Blade Runner: When the correction turns out to be worse than the sonnet

Unlike many licensed games released in the 90s, Blade Runner It gained a lot of fans precisely because of its good adaptation. So when competent people at Nightdive Studios announced that they were working on a remaster, the hope of seeing a much better version of this classic grew. The problem is that the result is not pleasant.

Credit: Disclosure / Nightdive Studios

Newcomer to PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Blade Runner: Improved edition Promised several improvements such as control support, high resolution graphics, anti-aliasing and even subtitle correction. However, even with these changes, the number of complaints from those who have already tried the game is quite high.

Only 31% of gamers on Steam rated the title positively, some people guaranteed that this version was “improved” and many argued that it was lower than the one released in 1997. Quality – especially in non-interactive scenes – and passing bugs that did not exist in the original, many argue that it is better to stay with a game that was sold on GOG.

The detail is that if before Tuesday (22) it was possible to find the original version in the CD Projekt store, now the search returns only Blade Runner: Improved edition. What alleviates the situation is that it will still be handed over to those who buy the remaster (only if the purchase is made through GOG), but those who already had the original there (in my case) will not have the right to renew the remaster. – It can not be bad news either.

This is because among the many problems in the game, an excellent example can be seen in the video below. In it we have the main character Ray McCoy on the balcony of his apartment and if we stand there, listening to the fantastic theme of the movie for nine minutes should be, so be it. The problem is that the music suddenly stops after a thunderstorm, which ends with one of the game’s most memorable passages.

And as Alice O’Connor well noted from the Rock, Paper, Shotgun website, the wallpaper seems vague in this Improved edition This is something that can irritate most purists. The problem will be the approach to the images by the professionals of Nightdive Studios, because before the update was completed with a large part of the artefacts, many details were finally wasted.

“It alleviates the ubiquitous rain that will determine the weather in Los Angeles in 2019,” Alice said. “It also changes the nature of the materials, making the bricks opaque and rusty. This city must be based on the past, built on the greed of our world, gone wrong in the future, and part of that spirit will be lost here. “

In comparison Blade Runner: Improved edition Along with the original, the author still noticed a few differences that contributed to the deteriorating experience in the remaster. Skyscrapers that have been reduced and thus do not reflect the size of the city, the small number of puddles in the streets, the textures on the walls and which were blurred …

He admits that even during the original release it looked weird, the compression used on the graphics was very noticeable, but in his opinion, even this helped to give this world a little “texture”.

Credit: Disclosure / Nightdive Studios

But what prompted Nightdive Studios to commit such a sentence? The answer may lie in the many difficulties in the project. When the developer boasted a portfolio of excellent remasters, they imagined that by the end of 2020 they would be able to deliver this new version of the title created by Westwood Studios, which was only a year old, but did not.

As Nightdive professionals delve deeper into the project, they run into a number of unexpected obstacles, and the fact that they did not have access to the source code, which was lost when it was sold to Westwood Electronic Arts, only made matters worse. The solution was to use reverse engineering, which delayed its launch Blade Runner: Improved edition And the use of artificial intelligence to improve graphics, which opens up inconsistencies with the original.

Interestingly, this reverse engineering work was already done by the ScummVM people, which made it possible to release the original on GOG in 2019. Therefore, the easiest way would be to license this version for Nightdive Studios. But due to an open source agreement reached by a program created to save classic adventures, the developer was unable to release the game on consoles.

And failure remaster Blade Runner This is something that everyone should regret. While it should be noted for its portability to game consoles, it is a classic that deserves much better treatment.

Credit: Disclosure / Nightdive Studios

Not considered a simple adaptation of Ridley Scott’s film, as it put us in the place of a novice hunter on Android, the game managed to skillfully recreate the cyberpunk atmosphere of the feature film, in addition to being an adventure. Point and click is quite ambitious.

This was due to the uncertainty in each new game, because although our goal in them was always to identify and hunt for replicants, the targets were randomly defined when we started a new story. Because the story could be developed in several ways, he helped to immerse each character in a routine, which made our detective work something fascinating.

Given these features and the improved edition, which was lower than many expected, it is clear that it would be best to remake it. Blade Runner From scratch, maintain its basic features and modernize only the visual part. Unfortunately, this did not happen, and in addition to my version I bought on GOG, I prefer to leave a great comment I saw on Steam about this remaster: “This is what the original game looks like when you have your eyes full. Tears in the rain. “

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