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The Morning After: A remastered version of 1997's 'Blade Runner' game finally arrives

Blame it on the voxels.

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Mat Smith
June 24, 2022 7:15 AM
In this article: themorningafter, gear, newsletter
Blade Runner
Westwood Studios

Yes, Juul e-cigarettes have been banned in the US, but we talked about that yesterday. But what’s like vapes? Replicants and ‘80s sci-fi? Maybe not, but anyway, Nightdive Studios has finally released Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition for Windows PCs (via Steam), PlayStation, Switch and Xbox consoles. The modernized version runs at 60 frames per second instead of the original's 15 fps, complete with updated animations and models.

At the time, Westwood's 1997 game pushed the boundaries of both graphics and gameplay. Instead of the usually fixed plot, Blade Runner changed the replicants and humans around with each playthrough while also offering branching storylines.

Rather than relying on either 2D art or crude 3D, the title used voxels (pixels with 3D attributes), giving far more visual detail for the era, including volumetric lighting. Think of it as the ray-tracing of ‘90’s gaming. This choice in graphics technology made for a challenging remaster, however, as it didn’t play well with graphics cards, and then the source code was lost in an office move. For those that played the unlicensed version, it might not look quite as good, but hey, at least it runs on your Switch.

— Mat Smith

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