WELCOME TO THE FUTURE The year is 2084. The future has turned out much darker than anyone could imagine. First, there was the Nanophage. A digital plague that killed thousands upon thousands of those who chose to augment their minds and bodies. Then came the War, leaving both the West and the East decimated and shattered. With no one left to seize power, corporations took over and forged their own crooked empires. You are a tool of corporate oppression. Feared and despised, you hack into the darkest corners of your suspects' minds. You creep into their dreams, expose their fears, and extract whatever your investigation may require. You are an Observer.
BECOME A NEURAL DETECTIVE You play as Daniel Lazarski, an elite investigator of the future portrayed by late cyberpunk icon Rutger Hauer. As an Observer, you hack into the minds of suspects to extract clues and evidence. Anything they felt, thought, or remembered can and will be used to solve your case.
EAT THEIR DREAMS Using a device known as the Dream Eater, hack into the minds of the dead and dying to relive their final moments, to explore their fears and obsessions. Delve into these twisted neural mazes and search for clues that will help you find the elusive killer. But beware: the deeper you go, the greater the risk of losing your own sanity.
TAKE IN THE ATMOSPHERE OF 2084 Enter a world ravaged by war and cyber-plague, where life is cheap and hope is scarce. Where most people will do anything to escape their grim existence. Virtual realities, mind-altering drugs, neural implants - pick your poison and drift away into a blissful oblivion. But remember, no matter how deep you go, you can never hide from an Observer.
Day One Edition contains: Base Game 52 pages Softcover Artbook Soundtrack CD
Where George Orwell Meets Blade Runner: Observer System Redux
Joel Gunner | Aug 6, '21
2021 is the year of re-releases, and for good reason: hosting technology has greatly improved in the jump from eighth to ninth generation. Observer System Redux is one such example of an already-brilliant title that has been upgraded to top tier by a re-master. So, what's new?
It is astonishing how much can change within the space of four or five years, theObserver System Reduxgame is an underrated example of just how much the gaming community has moved forward in its technological capabilities. Observer, a game that was widely celebrated in 2017, has today been thoroughly outclassed by its remastered version, Bloober Studio'sObserver System Redux, a rendition taking full advantage of thePlayStationandXbox'shosting technologies (which you can read about using those respective links). The term redux, or remaster or even remake, is sometimes thrown around without necessarily carrying the weight it really should;Observer System Reduxis a publication thatabsolutely deservesthe title of a remaster for it looks and feels spectacularly different to its unadorned sibling. I feel as though you need to see this for yourself, so be sure to check outthis superb YouTubevideo detailing the extent of enhancement the game has received – I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Competing with the finest games of the time, OSR offers Raytracing support, 4K textures (on both Xbox and PlayStation consoles) which look absolutely magnificent when light rays travel through swirling dust or dormant smoke, as well as a mostly-unwavering 60FPS.
Observer Redux in popular culture:
We take command of Daniel Lazarski, an Observer, which is essentially a homicide detective, operating out of 2084 (no coincidence, think George Orwell) Krakow, Poland. Lazarski is voiced by none other than the late Rutger Hauer, a venerated figure within the Cyberpunk realm for his roles in films like the 1982Blade Runner, where he plays a hunted-by-Harrison-Ford augmented human, known as a Replicant. Hauer's Observer character, Lazarski, is also a non-organic human, only he now performs the hunting rather than being hunted as he was in Blade Runner. Again, in the same vein asBlade Runner, a mega-corporation named Chiron has usurped control over Poland, creating a dystopian, tyrannical, surveillance-based society, of which Daniel Lazarski plays into as a police detective.
'Lazarski is voiced by none other than the late Rutger Hauer, a venerated figure within the Cyberpunk realm.'
What is the game's context?
