The folks at Swedish gaming lab Free League Publishing know a thing or two about crafting award-winning games and art books for iconic science fiction, fantasy, and horror properties like "Alien," "The Lord of the Rings" and "Tales From the Loop."
Now the talented Euro designers have set their skills upon the neo-noir world of "Blade Runner" for an upcoming 2022 roleplaying game that transports players to the neon-drenched future where Replicants and Blade Runners compete for survival.
In honor of "Blade Runner's" 40th anniversary, Free League Publishing (opens in new tab) ("Symbaroum (opens in new tab)," "Twilight: 2000 (opens in new tab)") and Alcon Entertainment have teamed up to present fans with this opportunity to explore that iconic sci-fi universe for themselves with a core line of tabletop RPGs and expansion sets starting next year.
If you can't wait until 2022 for your Replicant fix, check out our Blade Runner streaming guide to see where to watch the sci-fi franchise's films online.
Set in the year 2037, gamers will stroll the cruel streets of Los Angeles in a futuristic realm of conflicts and contrasts. This ambitious project dares to ask difficult existential questions and explore the enduring power of empathy, the poisonous nature of fear, and the burdens of being human during such inhumane times.
According to the official "Blade Runner: The Roleplaying Game (opens in new tab)" press release, players become members of the LAPD's Rep-Detect Unit, where they’ll face impossible choices to discover beauty and humanity in the plight to keep fighting, while chasing fleeting moments of love, hope, and redemption to be lost in time like tears in rain.
The game's Core Rulebook begins the adventure shortly after the Wallace Corporation debuts the upgraded Nexus-9 Replicants on Earth, giving players the choice to play as either human or artificial. Overarching protocols are based on the acclaimed Year Zero Engine, employed in acclaimed games like the company's "Alien RPG (opens in new tab)," "Tales From the Loop (opens in new tab)" and "Forbidden Lands (opens in new tab)," but further developed and precisely tuned for "Blade Runner."
"The 'Blade Runner' universe is an absolute icon of science fiction, and a roleplaying game set in it has been a personal dream of mine for a long time," Free League co-founder Tomas Härenstam tells Space.com. "We have worked actively on it in Free League since we reached the agreement with Alcon Entertainment in early 2020. Creating a roleplaying game in the 'Blade Runner' universe is a very interesting game design process.
"In the Blade Runner RPG, we want to re-imagine what investigative tabletop roleplaying can be. Both on the surface level and what it means on a personal level for the characters," Härenstam added, "It's not just about solving cases, it's really more about the choices you make as a player along the way and what that says about your character. We can't wait to see how gamers will respond to these concepts and ideas."
Free League Publishing’s "Blade Runner: The Roleplaying Game (opens in new tab)" arrives in 2022.
If you're looking for other non-video game ideas, you may want to check out our best board space game picks of 2021.