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Parents' Guide to

Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition

By Dwayne Jenkins, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Creative, ambitious spin-off suffers from outdated gameplay.

Blade Runner Cover

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It's always a shame when you can see how great something could've been if it hadn't gotten in its own way. Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition, unfortunately, falls victim to just that. It's an incredibly ambitious game that's almost as ahead of its time now as it was when it came out in 1997. Few games follow through on the promise of a living, breathing world where things happen without the player's direct involvement like Blade Runner does. The likelihood of certain situations occurring is dependent on where you are, what you choose to do, and how quickly you can act. In theory, this is a game someone could play over and over and somehow manage to find something new every time. But there are simply too many roadblocks getting in the way of what could've been an engaging return to form for a beloved cult classic. To start, the "Enhanced" part is inaccurate, as certain scenes somehow look worse than they did in the original game. Additionally, this game feels like a 1997 point-and-click game in the worst possible ways. Players need certain objects but have no clue where to find them, only to discover that the object is the size of an ant and blends into the surrounding scenery.

With the lack of an autosave feature, players will die in absurd ways they couldn't have foreseen, and find that they've lost a chunk of progress by not obsessively saving after every room and conversation. Even worse, players have to track their objectives themselves, and with so much happening in the plot, it's easy to spend too much time figuring out what exactly you're supposed to do and where you're required to do it. Combine all this with a host of bugs and glitches, and the half-hearted update would've been better off as a full top-to-bottom remake. But as it stands, Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition is a cautionary tale to game developers to tread lightly when bringing older games to newer audiences, as all that glittered back then won't necessarily be gold today.

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