Image: Nightdive Studios

Nightdive Studios finally released Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition this week, but the majority of players seem to be very unhappy with what the developer has done with Westwood’s classic 1997 point-and-click adventure inspired by Ridley Scott’s acclaimed sci-fi film. Steam’s official discussion forum for Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition has already become filled with people bashing the game, calling it “crap” and “insulting” for reasons that include blurrier graphics, motion smoothing, soap-opera-like cinematics due to changes in frame rate, and font choices that change the original feel and atmosphere, among other problems, many of which are highlighted in critical pieces that include PC Gamer’s, which has gone so far as to call Nightdive Studios’ work a “disaster” that is worse than the original by a “significant margin.” Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition released on June 23 at the surprisingly low price of just $9.99, and critics now believe they know why. Blade Runner fans are telling everyone to stick to the standard GOG version (GOG seemingly only lists the Enhanced Edition now, but the original version is included in the package).

Nightdive’s remaster immediately feels off in exactly the same way as a movie that’s been brutalised by motion smoothing. The cutscenes have all been bumped up to 60fps, and the result is jarring, evoking a soap opera instead of cinematic sci-fi.

Like the rest of the game they’ve also been upscaled, but rather than enhancing Blade Runner it ends up smudging all the smaller details and cleaning up the grime. What’s left is a recollection of the look and atmosphere of the original, blurred through time.

Nightdive didn’t have access to the source code, which delayed the remaster while the team reverse-engineered the original. This massively limited what Nightdive could do, but not doing anything would have been better than what we’ve ended up with. Artistic intent has been completely overlooked, which does a huge amount of damage and undermines every scene.

Source: Steam (via PC Gamer)

Go to thread

Don’t Miss Out on More FPS Review Content!

Our weekly newsletter includes a recap of our reviews and a run down of the most popular tech news that we published.

10 comments

  1. If they didn't have the source code why not just rebuild it in a more modern engine? It would likely give them the ability make it look more like the original by not limiting them to a janky, reversed engineered 30 year old engine. Such an extreme waste of time and resources. Sounds like they had no idea what they were doing and no plan to do it.
  2. If they didn't have the source code why not just rebuild it in a more modern engine? It would likely give them the ability make it look more like the original by not limiting them to a janky, reversed engineered 30 year old engine. Such an extreme waste of time and resources. Sounds like they had no idea what they were doing and no plan to do it.
    Then it would take 6+ years, like their System Shock remake.
  3. Then it would take 6+ years, like their System Shock remake.
    There is no guarantee that won't be trash either, if it is ever released. Nightdive is making Star Citizen development seem competent.

    Besides do it right, or don't do it at all.
  4. Wow, the first time I heard of Nightdive f*cking up a remaster/new port of a classic game. I wonder what in the f*ck happened. Not the kind of work I'm used to seeing from them.
  5. Wow, the first time I heard of Nightdive f*cking up a remaster/new port of a classic game. I wonder what in the f*ck happened. Not the kind of work I'm used to seeing from them.
    Yeah, I read some similar statements in the other review threads I skimmed through. People familiar with their work are genuinely surprised this turned out as it did.
  6. Yeah, I read some similar statements in the other review threads I skimmed through. People familiar with their work are genuinely surprised this turned out as it did.
    Well, the previous games were all basically FPS-es using similar 3D engines. This is an entirely different type of animal.
  7. All they had to do was make the shell of a point and click adventure using literally any existing modern day game engine and then "trace" the old assets, updating them for the new engine. All the art, design, audio and story work was already done for them.
    I'm willing to bet a group of high school seniors could do a better job.
  8. All they had to do was make the shell of a point and click adventure using literally any existing modern day game engine and then "trace" the old assets, updating them for the new engine. All the art, design, audio and story work was already done for them.
    I'm willing to bet a group of high school seniors could do a better job.
    They tried to do this. But this game is rendered and built in a unique way to most every other game out there.
  9. They tried to do this. But this game is rendered and built in a unique way to most every other game out there.
    Entirely irrelevant... They weren't asked to mimic the rendering mechanics, they were asked to mimic the game.
    You can make a point and click adventure using almost any modern game engine out there then just have a few halfway decent artists redraw the original backdrops. There is no reason this game couldn't have been remade to mimic the original using modern tech, none at all.
  10. Entirely irrelevant... They weren't asked to mimic the rendering mechanics, they were asked to mimic the game.
    You can make a point and click adventure using almost any modern game engine out there then just have a few halfway decent artists redraw the original backdrops. There is no reason this game couldn't have been remade to mimic the original using modern tech, none at all.
    Oh of that I have near zero doubt. I'm only guessing but I think they wanted to honor the original tech and bring it forward. And by all accounts if they did at all it was only by a decade. And that is too bad.

Leave a comment

Please log in to your forum account to comment