With Blade Runner 2049 around the corner, we find ourselves ever closer to getting our hands on the much anticipated, and sought after, sequel to the sci-fi classic Blade Runner (1982). So far, we've been teased to the off-world colonies and back with a trailer and various photographs of our main protagonist Officer K (Ryan Gosling), and the original Blade Runner himself Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). With Denis Villeneuve behind the wheel, alongside Roger Deakins — who has worked with Villenueve on multiple projects — as director of photography, its looking like we're in for an honest and captivating return to the universe.
More importantly, could the film revive the Blade Runner franchise?
After creating a universe on the scale that we find Blade Runner set in, diehard fans often find themselves looking for more. Although what we see on the silver screen is definitely credible enough to make a franchise like this stand on its own two legs, enthusiasts often find themselves heading home after their trip to the cinema to try dig up other aspects of the world they've just familiarized themselves with on-screen. What some people may have forgotten is that the film was followed up by few pieces of merchandise, namely, the Blade Runner video game.
Blade Runner, The Video Game
Chances are if you're not an avid fan of the #BladeRunner universe, you might've overseen this little gem. Now, I was only a child when this particular video game was released, but I've always had an admiration for retro games, particularly because the storytelling style seeming a little more honest and a lot more intriguing than what you might find in the present day.
'Blade Runner' is a Westwood Studios game loosely based on the 1982 movie of the same name. Released in 1997, the game was advertised as "the first real-time adventure game." The story featured "Blade Runner" Ray McCoy searching for replicants in Los Angeles, California in the year 2019.
Sounds amazing, right? You might be wondering to yourself: "Why the hell have I not closed this article to go find and vigorously play this game to death?" And I wouldn't blame you if you did! Despite receiving a mix of positive and negative reviews, most of the most important aspects the video game stand up: the scenery and tone of the game reflect that of the original film, which was noted for its graphics and sound successfully adapting the cult film's haunting atmosphere.
Despite suffering in its approach with the interface and action elements, I think we can forgive the studio for trying to simplify the game's mechanics. With various characters from the original film making appearances throughout the game, I think it's definitely worth your time.
However, the question is: Will #BladeRunner2049 be captivating enough for further merchandising? Personally, I would absolutely love to see an expansion in the Blade Runner universe after the release of the film. Comic books, novels, video games — you name it. It's a brilliant way for film to engage with the audience beyond the confines of a theater, and when you have such a lucrative world at your disposal, why not?