhanced version (currently in “mostly negative” reviews) Nightdive has now added it to the Steam version.
“The original Blade Runner Classic can now be played alongside the Enhanced Edition,” Written by Daniel Grayshon of Nightdive (opens in new tab). “There is also an option to play Blade Runner with some recovery content not used in the original game.”
The restored content was added by the ScummVM team and was not included in the enhanced version – another reason this “classic” version is a better version.
Grayshon added: “We’re looking at all your feedback on the game and we’re still working on our first official patch for the game, which will be out soon.”
The problems with Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition don’t stop there. The game has been denied classification on consoles in Australia and New Zealand, although it is apparently still available via Steam and GOG (Thanks, Gamesub (opens in new tab)).
“Sorry, we can’t release it on consoles in Australia, so you won’t find it there,” Nightdive engineer Edward850 wrote on Resetera. “it is […] Rejected by ACB for classification. ‘”
“We don’t know why, given the IARC process, we don’t actually get feedback. We think This is because the game mentions the exploitation of minors. “
There’s not much nuance to the automated IARC process, although Nightdive will be able to request a review of the ruling. Given that the game was originally released in Australia in the late ’90s (rated “M”), it’s especially confusing that the game has been tagged for 2022.
Given the issues Nightdive has faced with this title, classification battles may be low on the priority list. Hopefully it does justice to this classic adventure game, but this version is inferior to the original in every way. The most criminal thing is that in a game so special because of its atmosphere, it loses that atmosphere.
Nightdive is also currently working on a System Shock remake (opens in new tab), so it remains to be seen how much of the heavy lifting the enhanced version can do. It would be great to be able to recommend it someday, but in the meantime, we’ll just have to settle for the excellent original. (opens in new tab)