Observer: System Redux Review

I have always been intrigued by the idea of cyberpunk. Watching movies about man combined with machine to become the next step in evolution,...

I have always been intrigued by the idea of cyberpunk. Watching movies about man combined with machine to become the next step in evolution, often with a great cost to humanity. From Johnny Mnomic, Cyborg, Robocop or more recent Alita and Altered Carbon. One of my favorite memories that brought awe and terror was BladeRunner starring Rughter Hauer, a often underrated Dutch actor that was terrifyingly good at playing psychopath villains. It was amazing then to see him featured as the main lead in Observer back at its original release in 2017. Sadly he passed away two years later. However we get to experience his performance once more in Observer: System Redux. Though technically re-released back in November last year Blooper Team has now released the game on PS4 and XBOXOne and a retail release on PS5 and XBOX one X/S.

What is it?

Observer is a Cyber punk thriller that relies on discovery, story telling and hidden lore to unfold its story. You assume the role of Daniel Lazarski,  in Kraków  in the year 2084, years after a cyber plague devastated many people in the country.  You are an Observer-class detective with unique interrogation methods including the ability to hack cybernetic enhanced minds. You get a disturbing call and quickly become wrapped up in a quest to find your missing son, Adam


Observer is mostly a walk simulator that takes primarily place in a single rundown apartment

complex known as the stacks. A place rundown, and dirty and uneasy. As you wander through the halls of this apartment maze  you regularly will look for clues to further the narrative. Using R2 combined the the right stick allows you to open doors and drawers. With the PS5 adaptive triggers adding extra emersion  The L1 and R1 buttons turn on your special cyber enhanced abilities. One for biomatter and the other for technology. Click in the right stick and activate night vision for those extra dark areas.

The triangle button activates a wrist tool that holds  your logbook with objectives, clues, data and access to a medicine that is used to synchronize your implants and you will have to administer that regularly though the game as your character exerts himself. 

Throughout the game you will collect clues, talk to habitants through their intercoms and interact with various terminals to progress the story forward. By interacting and conversing you will also collect side quests that, even though do not add to the main narrative, do provide to the world building established by Blooper Team.

Do not expect wild action in this game, most intensive moments are actually done though dream like sequences while hacking peoples brains and these moments involve limited interaction by the play save for moving around in these dream worlds. This game is about experiencing the story and the world it takes place in.


As I mentioned the world of Observer is Dark and Gritty and in this System Redux release Blooper Team has pushed themselves to incorporate some great next gen features. HDR,4k, 60FPS and 3D audio improvements, the game shows some serious muscle. The lack of many NPC's and instead focusing on communication through terminals, and door monitors might have been equal artistic as well as a practical choice by the design team but it work surprisingly well. There is a lot of going on in terms of visual effects including flashing lights and strange visuals which can feel uneasy and I would warn that if you are sensitive for flashing lights etc. to be careful with this game. Especially the scenes where you hack into brains and enter the dream state involve a lot of light flashes and psychedelic scenes. The way the story unfolds this way however is pretty clever and you just have to go with it to build a full picture over time. 

The voice acting was pretty good, especially the numerous lines from the main protagonist. Dialog is a main way to present the story and they did a great job implementing it with Rughter Hauer being the heavy hitter as the gruff , tired old detective who behind his reputation and rough cybernetic enhanced exterior still has a human side.

There are some questions left unanswered throughout, plot holes if you will but the presentation overall is good enough to not linger too much on those and appreciate the delivery. Strangely enough as I kept playing and more story points opened up the game had the same feel like Bioshock had for me me, minus the big daddy battles of course. I am talking about those quiet moments where you wander down the halls, desolate, feeling alone yet also feeling like someone is watching you all the time. The lore presented trough the building adds to the story and equally to your imagination of this place and the things that go on within its halls. 

I love the fact that Blooper Team incorporated their home town and their home country in the story. Everything takes place where they are from and because of it feel authentic and real. More developers (and moviemakers) should take this approach and introduce their cities and countries to the world. There are more places them New York and London.

Parental guidance.

Let me be brief the ESRB is spot on and this is not for the young ones. See the description below for more on what to expect and there is plenty of it. Besides that I believe that the dream sequences by them selves are enough to provide some sleepless nights for many of the younger ones in the family.

Final Thoughts

Observer:System Redux surprised me in many ways. Coming from a smaller team the game world was incredibly well fleshed out, I was not sure about the story initially but quickly became very engaged and the visuals and audio are impressive and can stand toe to toe with some of the top tier AAA developers. If you love Cyberpunk Sci-fi worlds and do not mind a game that is not full of action combat but instead leads you on a path of discovery you should check out this game. If comes at a fair price to at just under $30. If you get the last gen version (Ps4 XB1 ) you get a free upgrade for the new console as well when you upgrade. That is a good deal. Observer does the cyberpunk genre a huge favor with its existence and I would love to see more from  it. 

Game information

Title: Observer System Redux
Developer: Blooper Team
Publisher: Koch Media Group
Release Dat: July 23rd 2021 (Xbox One and PS4 Versions)
Platforms: XBOX One and XBOXoneX/S, PlayStation4 and 5, PC.
Review platform: PS5 


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