Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition launched this week to a very negative response, and the community developers who brought the game to modern computers for free are unhappy about being replaced.
“Over a number of years, I, along with friends, lovingly reverse engineered Westwood’s Blade Runner for ScummVM, reviving the game and helping GOG to release the game for sale once again,” developer Thomas Fach-Pedersen says on Twitter (opens in new tab). “For this we have asked for and received nothing but the honor of the work.”
Nightdive Studios’ Enhanced Edition has taken over the GOG listing for Westwood’s classic 1997 Blade Runner adventure. The original version through ScummVM is still available as part of the purchase at the same price, but Fach-Pedersen takes issue with being a “mere attachment on somebody else’s mediocre paid product.”
ScummVM is not an emulator, but from a player perspective it functions similarly to one, allowing you to play classic games on modern hardware. Its support for Blade Runner was the result of a challenging community development process, and with the poor quality of Enhanced Edition, it remains the only real remaster-style experience for the game today.
The folks at PC Gamer (opens in new tab) have a longer breakdown of what’s wrong with Enhanced Edition, but the list starts with messy visuals and bugs that disrupt the flow of the game. Enhanced Edition is also missing several non-English dubs – which the devs have already promised to fix (opens in new tab).
The GOG store (opens in new tab) is currently the only place to legally acquire the original version of Blade Runner. (The Steam version of the Enhanced Edition does not include the original.) But to do so now, you have to buy a remaster you may not want.
For its part, GOG has defended the decision to merge both games into a single package, telling Eurogamer (opens in new tab) that “the decision to handle the release on GOG this way, in what we feel offers the greatest value for fans of this game, was made with input from multiple parties.”
Some of the Sonic Origins devs are also unhappy about how their remaster work’s been handled.