Cyberpunk Review » Blade Runner

June 16, 2006

Blade Runner

Game Review By: Neuromancer

Year: 1997

Author: Westwoord Studios

Platform: Windows

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

Rating: 8 out of 10



Introduction: Blade Runner was published in 1997 by Westwood Studios who also made titles like Dune II, Legend of Kyrandia and an estimated 27,836 variations of Command and Conquer.

This is a point-and-click adventure played in the Blade Runner universe of both the novel by Philip K Dick and the motion picture by Ridley Scott. The story takes place in roughly the same timeframe of the events in the movie and features some of the same locations and characters.

The gameplay was hyped at the time because of the “Real Time”system and the randomization of events. This results in giving the player four different endings based on his or her decisions during the game.




The Story: The player takes on the role of Ray McCoy who is a rookie Blade Runner in the city of Los Angeles in the year 2019. Ray is given his first assignment of investigating one or more animal killers.

From there on Ray follows a trail of clues leading to a group of replicants who are trying to escape their retirement by hijacking a moonbus and leaving earth.

The strength in the story lies in the fact that some characters clearly are replicants while others can be either replicant or human. This is ofcourse due to the randomization but in some cases because of the decisions made by the player.



“They don’t advertise for killers in the newspaper. That was my profession. Ex-cop. Ex-blade runner. Ex-killer.”


Along the way we get to meet a myriad of characters all adding to the story. It would simply take up too much space to describe them all but among them are: Gaff, Tyrell, JF Sebastian, Chew (i make your eyes) and Rachel from the movie while introducing some new ones. Ofcourse the ‘other” group of escaped replicants with a charismatic leader but also Ray’s partner Crystal and a young girl named Lucy.

Every now and then we find traces and clues of Deckards investigation in progress while we visit some of the same locations he has or will.

The real star of the story (imho) is a 14 year old girl named Lucy. Lucy has great doubts about whether she is a replicant or a human. She takes on the role played out in the movie by Rachel posing the same questions she has.



“I make friends. They’re toys. My friends are toys. I make them. It’s a hobby.”


The use of different endings based on the choices we make during the game makes the player more aware of them. Even though the story follows predetermined scripts it can branch out in a few different storylines. Don’t expect several completely different games though, just small variations of the same story that do very much change the outcome further on.

The creators tell their story with enough room for interpretation. This may sound vaque but i will illustrate this with an example: As Ray you can decide to retire (kill) everyone you meet including humans. Do so and Gaff will simply give you an origami unicorn and its game over. No more explanation required, right?

There are some variations in the game that either you like or you don’t because these parts do not appear to fit in a further straightforward point and click adventure: Use of the ESPER is vital in finding some clues in photographs, Voight-Kampf is used to determine people are people or replicants and there even is a 3rd person shooting section which may scare the common adventurer.



“Sushi. That’s what my ex-wife called me. Cold fish.”


The Game: The visuals are the beef of the game. All backgrounds and environments are simply stunning and truly grasp the feel of the movie. The downside are the 3d animated characters that just do not live up to the standard. They look and move like rag-dolls. The music is very good as it incorporates the Vangelis score as well as new tracks composed just for the game. The game is controlled like any other point-and-click adventure so there is no story there.



“Watch how she takes pleasure from the beast that once corrupted man.”


Gameplay: The puzzles used are sometimes logical but can also be a bit too farfetched. Also there is some dreaded “pixel-clicking” (slowly moving your mouse over the screen trying to find that one pixel that enables you to find that one vital clue.

In overall the story takes its time and can be boring to those who are only used to frantic shootemups.

To be honest there isn’t very much gameplay in its own to make this game stand out. The graphics and music do however. Any fans of the movie will find him or herself just wandering around LA and taking in the sights and sounds.



“This was not called execution. It was called retirement.”


The Verdict: The gaming-experience leans heavily on the atmosphere created by the graphics and music. The appearance of numerous locations and characters from the movie greatly enhances this feeling even more. You do feel you are participating in the movie which is its greatest strength. If you do not like the movie there is simply not enough gameplay left to buy this.


June 17, 2006

SFAM said:

Wow! Those visuals really do look like the movie.

