There’s something about >observer_ that’s very unsettling. Set in 2084, the game draws heavy inspiration from a dystopian universe most of us have been familiar with. It’s a cyberpunk dystopia in the future where artificial intelligence, body augmentations, and the dark and gritty streets Krakow – the slums.
What would you do if your fears were hacked? >observer_ is a cyberpunk horror game from Bloober Team, the creators of Layers of Fear. Discover a dark cyberpunk world beset by plagues, war and squalor. Play as the new front line of neural police as you hack into the jagged minds of the insane.
You play as Daniel Lazarski, an Observer from the KPD, who investigates a crime scene after getting an ominous call from his son Adam. The game majorly takes place in the disquieting grounds of a locked down apartment complex due to the Nanophage, which is hailed as “the disease of the XXI century”.
>observer_ is presented in a rather psychedelic fashion. Glitches that distort your visions, horrific elements that plague your sight, and everything in between occur from time to time to immerse you of what’s to come. Psychological mechanics are also present, reminiscent to Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth and other games of the like. >observer_ thrives in atmospheric setting where the dreadful wails of persons behind apartments scream at you, and the ominous voices from conversations you get from attempting to gain answers in solving the crimes that happen on the onset of the game and what you come across as you find them. It’s panic from time to time, and anxiety with doors you feel holds something behind it.
Patience is definitely a big factor in this game. This is a detective game, not a shooting game where you come in with guns blazing. You’ll want to inspect every nook and cranny in order to move forward. To add to your frustration, the apartment complex is, in a word, quite complex that you’ll be better off using a map to come by places as needed.
Light strobes and “glitching elements” are part of the story for immersion, and it fits beautifully to its cyberpunk setting. Seizure warnings and nausea could be abound for you, so here’s to a word of warning. You will also want to have a way to adjust the FOV, it feels cramped and nauseating, but unfortunately it’s not present at the moment. Despite all that, we believe that >observer_ does bring out the best of it graphically through its gritty and grimy setting, with visual effects all over the place befitting of its cyberpunk theme.
>observer_ creates a beautiful experience as it improves the formula of psychological horror through its gameplay mechanics and atmospheric setting that’s both chilling and stopping during its moments. Brought to you Bloober Team and Aspyr on Steam for Php759.95, it’s one of the best indie games out there if you have a feel for a dystopian psychological horror detective game.