Observer System Redux is a tense narrative-driven detective game with psychological horror elements and mind-bending scares but is Observer, one to watch or a system failure. Check out my review of Observer System Redux for Xbox.
Review of Observer System Redux of Xbox
Observer System Redux is set in a Cyberpunk dystopian future and follows the investigations of Daniel Lazarski, a specialist detective with cybernetic enhancements allowing him to access the memories (and dreams ) of any other enhanced human. Starting with a suspicious phone call from his long-absent son, Dan (voiced by the amazing and iconic Rutger Hauer) traces the call to a run-down apartment complex. Following the discovery of a dead body, the entire complex is locked down and the player is trapped and has no choice but to solve the mystery.
Outside of the dilapidated apartment block, the world is falling apart. Most governments having fallen leaving corporations ruling the streets. A technological plague called the Nanophage has wiped out much of the population and the fear of another outbreak has lockdowns occurring often.
The setting is touched upon but never really explored and players are expected to simply accept this reality and play the game.
The first thing you will notice is the graphics, Observer is a stunningly beautiful game and the new update takes advantage of the extra power with lush 4K visuals and added ray tracing. The cyberpunk setting mixes neon luminous data layers with dark dank backdrops. With many of the cupboards and drawers accessible, you’ll be finding all sorts of trinkets and clues.
The gameplay is essentially a walking simulator with some stealth sections thrown in to mix it up. A handful of hacking mini-games add to the overall cyberpunk feel. Players explore the disgusting apartments and corridors looking for clues that will move the investigation on.
Observer mixes tense situations with various jump scares to maximum effect. When in reality, there is some level of expectation, but when you are experiencing the memories and dreams of multiple people all rules go out of the window.
During my research of the original game, there were complaints around the difficultly of the stealth sections which seem to have now be rebalanced as they are now relatively easy.
The ease of play really helps the story move along and it’s the story that you come for. The voice acting is fantastic and the story will keep you gripped for the seven-hour playtime.
You can see that the team behind the fantastic Layers of Fear and The Blair Witch have honed their craft and found a niche to excel in. Observer System Redux is a tense sci-fi thriller, with just the right amount of horror elements. This game is well worth playing in the dark and with a good set of gaming headphones on.
Overall, Observer System Redux is not just a remaster of Observer from 2017. The updated version, with its 4K enhanced graphics is nothing short of stunning. The rebalancing of the stealth sections is a welcome change and the new side quests help expand an already meaty game.