Cyberpunk 2077 – When Is Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition Releasing?
The classic PC game based on the iconic film was supposed to get an enhanced edition, but it’s been indefinitely delayed for a variety of reasons.
Very few films have influenced science-fiction video games like Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner. Games like Cyberpunk 2077 owe a lot to the movie. The film itself has just one notable video game adaptation but it’s a stellar one: the 1997 PC game of the same name. While it is being remastered for modern systems, the enhanced version of this cult classic title has been delayed.
Instead of following the original film’s plot, the Blade Runner point-and-click game created a new story that coincided with the movie. Fans got to see the classic story expand from the perspective of another detective named Ray McCoy who, like Rick Deckard, goes after dangerous Replicants in 2019 Los Angeles.
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Even with the dated graphics of a 90s PC game, Blade Runner still captures the franchise’s blend of gritty noir and futuristic beauty. Its cult popularity grew when a version of the game made it to the GOG website in 2019. And then in March 2020, it was announced that the Enhanced Edition would be released by Nightdive Studios for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Windows later that year.
In September, 2020 Nightdive posted a video showing a cinematic update of the Enhanced Edition comparing it to the original. The newer version is improved visually for modern audiences while still not looking too different from its 90s release. However that cinematic update of the game’s opening scene was the only thing Nightdive Studios released of the Enhanced Edition in 2020. Shortly after the video’s debut, the studio announced that the game would be delayed to an unknown later date due to technical reasons.
Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick explained in an interview why it’s been very difficult to remaster this particular Blade Runner game. He told Eurogamer that “there have been some obstacles we’ve had to overcome in terms of the old technology the game uses, and our hunt for the original source code and assets have come up empty.” This is because in 1998 Westwood Studios was bought by EA. In the process of Westwood moving its offices, the original source code for Blade Runner was lost and will unlikely be found. Now, Nightdive has to reverse engineer the code along alongside heavy animation work and troubleshooting the code into its proprietary KEX engine.
All this work has to be done by Nightdive while being unable to use the progress already made by a fan-programming site called ScummVM, who already reversed engineered the Blade Runner game and got it on GOG. Nightdive attempted to negotiate the completed works from ScummVM but couldn’t strike a deal.
Because of all these unfortunate factors, Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition is delayed until further notice. Thankfully fans of the franchise are used to being patient since they waited 35 years for Blade Runner‘s film sequel, Blade Runner 2049, to come out. Their patience for the video game should hopefully pay off with a great re-release that Nightdive poured its blood, sweat and tears in rain into.
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