>observer_ on Nintendo Switch
We originally reviewed >observer_ on the Xbox One in August of 2017, and gave the game a 9.0/10! The game is now available on the Nintendo Switch, and we wanted to see how it would perform. Look at this article as more of a performance review on Switch, as opposed to a complete review of the game itself. To read our thoughts on the story of >observer_, feel free to read our complete review!
Initial Thoughts on >observer_
The year is 2084, and we are put into the shoes of detective Daniel Lazarski who’s job it is to walk the streets of Krakow dealing with the increasing crime rate. The detective is working on behalf of the Chiron organization. Daniel is an observer, and thanks to technologies developed by Chiron after the fall of all the worlds super powers, Daniel is able to hijack the minds of individuals and look through their thoughts and memories.
Observer takes place in a particularly bad and dreary Krakow slum, and you will move in between only a handful of locations during your entire play through, interacting with only a few individuals. For the entire experience, you will continue to question who you can trust in this entire ordeal, or who you should be careful around. The story writing is done so well, that I was left (almost) speechless when the credits rolled!
It really is the sights and sounds that create the most captivating moments in Observer, whether it is the faint music in the background as you push open a door to enter a room, or the creaks you’d expect to here when walking through dimly lit hallways and apartments. These sounds, coupled with the outstanding visuals, create an atmosphere that anyone would want to explore.
‘Hacking’ into the minds of individuals around the slum is only one aspect of the game play; working out what people have told you to solve the case is what really will test your own knowledge and problem solving skills. Although this is a fairly short experience, every time I set the controller down for the night, I was mentally exhausted, but definitely in a good way. The way this game makes you think is something I really enjoyed throughout, and although there are a few instant-fail moments throughout that are very frustrating – and frankly doesn’t fit well with the games otherwise obvious task of allowing you to pace your own adventure.
>observer_ Porting to Nintendo Switch
Bringing >observer_ to the Nintendo Switch works really well, and very poorly, at the same time. As a dual use system – whether docked for playing on the TV, or in handheld mode – so often many of these ports leverage one well and the other very poorly. This is definitely the case here. When in docked mode, the game just doesn’t feel right, and I noticed a number of audio and gameplay hiccups that were too frequent to ignore.
When taken off the dock, however, the immersion into the world of >observer_ was better than I had ever experienced. Perhaps it was being up and close with the game that made it so much better, but whatever the reason, this is, in my opinion, the best way to play this title, across all platforms! The game also leverages the touch screen of the Nintendo Switch, and although this doesn’t change the game play up much, it’s an added touch that sets this platform apart from others!
If you own other consoles in your home and are looking to play >observer_ on your television, the Nintendo Switch version should be avoided at all costs. The game looks much better on the Xbox One X – our previously reviewed system – so there is no reason to choose the Nintendo Switch over the other versions. However, if you primarily play your Nintendo Switch on the go, and want this as an on-the-go experience, this is the way to go, not because it’s your only option, but because getting up and close with the world of >observer_ just feels like the way the developers meant it to be played.