The classic 1997 Blade Runner adventure game, which was once nearly impossible to find and play, has been rereleased on GOG. Blade Runner (the game) told a unique detective story set parallel to the original 1982 film. It includes some existing characters voiced by Blade Runner actors Sean Young and James Hong, but it features a new character named Ray McCoy — a Los Angeles Police Department blade runner who has to search crime scenes and hunt down rogue replicants.
Blade Runner won praise for capturing the original game’s cinematic atmosphere. Development studio Westwood — the now-defunct creator of the Command & Conquer series — also created a complex branching narrative that randomized whether certain characters were humans or replicants, changing the game with each playthrough.
Blade Runner is beloved to this day, but until very recently, the odds of a digital rerelease seemed almost nonexistent. Westwood lost the original source code in 2003 during a move. So players needed to find one of the game’s increasingly rare hard copies or an unofficially cracked version of it, then go through the considerable trouble of getting it to work on a modern PC.
That started to change this summer when a team started publicly testing ScummVM emulator support. The game became playable through ScummVM in October, but the content still couldn’t be officially found online. Now, the last piece of the puzzle is in place. As GOG explains on its site, the team of programmers spent eight years reconstructing the game from retail discs instead of the original source code, and they apparently worked with film studio Alcon Interactive Group to legally release it through GOG. It’s a new beginning for a game that was once considered lost in time, like tears in rain.