Updating classic games isn’t easy, even for the pros. Developer Nightdive Studios, which specializes in remasterring old games, was supposed to release an upgraded version of the 1997 Blade Runner adventure game later this year, but it seems the project has hit a few too many snags and will be delayed until at least 2021.
Blade Runner is a classic adventure game from 1997. The game takes place in the same universe as Ridley Scott’s classic 1982 movie, and around the same time in the Blade Runner universe. The game tells the side-story of Ray McCoy as he hunts down replicants and even crosses paths with some of the characters from the original movie.
As outlined in an interview with Eurogamer, Nightdive has found that remastering Blade Runner is a lot more complicated than most other games. There are the kind of complications you might expect, like the rights to the game changing hands to EA in 1998 and the company being reticent to hand over some of the original files. But, there are also other issues about the way the game was originally made. For one thing, the game was pretty expansive for 1997 and had to be aggressively compressed to even make it onto the several discs it came with in its original release.
In one very extreme example, Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick explained to Eurogamer that the original Blade Runner didn’t feature rigged animations, like most games would. Instead, every animation for every character was a different model, which means there are thousands of models in the game. But because of size concerns, each model is really only a piece of a model, which leaves huge gaps that Nightdive has to fill in to properly remaster and update the game.
Fortunately, Nightdive has plenty of experience updating classic games. The studio has already done of restorations of games like System Shock and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, but Blade Runner, it seems, is a whole lot more complicated.
According to Kick, the new release date for Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition is still “TBD.” When the game finally is released, Nightdive’s current plan is for it to be released on PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. If you’d like to jump into the Blade Runner adventure game without waiting for Nightdive’s Enhanced Edition, the original is available on GOG.