The groundbreaking PC game developed by Westwood Studios is now playable on modern hardware thanks to a handy little program called ScummVM.
I’ve always wanted to play the OG Blade Runner game. While it could have gone the same route as many other film-tie games, Westwood Studios developed one of the most impressive games to grace CRT monitors back in 1997. I suppose it’s no surprise given that Westwood is responsible for Command and Conquer, one of the most iconic game franchises of all time. Sadly shut down in 2003, Westwood has obviously not been able to support one of their most influential games.
Blade Runner was such a step forward for mechanical storytelling that I’m amazed fewer games haven’t taken its ideas and explored them further. Playing as Ray McCoy and tasked with hunting down rogue replicants, the game rolls the dice on which characters will be replicants whenever you start a new game, subtly tweaking their mannerisms, pathing and dialogue options in unique ways. Every playthrough fundamentally changes as you start every game not being able to rely on previous knowledge. Look, I’ve never played it but that sounds COOL AS HELL.
Fortunately, for people who are interested in either playing it for the first time or replaying it, a group of dedicated modders have been hard at work at getting Blade Runner playable on modern hardware. What has reportedly taken eight years to produce and using a self-designed piece of software called ScummVM, modders have been able to reverse engineer the Blade Runner engine. Three years of beta testing and the (second) final build of the game is officially supported by ScummVM. ScummVM is also responsible for running classic versions of Monkey Island 2, the Discworld games and classics such as Beneath a Steel Sky.
It’s a super little bit of programming and really easy to get a hold of. Head on to their site by clicking here and prepare for a weekend of adventure game nostalgia (or discovery) if you want.
Last Updated: October 18, 2019