Observer (typically >observer_) has had an attention-grabbing journey. Releasing again in 2017 as a follow-up to developer Bloober Workforce’s acclaimed Layers of Concern, Observer felt like a heavy hitter. It had a fantastic darkish cyberpunk course, and even had the good Rutger Hauer lend his voice and picture as the sport’s lead. Late final yr the System Redux model launched with new gameplay, together with new quests, new secrets and techniques, new interactions, added mechanics, and many others. (See our coverage for Observer: System Redux right here) but it surely’s solely now that System Redux has made its option to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One—and it’s simply now that I’m lastly getting round to taking part in it.
Observer: System Redux is an journey sport with a heavy psychological horror side. You play as an Observer—a specialised police officer with the flexibility to hack into individuals’s minds as a kind of superior interrogation. If that sounds darkish, that’s solely the tip of the dystopian iceberg. Going down within the yr 2084, Observer incorporates a significantly darkish cyberpunk future the place a techno virus killed hundreds, and an ensuing struggle ensured that firms held probably the most energy over the individuals. And people individuals stay in abject poverty and worry in a world overcome with horrible physique modifications and nightmare inducing neural implants.
Rutger Hauer’s Daniel Lazarski is the car for the story, and it’s via his eyes you see the world. Not a lot is understood about Daniel apart from what kicks off the story: his son, Adam, has gone lacking. You seek for him in a rundown residence constructing (the place a lot of the sport takes place) and should use your investigative powers—each in the actual world, and within the cyber world—to find the destiny of your son. Many of the sport consists of strolling across the maze-like tenement constructing, searching for clues, interacting with tenants, and fixing puzzles. I want I may say that the late Rutger Hauer actually carries Observer, however his efficiency is usually subdued, and mumbled. I needed to activate the closed captions to know a whole lot of the dialogue.
Observer is at its greatest when it has you fixing puzzles and investigating. It’s a bit like some extent and click on journey in that—a extremely stylized, horror-themed journey. And as with most fashionable horror video games, you don’t actually have the flexibility to struggle: there actually isn’t fight, although there are sections the place you need to keep away from enemies. These are accomplished within the typical fashionable horror cat and mouse fashion, and whereas they are often tense it’s largely out of frustration than enjoyment. Some video games actually get all these sequences proper, however I’m not a fan of Bloober Workforce’s makes an attempt, and it’s no totally different in Observer: System Redux.
Whereas System Redux brings in some unbelievable visuals to a sport that already seemed fairly nice, a whole lot of what’s on display screen in Observer feels overdone and cramped. Like Bloober Workforce was attempting to suit as many trippy results and element without delay. The impact, at first, is nice—however after some time it felt like sensory overload. However, the eye to element in Observer is nice for world constructing, and I actually recognize the retro-future aesthetic, like Observer was ripped off of an 80’s VHS.
Observer: System Redux is the definitive model of Observer, and now that it’s lastly exhibiting up on final gen consoles, it looks like Observer has gone full circle. And now that I’ve lastly gotten an opportunity to play it myself, I’m glad I did: it has a selected model of horror that solely Bloober Workforce can produce, and whereas Bloober Workforce tends to go a bit heavy on trippy imagery, Observer: System Redux manages to remain centered, and thus, is one in every of their greatest outings.
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