The thrilling video game marketplace has been steadily growing for the last 15-20 years, and Observer is just the latest in a long run of cyber-punk games to enter this particular marketplace. Creating a great thriller title for console is fairly hard – movies work because the directors have all the say, but in video games, you the player decide what to do and where to go, which can take away from the intended experience. Thankfully, during my play through of Observer, I rarely felt this to be the case!
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 gameplay; 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 is a must own, and if you love thrilling video game experiences, I’m not sure anything compares to this experience. This game came out of nowhere for me, and I’m so glad I got to take it for a spin. Grab your copy today and let us know what you think!