Blade Runner Enhanced Edition launched this week on Steam and GOG, and the expectations for a visual remake of the game that is arguably Westwood’s best are very high… at least in the PCG offices. Unfortunately, the truth is that it’s much more of a catastrophe than a remaster.
Nightdive worked on this issue for a while, but one of the most significant issues was that nobody could discover an original code source. The version developed by ScummVM, which a group of volunteers created in 2019, is still the most effective method to play the legendary game. This is an issue, as when the game was launched, an Enhanced Edition saw the original deleted from GOG and integrated into the latest version.
The OG version was not available on Steam for a long time. Still, due to the positive reviews for the Enhanced Edition (currently listed as “Mostly Negative” review sites), Nightdive has now added it to the Steam version.
“The original Blade Runner, titled Blade Runner Classic, is now available to play with the Enhanced Edition,” Daniel Grayshon of Nightdive. “There is also an option to play Blade Runner with restored content left unused from the original game.”
This restored content was created by the ScummVM Team and wasn’t included in the Enhanced Edition. Another reason is that the Classic version is superior.
Grayson continues, “We are looking at all your feedback for the game, and we’re still working on our first official patch for the game, which will be coming as soon as we can.”
BladeRunner Enhanced Edition’s troubles do not end there. Australia denied the game recognition in addition to New Zealand on consoles. However, it’s available on Steam and GOG ( thanks, Gameshub).
“Sorry, we can’t release this in Australia on consoles so you won’t find it there,” Nightdive engineer Edward850 wrote on Resetera. “It was […] refused classification by the ACB.'”
“It’s not clear to us why, given the IARC process we don’t actually get feedback. We think it’s because the game has mention of underage exploitation.”
The automated IARC process has limited scope for interpretation. However, Nightdive can ask that the ruling be reconsidered. It’s particularly unclear why the game was banned in 2022, given that it first came out in Australia in the mid-90s (with an “M” rating).
With the issues Nightdive is confronting with this game, the possibility of a class battle will probably be outside the list of priorities. There was a lot of hope that the game could live up to the classic adventure game. However, this is a far cry from it in every aspect, which is crucial. In the game that’s so unique due to the atmosphere, it’s not able to recreate the atmosphere.
Nightdive is also making progress on developing the System Shock remake and what heavy lifting could be done with this Enhanced Edition remains to be determined. It would be wonderful to be able to endorse the game in the future, but at present, we’ll have to be content with the fantastic original.