Blade Runner

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JaySevenZero
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Blade Runner

Post by JaySevenZero » December 24th, 2016, 10:56 am

Here is where you can leave your thoughts regarding Blade Runner for possible inclusion in the podcast when it's recorded.

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Whippledip
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Re: Blade Runner

Post by Whippledip » June 16th, 2017, 7:22 am

People, quite rightly, regard the LucasArts adventures as the greatest of the adventure game genre, but I maintain that this was the real pinnacle.

I have an original CD copy of this somewhere, that my brother got from a friend of his a long time ago and never returned. I'd never seen the film at the time, even though I was aware of what it was. But the first time I loaded up and started to play I was stunned at how good it actually looked. And you know what? It still holds up. It certainly helps that they had one of the best looking films of all time to use as source material, and Westwood wisely didn't try and change anything up. The images of flying through neo-tokyo in the spinner with those giant tv screens and the spectre of the Tyrell corporation pyramid looming over the city is just as effective on your 4:3 screen as it is watching the blu-ray today. While the voxel (I think they are anyway) character models didn't age as well, the actual art design and production, even on a low resolution, translates really well to todays graphical expectations that still makes it wonderful to look at.

In relation to that, something that is kind of forgotten about adventure is games is the mise en scene of the areas you have to explore. Grim Fandango used this well, but Blade Runner used it better. True to both games noir-film backgrounds, there are lots of strong contrasting light sources and extreme verticality, the blend of accessibility in terms of gameplay, and traditional cinematography is really impressive. Just about any screenshot you find of this game looks amazing and is very visually interesting to look at. There are times where it forsakes cinematic quality for gameplay purposes, but those situations are definitely in the minority. What I mean by verticality is the way the cameras frame the buildings in all the streetscape scenes. Most of them have the "camera", as it were, looking up from a low angle, with the buildings dominating the background, highlighting the urban density of the city, and the sheer oppressive nature of a giant block of steel or concrete towering over your playing character. One of Blade Runner's themes is all about the nature of humanity and how it defines you, and what better way to highlight the lonely nature of this particular characters life, not just in his relationships, but also the smaller details like his job and his living situation, by placing him in a huge, claustrophobic and monolithic city as the backdrop.

In terms of actual gameplay, it's one of the few games where not only choice, but the simple act of time passing, can change the outcome of the game. NPC's can follow their own schedule meaning your chance interaction with them can affect what happens next. While some people might find the inability to control those variables frustrating, I like to think that it only enhances the gameplay experience, as one of my big problems with adventure games is that the replayability of them is pretty much nonexistent as they play out the same way every time. I also like how failure is a valid option of progressing the story, it's possible to stuff up something by letting a character get away because of your terrible shooting accuracy, but it still affects how a future puzzle or story beat plays out. The way it incorporates ideas like the Voight-Kampff and the Esper is also a nice touch, as it serves a pretty integral part of the gameplay, while staying true to the film. The VK test in that it's another example of being allowed to fail in order to progress, and the Esper, even though it get too close to the "ENHANCE!" trope of CSI and Law and Order, feels natural in this hyper advanced world.

Blade Runner also avoids the "adventure game logic" problem by playing out as a detective game, rather an inventory puzzle game, so it relies on typical finding inconsistencies and dialogue choice rather than arcane and bizarre inventory combinations.

The music in the game, much like the visuals, correctly doesn't stray far from the original source material, even going so far to completely include parts of Vangelis' score while standing on your balcony apartment. Once again, the Vangelis score is so revered and remembered for a reason that I'm glad they didn't stray too far from it.

As for the story, my memories of it are relatively hazy. I don't recall any horrid voice acting (featuring Jeff Garlin!)or anything outrageous regarding it's story beats. But I'll need to play it again to make some kind of judgement there. I imagine that there are people who's main criticism is that plays too close to the movie, which I think is a valid complaint, as some the characters' inclusion feels a little too much like service to the fans without really advancing the plot in a meaningful way, or including original ideas who's influences from the film are so clear and obvious that it asks too much of the player to forget major portions of the movie. Personally this didn't affect my enjoyment, as if you're to ape completely from the source material, Blade Runner is pretty bloody good material to do it with.

If there is one game that needs a remaster, or even a working version on GOG, this is it. Much like the film, it's an underappreciated gem of it's genre that needs to be exposed to a broader audience. I feel most people who end up playing it today will regard it with the reverence that it deserves.

