In 2020, Nightdive Studios, developer of the upcoming System Shock remake, announced an ambitious remastering project for the cult classic 1997 PC adventure game Blade Runner. The project was intended to bring the beloved Westwood Studios title that pioneered many mechanics and elements used in later 3D adventure games to consoles for the very first time on top of remastering and preserving it for newer audiences. Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition ran into some troubles and was delayed indefinitely from its 2020 release window, and now appears to be arriving on modern platforms suddenly next week.
Blade Runner is a 1997 3D adventure game based on the 1982 Ridley Scott film that was inspired by sci-fi author Phillip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The game’s narrative runs parallel to the original film’s, also taking place in a dystopian Los Angeles in November 2019, but instead following a Blade Runner named Ray McCoy who is tasked with hunting down a rogue group of Replicants much like the film’s protagonist Rick Deckard. The game features some characters and actors from the film such as Sean Young as Rachael, and uses parts of the iconic film score composed by Greek musician Vangelis.
Nightdive Studios, which is responsible for many critically acclaimed remaster projects in recent years including Doom 64, Quake, and Shadow Man Remastered, announced in 2020 that it would remaster Westwood’s original title and bring it to modern platforms in collaboration with Blade Runner film studio Alcon Entertainment. This announcement came alongside the release of an AI unscaled 4K remaster of the game’s opening cutscene. Later however, Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition was delayed indefinitely due to technical issues, which Nightdive’s CEO claimed was due to a lack of archived source code, resulting in the developer having to rebuild the game in its internal KEX engine used for previous remasters.
Now, after briefly appearing in the Limited Run Games LRG3 showcase, Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition has returned with a release date of June 23rd, 2022 across all major digital storefronts. The game will be priced at $9.99 and the Nintendo Switch file size is already confirmed to be 3.7GB. For those who want a bit more, the physical edition from Limited Run Games will be $34.99.
The remaster is currently touting upgraded visuals across the board, including reconstructed and improved cinematics, which also now run at 60 frames-per-second as opposed to the 15 frames-per-second originals, modern gamepad support, anisotropic texture filtering, and SMAA Anti Aliasing. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X versions have already been confirmed to support 4K output, and the trophy and achievement lists have also gone live.
Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition will release on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One on June 23rd 2022.