[PS4] Observer: System Redux Review
The revamped psychological horror adventure game Observer: System Redux has now made its way to the PS4. Learn more about this new take in our Observer: System Redux review!
Observer from Koch Media and Bloober Team is a psychological horror adventure game that was originally released on PlayStation 4 back in 2018. It later found its way to the Nintendo Switch in 2019. For the PlayStation 5 launch window, Bloober Team went back to the drawing board to give us Observer: System Redux, which added new story content, revamped graphics, upgraded texture, and lighting, as well as making good use of the features of the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller. It’s now 2021, and we’re getting Observer: System Redux on PlayStation 4, bringing most of the improvements made to the game – minus the 4K presentation, higher framerate, and DualSense support, of course.
It’s the year 2084, and a deadly plague that killed thousands of people who had augments on their minds and bodies. The Nanophage really did a number on the world, and this was before the war broke out! With the world in turmoil, corporations see the opportunity to seize power. You take on the role of Daniel Lazarski (played by Rutger Hauer, who many of you will know from Blade Runner, a Krakowian detective from the Observers police unit. He will have to investigate a series of murders by using the augments that allow him to not only review all mechanical and living entities around him but also to hack into people’s brains. You spring into action when you receive a call from Adam, your estranged son. After tracing the call to a building in a really bad part of town, you start to investigate what is really going on.
Since, at its core, this is a 3D psychological horror adventure game, you’ll move Daniel with the left analog stick, looking around with the right one – which you can press down to activate nightvision. To crouch when needed, just press the Circle button. You can interact with the R2 button and zoom in and analyze with the L2 button. You also have a Bio Vision that can be activated with the L1 button, which will allow you to get a better view of your surroundings as you search for humans and their traces. There’s also EM Vision, which is set to the R1 button, giving you a chance to find and scan electronic devices.
Along with interacting with objects and talking to other characters, there are plenty of collectibles to find in Observer: System Redux – some of which are tied to trophies (more on this in a bit). You’ll be searching for more than 70 Nanophage cards, a handful of patient recordings, some radio-controlled cars, and even roses that have been mysteriously left behind at weird spots. And yes, if you want to 100% the game, you will need to collect everything during a single run since collectibles don’t carry over when you start a new game.
While there’s only some jump scares to find during the regular segments of Observer: System Redux, and technically you can’t die for most of the game, but when you hack into a person’s mind, you’re in grave danger! In these dream segments, you could run into a monster that can destroy your mind in an instant, which means it’s game over. You need to be careful, use stealth, crouch down to take cover, and move around at a slow but steady pace so that you can outsmart them, staying out of their line of sight.
What’s new in Observer: System Redux? As mentioned before, the graphics have been revamped, with areas featuring more details, better textures, and character models seeing an improvement as well. On top of this, the lighting has been given a bit of an extra oomph to it, helping each area feel even more alive. On top of this, there’s new story content for you to enjoy. This includes, for example, a mysterious distress signal you will get when checking your synchronization status, which will lead you to a specific apartment to explore. There are also some new computers that play old music and have hearts all over them. These will have cryptic messages from someone who seems to be watching your every move. Creepy, right?
As for the trophies, the list for Observer: System Redux is a bit different from the one for the original version of Observer. There are trophies tied to the collectibles, so you’ll have to find all roses, all RC cars, and all Nanophage cards to get their corresponding trophies. There’s also another trophy for using too many pills to synchronize yourself, a trophy for interrogating 20 of the building’s tenants, for completing specific story segments, for reaching both potential endings, and for completing all levels in the With Fire and Swords mini-game you can play in the computers you find in Observer. Oh, and you have to complete the game without dying a single time.
Observer: System Redux offers some accessibility options so that you can tailor your experience as needed. You can reduce the camera head bobbing while you walk or run around each location, change interactions so that those that require a dragging motion are replaced with button presses, change the sound from stereo to mono, remove all of the hacking mini-games, increase the font size for subtitles as well as change the background transparency, the background color, and change the font color as well, so that whoever is speaking gets its own color. You can also change chromatic aberration, decide if you want to keep the dynamic resolution on so that it lowers when the framerate is about to take a hit, or keep everything shiny and detailed with the expected GPU hit.
Observer: System Redux is a thrilling first-person psychological horror experience that you should check out on PlayStation 4. It’s one of the last performances from the late Rutger Hauer, and this revamped version now offers many of the improvements made to the PlayStation 5 version of the game while obviously still taking into consideration the limitations of Sony’s previous-gen console. It offers better textures, new character models, new story content, and a new trophy list, all for a $29.99 asking price on PS4.
This Observer: System Redux review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Koch Media.