>Observer_ is a psychological horror game developed by Bloober Team and published by Aspyr. Things can get really trippy as you play through the 6 hour-ish campaign, so what is the game really about and how does it hold up on the Nintendo Switch?
Observer takes place in the year 2084 during a time of fear and unrest. This was exerted due to the Nanophage, a digital disease which took the lives of thousands of people who decided to meddle with their minds and bodies in this Cyberpunk future.
We play as Daniel Lazarski, an Observer detective who's job is to comb over crime scenes and enter the minds of the victims to source as much information as possible. An out of the blue call from his estranged son leads Daniel down a road that tests the limits of his sanity, but can he make it out in one piece?
The plot was pretty interesting and once it all came together, all loose ends were pretty much tied up. It was also super helpful to speak with the tenants in the building and get their perspective on what was going on, of course this usually lead to them talking about themselves and in some instances, to dark extents. Overall having a dialogue tree just gave you a little more choice on certain outcomes and this I appreciated.
As mentioned earlier, Daniel is an Observer, so as you would imagine there were quite large portions of the game which involved looking for evidence and hooking your self up to a victim's memories. When collecting evidence, you can switch between Electromagnetic Vision to scan electronic items and Bio Vision which scans biological evidence. This part of the game can be pretty engaging from a puzzle aspect, but at certain points I felt that I was looking around just for the sake of it.
When entering people's minds, you use something called the Dream Eater which allows you to hack in. As the mind can be either strong or weak, the game does a really good job of showcasing this and believe me when I say that at times, things can become really trippy, but this can of course depend on the victim's circumstances.
These sequences can both be amazing to watch and terrifying at the same time as you witness the mind warp around you, trying to make sense of old memories and events that have taken place. This is most definitely the strongest point of Observer as these parts had me on the edge of my seat. You just didn't know what was going to happen next.
This naturally lead to jump scares and odd situations that stopped the game from becoming boring. The overall atmosphere was tense and having that constant feeling that something was just waiting for you around the corner was thrilling.
Controls can also be a bit weird as you use the action button in conjunction with the right stick to open doors and such. The issue here is that the action does not stop unless you press the button again which led me to opening and closing the same door and wondering what was happening. I understand why it was done, but I think it would have been best to leave this as a single button press, if anything to avoid confusion.
As this was the Nintendo Switch version, of course the visuals are not going to be anything close to the other platforms, however I still think that Bloober Team did a great job with what they had and some of environments I came across during my gameplay looked absolutely amazing. The only other thing being bugs as the game did randomly crash on me three times and in one area I fell through the map completely.
There isn't a game like >Observer_ on the Nintendo Switch, but overall I enjoyed the ride. The memory sequences were out of this world and the atmosphere was done so well, I might have to find another word other than tense to full describe what the team have achieved.
Yes the visuals aren't amazing for this generation and there are some bugs that need to be ironed out, but Blooper Team have done a great job with this and I would like them to take another crack at the cyberpunk/ futuristic concept.
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