By Josh Speer / September 2nd, 2018
I admit I don’t keep up so much with games that don’t get released on Nintendo consoles. But when they get brought to the Nintendo Switch, I pay attention, especially if they are horror games. That’s why I decided to demo Observer at PAX West 2018, and I’m quite glad that I did.
The basic premise is you’re a cop in a dystopian cyberpunk future. Cops have the technology to hack into the neural implants of individuals and anything you think or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. That’s unsettling already, but the game takes this premise to strange and horrifying heights. In the demo, as Daniel Lazarski (voiced by the legendary Rutger Hauer) I was forced to jump inside the mind of a dying drug dealer. Once I was in, I played out his experiences, which are presented as constantly changing, distorted flickers of reality.
Visually Observer is amazing on the Switch, and while I hadn’t seen it on the other consoles it previously released on, I don’t feel much if anything was lost in translation to Nintendo’s latest system. But it’s not all visual, the sound effects are tremendous as well. There are tons of jump scares like faucets turning themselves on, the eerie fluttering of wings, shattering windows and much more. You’ll never know if you’re safe, and in the depths of other people’s minds, you never truly know what can happen. Likewise, the voice acting by Rutger and the other characters is exemplary, and really helps set the tone.
Controls work quite well on the Joy-Con as well. You can use the sticks to move around and change where you’re looking, and it’s a simple task to interact with your environment. Bloober Team even implemented some motion controls if you want, such as flinging one Joy-Con up to slide open a door. The developer also told me that they plan on utilizing some touch screen interactivity, which could be interesting. It is a pretty seamless experience, all said.
While they don’t have a release date quite yet for the Switch release of Observer, I can tell you it’s going to be an incredible ride. If you’re a Switch owner who needs more quality horror titles, Bloober Team has you covered with Observer.
Bloober TeamCyberpunkhorrorObserveroprainfallPAX West 2018Switch