Westwood Studio’s Blade Runner is a real-time adventure that is to the game world today what the movie was for that industry 10 years ago: a sci-fi thrill ride that pushes industry standards to a new level.
Westwood has done an excellent job recreating the dark urban world of Los Angeles in 2019 on four CDs. Players will feel like they are inside the movie. There are over 100 interactive areas of the city you can find and explore. And, the game looks perfect – even better than in the movie – without any hardware acceleration required. Realistic fog, fire, shadows and an ever-present rain all look convincingly real as the game pulls you deeper into its many interwoven plots.
One of the most impressive features of the game is the characters your Blade Runner can interact with. They actually move around the city, talking with one another when you are not around. GIN reviewers played the game several times and found a different experience each time. Sometimes it was easy to find a character we wanted to talk with once we learned their favorite hangout spot, other times they stayed stubbornly away. Twice, we found the people we were looking for just shopping in the commercial district and quickly moved in for a chat.
The game’s designers say each of the 70 characters in the game have an artificial intelligence and unique goals. The characters try to accomplish these goals in your absence and might even try to manipulate players for their own ends. Some might attack you on sight, others can be convinced to act on your behalf with the right persuasion.
Combat in Blade Runner is also done in real time and is very exciting, since you rarely know when a gunfight is about to break out. You could just be walking home from a long day of investigating and a angry replicant (artificial human) armed with a butcher-knife might run out of the fog, hell bent on making you into the secret ingredient in his sludge soup. Using a mouse interface, players take aim and vanquish bad-guys, or anyone else who might get in the way. Very fast camera movements track players as they run down alleys chasing suspects, adding to the drama that made the movie so famous.
The real-time interface is also very unique. Characters in the game think and react at the same time you do, making the real-life experience even more realistic, and sometimes, down right scary.