Observer_ took me by complete surprise as it was a game I was not expecting, but fell completely head over heels for. Observer is a cyberpunk horror game from Bloober Team, the creators of Layers of Fear. Where you discover a dark cyberpunk world beset by plagues, war and squalor in the year 2084.
You play as Dan Lazarski, an elite neural detective known as an Observer, and part of a corporate-funded police unit whose purpose is to hack and invade suspects’ minds. You receive a call from a son that has distanced himself away from you after many years, to only trace it to an apartment building in a not so great district. Once there, the building goes into lockdown and you come across a dead body. The neural detective you are, begin hacking others minds to find the truth of the story.
You traverse the apartment searching for clues, interacting with people and hacking peoples minds. When hacking a mind, you traverse through their memories to find what you are searching for; however, you occasionally have to avoid a hideous monster that reminds you of something familiar because it will result in a game over if you are caught. Between peoples memories or traversing the apartment, there wasn’t a moment that I wasn’t in awe.
Each part of the game is crafted to perfection and detail that had me often times just stopping to admire it. Not only is the environment well crafted, but the world and lore behind it. The lore is such rich in detail that I really hope the team behind Observer will try to make another game in this universe. A deadly virus? Check. Wars? Check. Corporations? Check. Religious groups? Check.
I did run into a few performance issues that detracted somewhat from the experience. Doors not opening for several minutes as I waited for the area behind it to load or constant frame rate drops happening. It also kind of annoyed me that if I went back to the Xbox dashboard and left the game running in the background, I would have to reload to the previous save. Note, I had these issues happening on the Xbox One version so I would assume the PC version is better. I’m not sure how the performance is on the PS4.
Performance issues aside, >Observer_ is a masterfully crafted game that had me engaged with the world behind it. I intend to go back and play this game again as there are different choices to be made throughout the game and other mysteries I may have missed. If you are looking for a cyberpunk horror game right before Halloween, >Observer_ is one that you just cannot miss.