After it recently became available to purchase again following years of legal and technical turmoil, the 1997 Blade Runner PC adventure game is about to be remastered for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. Nightdive Studios, the developer behind the recent System Shock and Turok remasters, revealed the Enhanced Edition's existence in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. What's more, you'll be able to play it later this year.
The studio is calling the remaster a "polished and premium restoration." They say it will feature updated models, animations and cutscenes. Moreover, it will support widescreen resolutions, and you'll be able to tweak the controls to your liking.
The backstory of the Blade Runner game is almost as complicated as the history of Ridley Scott's 1982 masterpiece. It was developed by Command & Conquer creator Westwood Studios. In a 2015 interview, Louis Castle, the co-founder of Westwood, said the studio lost the game's source code when it moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. Castle added a remake would cost millions of dollars as a result. Due to legal and intellectual property issues, it became impossible to buy the game legally in recent years. It was also challenging to get it to run on modern PC hardware. However, thanks to GOG and about eight years of work by dedicated fans, the game became available again late last year.
"We painstakingly reverse-engineered the code, importing it into our own KEX engine, a powerful tool that allows us to do console ports of classic titles, even in the face of quite challenging situations," Larry Kuperman, the head of business development at Nightdive, told The Hollywood Reporter.
In Blade Runner, you play as detective Ray McCoy, who, like movie protagonist Rick Deckard, is tasked with hunting down replicants. When it was initially released, critics and fans praised the game for its art direction and graphics, which is something Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick says the studio wants to preserve. "While you can enjoy the benefits of playing the game on modern hardware, the game should look and feel not as it was, but as glorious as you remember it being." Here's hoping that turns out to be the case.