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Bloody Initiate
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Re: Blade Runner

Post by Bloody Initiate » August 9th, 2017, 4:37 am

I don't remember much about this game. I believe I played the game before seeing the movie, or perhaps we watched the movie whilst playing the game. I would have played it not so long after it came out, so when I was 12 or 13 perhaps. It was so long ago, and my memory of it so limited, I didn't even think to post anything about it until I was stuck in a hotel for work.


I remember the game's replicant story line - as we did it - parallels the movie's. There is a lot of detective work, a powerful physical replicant to be overcome, and a scholarly warrior-poet-type replicant behind him.

What I don't remember, because we only completed the game once each, was as many different endings as wikipedia tells me about. I imagine some of those endings required more proficiency at games than I possessed, because I was new enough to games that simply beating them was a somewhat rare accomplishment. I don't remember all the stuff in the middle of the game. I mostly remember the beginning and end.

The important things I remember are:
-It showed us what could be done in terms of graphics, presentation, game length, and complexity. We only had a family PC, but this game looked and sounded incredible. It lasted awhile, and it had a lot of different things you could do. We had no idea what games were capable of in my family, and with each new game we learned more. This game taught us a lot.
-I didn't know how many endings there were, but I knew there were more than one. I knew my decisions, the time I took to make them, and when I took certain actions could change the game.
-The voice work was memorable. I've never forgotten Sadik or Clovis, and I remember how they affected the story with their dramatic personalities. I don't remember a lot of the supporting characters except that they were effective at creating the world.
-I remember feeling immersed in the world. This is something the movie does so well that it's important the game did it too. You can almost smell it. In some ways the game looks better than the movie because it can deal in the rich contrasts that damage the visual comprehension of a film.
-I remember not getting to fire my gun much, but it felt significant when I did (Maybe like a real cop?). Finding new bullets that increased the amount of arrows in my reticule felt good, even though I was sad I didn't get to use them on more things.

What that all combines to create in me is a strong memory of a forceful game, even if the details are blurry. We were probably playing Quake, Quake 2, and maybe some Tomb Raider at the time. These were fun enough games, but they didn't look or feel like this. They gave us fun experiences in what felt like the same medium: Lots of movement and action with graphics that looked like spilled paint.

Blade Runner, a 1997 game based on a 1982 movie, showed us something new. I don't think back to it often, but I don't remember anything like it before, and that's the important part.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (16.9.17): Blade Runner

Post by Bakers_12 » September 5th, 2017, 8:47 am

Being a fan of both point and click adventure games and Ridley Scot's film this game I was biting at the bit to play it from the first time I saw it on the shelf in W H Smiths. With it big box with the art homargeing the films poster. The game oozes the atmosphere of the film with its dark neon film noir senseabiltes. The idea of the story going in parallel with film works well. Interestingly the things I like about the game are what makes it stand apart from point and click games and the film. Gone are the " use X with Y" macanices and things are moved forward by finding clues and investigation which fit the word so well. The only tools to investigation I did not like was using it a void kompt , I never quite know what I was doing(I'm i a replicant?). When playing the game in my teen I loved how the game builds on the world from the film, it was only latter in my twenties once I read do androids dream of electric sheep that I realised a lot of these eliments like mercerism came from that book almost bridging both the media. Also the idea of different characters being a replicant in diffrent play throughs was a brilliant idea unfortunately once played several times it came apparent that there was a very small variation that could be a hidden replicant.

I now think Bladerunner is due for a return to gaming. A telltale style dialogue system with a until dawn death system with a central cast that has different replicants on each play would work will.

TWR: Replicant this game
"Skip to the End"

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Alex79uk
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Re: Our next podcast recording (16.9.17): Blade Runner

Post by Alex79uk » September 6th, 2017, 9:19 am

A Telltale version of this game would be amazing. The original is a right pain the ass to get running properly these days, and my memories of playing it years back are so hazy they are barely worth mentioning. I remember being impressed by the graphics and the general atmosphere of the game. Looking for clues on the computer in the game and exploring the world, but that's about it! I know I never finished it. I'd really like to play it again properly so some sort of re-release would be most welcome.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (16.9.17): Blade Runner

Post by NeoGazza » September 7th, 2017, 3:05 pm

Wait, what! There is a BLADE RUNNER GAME!?!??!?? How did I miss this!


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