Tag Archives: Bloober Team

Observer: System Redux Review

The decrepit setting of Observer’s futuristic cyberpunk ghetto was already strong, but
better textures and lighting in Observer: System Redux really take it to a new level.

Bloober Team, a Polish game developer, has been around for 12 years and put out several games in a variety of genres, but it wasn’t until they switched to horror that they really found their groove. Layers of Fear was a creepy delight, followed up by strong releases in Observer – read that review here – then Layers of Fear 2, and finally their interpretation of Blair Witch.

The team is currently working on The Medium, planned to launch with the Xbox Series line of consoles but now delayed into early 2021, so they tapped Anshar Studios to remaster Observer for next-gen consoles as Observer: System Redux. Anshar provided art remastering and gameplay improvements, along with some new content for the port to PS5 and Xbox Series consoles, along with a PC version.

The timing on this release seems almost too on point, as the plot features a KPD detective – voiced by the late Rutger Hauer – who is in the opening stages of investigating his son’s call for help when the building is locked down by a plague called Nanophage. The remaster offers up new side cases that flesh out the plot a bit, helping show a bit more of the backstory of the world and what it’s like to be one of Poland’s ‘Class C’ citizens.

While the original nailed the aesthetic of a cyberpunk future’s ghetto, the next-gen version also offers raytracing, animation improvements, and some tweaks to the somewhat underwhelming stealth sections that really help make them more playable and fun.

What I Loved:

  • A strong visual upgrade on an already great looking game
  • Top-notch voice acting
  • Great audio overall
  • Great world building and lore background

What I Liked:

  • Some great tension builds towards the ‘scare’ moments
  • New animations and side story content!

What I Disliked:

  • A little too reliant on jump scares for my taste

What I Hated:

  • Nothing

Observer: System Redux is available now on PS5, Xbox Series consoles, and PC. Reviewed on Xbox Series X using code provided by the publisher.

Next-Gen Launch Game Options Grow With ‘Observer: System Redux’ Set For Day One

Observer was a fantastic game that went almost criminally unappreciated when it launched back in 2017, and Bloober Team is hoping to rectify that by making Observer: System Redux – an upgraded re-release of the game for Xbox Series consoles and the PS5 – available at next-gen launch.

It seems like a smart plan, with gamers hyped for all things cyberpunk for some reason…and with a lower price point, it might even be worth it for gamers who played the original to jump back in for those upgrades, especially as a next-gen launch is usually followed by a drought of games.

Here’s the press release:

Bloober Team Announces Observer: System Redux as Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 Launch Day Title

Observer: System Redux launches on PC and Xbox Series X November 10, and PlayStation 5 November 12.

Kraków, Poland – September 18th, 2020 – Bloober Team announced Observer: System Redux will be available day one on next-generation consoles. This dark cyberpunk thriller will be available for $29.99 or €29.99 on PC and Xbox Series X November 10th, 2020, with a follow-up release for PlayStation 5 on November 12, 2020.  

“Making Observer: System Redux available for next-gen console players has been a huge focus for the team,” said Piotr Babineo, Bloober Team CEO. “Now that both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 release dates are out there, we can finally share our release date news. We know next-gen pricing is a major concern for our fans and we feel that releasing all the new content and upgrades in Observer: System Redux at the same cost as the original Observer is a great way to stay close with our community.”

Observer: System Redux brings additional content to the original release, with three new major missions: Errant Signal, Her Fearful Symmetry, and It Runs in the Family, updated characters models, and new locations. This new content is supported by the latest in next-gen features such as 4K resolution, upgraded textures, new animations, models, and effects, all transformed with ray-tracing and HDR lighting. Observer: System Redux will be released in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean at launch.

Considered one of the best cyberpunk games coming to next-generation platforms, Observer: System Redux features Rutger Hauer as Dan Lazarski/Observer in one of his last voice-acting roles.

Want a closer look at Observer: System Redux? New gameplay will be shown during Tokyo Game Show 2020 Online. 

Review – Layers of Fear 2

Layers of Fear (2016) proved that the much-maligned ‘walking simulator’ genre could be scary, with its mix of wildly innovative environmental mischief and jump scares, and Layers of Fear 2 shows the developers at Bloober Team didn’t lose their edge.
Like the original, Layers of Fear 2 is a first-person adventure/horror game that locks you into a location – a mansion in the first game, a cruise ship in this one – and gives you just enough clues to start figuring things out. Players were a tortured artist in the original, but Bloober Team is exploring a different art form this time around – the stage.
Gamers start the game in a dilapidated environment that soon reveals itself to be an apparently abandoned cruise ship, though one that’s inhabited by….someone? Something? Commanded to stay awake and play your part, you discover you are here for a specific purpose: build the character; connect the memories, dreams, and fears; and prepare for the ‘big role’ to come.
Layers of Fear 2 doesn’t stray far from the formula of the first game, but why change what worked? The changing environments that drove me nuts and kept me off-balance in the first game return, and there’s a few twists to the formula that really drove it home. Where horror games almost routinely lean on the jump scare to elicit a response, the Layers games are really a lot more sophisticated in their approach – using minor adjustments to the environment to create paranoia, allowing even the smallest movement or shift to create a ‘fight or flight’ response from the player.
And just when you think you’re safe, THAT’s when the jump scare happens.
Bloober Team ups the ante on every front, with great audio work and improved visuals. With a longer run time than the first game and three possible endings to encounter, there’s even more value for your dollar here than in the first outing.