Neuromancer said:

And to imagine this was a game made in ancient history (in PC-terms that is). Still the resolution is only 640×480… These are exactly the screenshots i took from the game.
And ofcourse the obligatory geisha-billboard and the arrival at the police station.
Its the mood created by the visuals with the accompanying music that really makes this a great experience for fans of the movie. And who isn’t a fan right?

Illusive Mind said:

Great review. My thoughts exactly. Who’da thought you could be nostalgic about being nostalgic?

ETM said:

Yeah, I remember when this came out and how reviewers praised the atmosphere and the visuals… having it made in low-res is a crime against humanity.

June 18, 2006

Stormtrooper of Death said:

neuromancer, you made a mistake in your review.
The game is not made in 1982, but in 1996.

I have the game aswell, but it is the German version, and all audio-talk is in German…

Neuromancer said:

You are so very right Stormtrooper. Thanks for pointin that out to me.
Ofcourse 1982 is the year the movie was released… Silly ol’ me.
I have corrected the review with the right year.

It is confusing however that you say the year should be 1996 because my CD’s have 1997 printed on them. So for now i am sticking to that year…

June 20, 2006

Muad'Dib said:

My copy also says 1997, and I also have the german version, so this year should be the right one.
Great game!

June 28, 2006

David Steele said:

One of the best games I have played and the latest re-run on my new PC makes it the third time. At the risk of a spoiler, I’ve had three very different outcomes which have surprised me each time. Hs anyone else managed to (spoiler deleted) with the sexy heroine? Even better that she’s called “Steele”, of course!
This game was SO far ahead of its time. Compare and contrast the outstanding production values and brilliantly executed voice scripting with the completely wooden modern equivalents, such as Still Life and you can only weep for what we’ve lost.
This game is a credit to both the movie and the book. Amazon it today and don’t get hung up on the creaky graphics.

August 29, 2006

Cutedarkelf said:

Just alittle trivia
Lucy in the game is voice acted by Pauley Perrette, the same girl who does Abby in NCIS.

January 5, 2007

Habib Marawn said:


February 11, 2007

Miles the Cy-Fox said:

On the NCIS thing, I just realized that. O_o. And Crystal Steele, is voiced by Lisa Edelstein (Dr.Cuddy from HOUSE M.D)

Great game. Althought they should have made character animations better.

February 12, 2007

Dyce said:

on a related note, anybody heard any news on the blade runner 3 disk set? it seems to have vanished!

February 13, 2007

Cidd said:

I used to own the game but I lost it somehow.
Now finally after three days of downloading I got the game..
..but it’s all in german. So I was wondering aren’t there any patches to change that? Or download the english version somewhere?

March 4, 2007

dis said:

try this
if you have problems with language while downloading, that site have english version.

June 1, 2007

Klaw said:

Although I came to this site for cyberpunk discussioin… I’m mysteriously interested in pharmaceutical interests… must… purchase… viagra. lol.

June 13, 2007

SFAM said:

Hi Klaw, my deepest apologies for the spam. My filter doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to.

November 16, 2007

DanNoir said:

Blade Runner is my favourite book, one of my favourite movies and also one of my favourite games. There is so much to explore, even if you finished it 10 times. Here you forget about the cheese, there you don’t find the snake scale in the bathtub, or you miss a clue on one of the photos. The atmosphere is just incredible and there are so many ways to do what you’ve got to do. Everytime I play I figure out something new and because of that I can easily ignore the few inconsistencies.

PS: There are even six endings, not just four. =D

DanNoir said:

Oh my god! I’m sorry…
I just figured out that there are seven endings!!!

January 9, 2008

Kerim said:

and i read it somewhere that there is more than 14 endings!!!! what about that?!?!?!?

June 16, 2009

magnus said:

its 14 if you like mess around with them.
but it 6 main endings movies.
(sorry for my english)
but great game but the chareter animations should be better

November 2, 2009

Crystal said:

This is still one of my favorite games. I’m surprised there hasn’t been any update of it, especially for new gaming platforms.

February 26, 2010

mikelbomb said:

that would be great if they did a remake of the game

February 7, 2011

Lukas Mariman said:

The reason we haven’t seen a remake/update is partly due to the fact that Westwood was bought up by EA many years ago.

I’d love to see a remake, but obtaining the legal rights might be an epic undertaking by itself.

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