Observer Review


The Basics

Observer is a cyberpunk noir horror experience developed by Bloober Team and published by Asyr. The game takes the familiar concept of a distant dystopian future and introduces a detective noir twist to the genre. Observer plays on typical movie tropes but presents an all new narrative, exploring the life of a veteran police officer who stumbles upon a conspiracy that runs from the very top all the way back to his own past. The power of choice is heavily emphasized throughout the course of the game and the information available to you will only be through your own observational and deductive skills.

Story & Flow

In the year 2084, a detective for the Krakow Police Department by the name of Daniel Lazarski is investigating the disappearance of his son. Daniel is an elderly man and a part of an elite unit of detectives known as Observers who utilize an augmentation implant to aid with investigations. Nicknamed “Dream Eaters” the implant allows for Observers to access an individual’s memory, living or deceased. As the game begins, we are immediately introduced to Daniel and his augmentation, requiring a drug in order to negate bodily rejection of the implant. Receiving an apparent distress call from his son traced to an apartment building in the less glamorous part of town, Daniel begins his descent into an intricate conspiracy. As the game progresses, you are able to learn much more about the world of Observer, most notably, the Cybernetic Revolution and Chiron Incorporated. The Cybernetic Revolution was the introduction of nanite technology which aided against the biological rejection of implants. Chiron is exactly as it is perceived to be, a massive industrial company and the sole producer of augmentations, granting a huge monopoly on the drug, Synchorzine, an augmentation stabilizer. As Daniel wanders through the apartment complex, discovering multiple murder victims, each with memories more disturbing than the last, the conspiracy begins to piece itself together. The story presented in the world of Observer is intricate, grounded, and believable, following an interpretation of the future comparable to the novel 1984.

Observer takes a first person perspective and has both investigation and various puzzle elements. The investigations play similarly to the Batman Arkham series. Once a crime scene is established, certain pieces of evidence can be highlighted and analyzed for further information. Sometimes multiple pieces of evidence can be linked together in order to determine the events that took place, and in what order. Interacting with various objects in the world outside of crime scenes is equally important to gain a better understanding of the world, and sometimes individuals possibly related to the case. As with all detective work, communicating with the inhabitants of the apartment complex is also another important method to potentially learn more information on the case. There are some RPG elements such as dialogue and interaction options, which allow the player to act and speak how they want. When using the Dream Eater augmentation, Daniel enters another person’s mind. The mind is where fear runs rampant and memories are distorted, and we are now forced to navigate a foreign mental landscape. This makes for some “hide and seek” gameplay, finding key items while avoiding some kind of monster. While initially interesting, longer, more drawn out sequences, begin to feel bland.

Graphics & Sound

Graphically, Observer is a well detailed game, helping illustrate the picture of a truly faltering future. Dirt, grime, and trash is evident throughout the apartment complex and the majority of the game is dimly lit. Understandably, the darkness works toward the fear of the unknown and is meant to establish an unsettling atmosphere. However, there were instances where the excessive darkness would interfere with some investigations, making it difficult to identify evidence. Such an effect was likely not intentional for the game and was solely meant to provide ambiance. The sound work in the game was also very well done. Surround sound truly makes you anxious and uneasy, especially as the Dream Eater sequences begin to bleed into Daniel’s reality.


Observer is a game that makes you question what the distant future may have in store, and the concept of morality in the face of a cold and calculating system. Although the game does not shy away from gore, violence and drugs, the real shock value often comes from the consequences that we as the player cannot physically see, like reading the heart wrenching emails of a mostly cybernetic war vet whose family wants nothing to do with him. Observer is a great game that has an even greater potential to improve.

Review By: Huey Nguyen

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2018-10-24 20:56:47... -


2018-10-24 20:56:25... -