Krakow has been overrun by a Nanophage, a digital virus of sorts, that has ripped through the population with some calamitous uncouth consequences. As Lazarski, it is our mission to maintain order, a purpose that createsObserver System Redux, a chilling futuristic first-person psychological horror. Lazarski employs 'Dream Eater' tech in order to navigate the memories of wanted individuals, including those who have passed away or been murdered, of which there are an extensive collection we must investigate from the get-go.Observer'scogent little narrative is supported by the celebratedUnreal Engine 4, software notoriously effective in delivering dark and graphic creations; Observer is a sinisterly beguiling play if you are a sucker for Cyperbunk settings The dank, vandalised and at points lurid Krakow surrounding has an atmosphere something unholy, and this feeling is only supplemented by Arkadiusz Reikowksi's musical composition. I'm holding up my hands here, there were at times I had to retreat to the main menu for a breather fromObserver, and of course a quick dry-down of my controller…you can't blame me, the game is a hair-raising experience, especially now that the game's graphical fidelity is as good as it is. You can see the difference below:
Almost too good to be true, right! Wrong! This is truly the extent of upgradeObserverhas been given.
What can we expect from gameplay?
As we stroll down the hallways of the neon-infused Tenement building, we are guided and persuaded by slew of clues that we identify using a robotic detective interface not dissimilar to that ofBatman: Arkham Night, a game also a product of theUnreal Engine. Most of our time spent in theObserverworld is spent in Krakow, in the nightmarish apartment complex, but we do also flit between various 'Dream Eater' states, visiting the memories of the moribund people we are investigating. I have found previously in closed-world games likeObserverthat it is easy to become a bit tired of thesame oldsurroundings, yet becauseObserverforces you through an uneasy assortment of hellish environments, and that it is at most a 10-hour play, I never left the honeymoon period you enter as you start a new game or chapter; Observer never got boring.
'Most of our time spent in the Observer world is spent in Krakow, in the nightmarish apartment complex, but we do also flit between various 'Dream Eater' states.'
Does the game have to it than meets the eye?
For me, a sign of a good exploration game, regardless of genre, is the abundance (or not) of pertinent but hidden material, such as documents, voice tapes and the like, which is an areaObserverdoesn't fall short in. It is clear that the game wasn't a perfunctory project, rather the developers took the time to leave reverential Easter Eggs and extra content to flesh out the game; side missions too go a good way to better immerse you in the 2084 Chiron-run Krakow background. Yet,Observerfeels no need to needlessly embellish the game; part of the title's charm is its brevity, its paradoxically un-rushed but to-the-point ethos. As a result of our various selections on choice trees throughout the game, we soon enough summit one of the several conclusionsObserverhas to offer. Time flies when you are having fun, or if you are terrified out of wits. Bloober Studios have created a game that doesn't outstay its welcome; it enthrals the player, entices them into its narrative and does precisely the job it professes to do on the tin: to keep you on the edge of your seat. That said, I have recently replayedObserverin the Redux form in order to take an adventure down the narrative avenues I had omitted before;Observershouldn't, and doesn't have to be, a game that you play once and forget about.
'Observer feels no need to needlessly embellish the game; part of the title's charm is its brevity, its paradoxically un-rushed but to-the-point ethos.'
Stalking footsteps coming from an ambiguous direction, the vicious smashing of a glass window in a room off to the left, a distorted, blood-curdling wail echoing down the foggy hallway;Observerdoesn't shy away from those classic elements of a horror game. More, this chilling audio is taken to the next level in the Redux edition by consoles, like thePlayStation 5and itsPulse 3Dheadset, that offer 3D audio. Good luck with that!Observer System Reduxtakes traditional horror principles but this time gives them far more resources in order to further convey the wretched, derelict habitat of 2084 Krakow.Observerwas initially (for good reason) criticised for the deficiencies of the occasional stealth scene; it wasn't the most coherent of designs, yet the game's remaster placates these complaints by means of repair – the Redux is not just a graphical update. Other small glitches resulting in stunted gameplay also seem to have been seen to as well, but the factor givingObserver System Reduxthe earned title of a 'remaster' is still the sheer renovation of its graphics: they are justphenomenalwhen compared to the now four-year-old original. With an exploration style similar to classic games likeHalf-LifeorResident Eviland horror elements comparable to blockbuster movies,Observer System Reduxis a masterful game, amustif you are into psychological thriller titles.
Written by Joel Gunner
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