Observation Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 148 Ratings

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  • Summary: Observation is a sci-fi thriller uncovering what happened to Dr. Emma Fisher, and the crew of her mission, through the lens of the station’s artificial intelligence S.A.M. Players assume the role of S.A.M. by operating the station’s control systems, cameras, and tools to assist Emma inObservation is a sci-fi thriller uncovering what happened to Dr. Emma Fisher, and the crew of her mission, through the lens of the station’s artificial intelligence S.A.M. Players assume the role of S.A.M. by operating the station’s control systems, cameras, and tools to assist Emma in discovering what is happening to the station, the vanished crew, and S.A.M. himself. Expand

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Observation - Launch Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Jun 13, 2019
    90
    Overall it’s a fresh change from the standard jump scare, or shooter mechanic that we have so much of today. It’s a compelling story and one worth putting some time into puzzle solving to uncover. The game is pretty forgiving and not too taxing so if you like a bit of problem solving in a sci-fi setting, this might be just up your alley.
  2. May 21, 2019
    90
    Observation is grander than Stories Untold, more ambitious by half, but equally fascinating and inventive. It’s a pastiche of science fiction new and old but knows when to lean into expectations and when to subvert them, and its approach to mechanical realism is so uncompromising it becomes an artistic statement instead of mere mimicry. I’m already curious what’s next.
  3. Jun 12, 2019
    85
    While Observation isn’t perfect, developer No Code has managed to create something truly unique. It’s a word that’s used way too often, but I’ve never played anything quite like it. Some will find the gameplay a little restrictive or the lack of handholding frustrating, but the challenging puzzles and compelling narrative create an unforgettable experience. If you favor a good thrilling story with replay value then you shouldn’t miss out on Observation.
  4. May 21, 2019
    80
    No Codes's new production is a narrative adventure that allows you to play as the AI of a space station. A wonderfully written thriller with rich storytelling and background.
  5. May 22, 2019
    80
    Regardless of a few dry spells, it’s where this seven-hour adventure takes you that’s most compelling. It isn’t a branching narrative, but there are multiple layers to how events unfold, and the game puts you in the middle of complex situations without over-explaining them, making them just as bewildering as if you were really there. It’s well worth grabbing a pair of headphones, turning out the lights, and seeing where this dark tale leads.
  6. May 22, 2019
    75
    Obversation is a weird little game. With little means, it dares jostle the player and has a good balance between its unique gameplay and its sci-fi scenario. A true UFO.
  7. May 28, 2019
    50
    Observation is undeniably beautiful, but it is also vapid and shallow. An interesting premise is let down by simple puzzles and awkward controls. While the game does have some interesting ideas, the execution fails to stick the landing.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 42
  2. Negative: 5 out of 42
  1. Jul 1, 2020
    10
    I really liked the game. Atmospheric, deep, special. Like a good movie, but with you in it. Such games are rare.
  2. Feb 1, 2020
    10
    This is one of those games that is tailored for a very specific taste. And I love it!

    The strength of studio no_Code, and of Observation by
    This is one of those games that is tailored for a very specific taste. And I love it!

    The strength of studio no_Code, and of Observation by extension is the ability to tell abstract stories through complex puzzles. That with the oppressive, thriller-esque pacing of the narrative makes for the tensest 6 hours you may ever experience!
    Expand
  3. May 22, 2019
    9
    Game turned out to be really good. Voice acting was top notch, but the lip sync was just a tiny bit off. Graphics were beautiful. Controls onGame turned out to be really good. Voice acting was top notch, but the lip sync was just a tiny bit off. Graphics were beautiful. Controls on mouse+keyboard were spot on during the main parts of the game, but the sections where you controlled the sphere were a bit clumsy and at times irritating. Not a huge fan of QTEs, albeit only a few were in this game. Most of it was just entering strings of numbers in a sequence. The setting for the story was great. I loved the 1980's "future tech" feel, similar to that in Alien: Isolation.

    I give it a 9/10.
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  4. May 21, 2019
    9
    Great creepy story and cool 2001: a space odyssey look. Might not be for everyone but i really enjoy it
  5. Oct 31, 2019
    8
    The dubbing was really successful. The atmosphere and the environment design were great. Puzzles were moderate. Finished the story mode in 9The dubbing was really successful. The atmosphere and the environment design were great. Puzzles were moderate. Finished the story mode in 9 hrs on record.

    It made me remind of the movie named "Arrival". So if you are a fan of this genre, you would really like this game for sure.
    Expand
  6. May 26, 2019
    7
    Preliminary criticism:
    Very strong start but fizzled out after an hour. Messed up takes the helm.
    I fly around the area with Sam and look
    Preliminary criticism:
    Very strong start but fizzled out after an hour. Messed up takes the helm.
    I fly around the area with Sam and look off spaceships. Very annoying.
    In the space station itself, the player also finds his way around badly. Without navigation assistance, you will search for the other sections forever.
    But what makes the game positive is the good story line. Based on 2001 by Kubrick, this is the best in many months. Kudos to the developers.
    The puzzles are ok but quickly wear off. Always the same thing.
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  7. May 15, 2020
    3
    Captivating story, stunning atmosphere, and aggressively awful gameplay & controls...

    Let's start with praise: the story's mystery sinks
    Captivating story, stunning atmosphere, and aggressively awful gameplay & controls...

    Let's start with praise: the story's mystery sinks its claws in and holds you until the (admittedly disappointing) ending. It's reminiscent of the first few episodes of Lost. The characters are engaging and charismatic. The world is superbly crafted and oozes eeriness and atmosphere (sometimes literally). It reminds one of *Alien: Isolation*.

    Unfortunately, the most important aspect of a game -- the gameplay -- is stunningly bad. Here's the game loop: you are tasked with traveling to a particular room in the space station; you must scrupulously hunt pixels in this room to find a puzzle device that progresses the story (usually a laptop or switch); you must fiddle with said device in some insultingly tedious, time consuming way ("press your W key for awhile", "look at these symbols and regurgitate them back"); you thus trigger a progression cutscene; you do it all over again. It is the worst gaming experience I've had in recent memory.

    A game consisting solely of tedious busywork would perhaps be bearable if not for the astonishingly terrible controls. They're so convoluted and bizarrely unintuitive that it borders on parody. To avoid a scathing diatribe of nearly every aspect of this senseless, clearly-ported-from-a-console control system, I will simply say this: It feels as if someone who has never used a computer before was told to design the game's controls, they did, and Observation was shipped with this system with nary a playtest for usability. From using WASD instead of a mouse to control excruciatingly slow cameras, to hacky junk like holding `RMB` & `W` to change drone elevation, Observation's controls are a special hell that can only be truly appreciated by playing it.

    Worse, various cutscenes and collisions needlessly cause your viewport to jolt/flicker nauseatingly. I had to put the game down twice to avoid being sick. That has never happened to me in any other game, ever. Kudos for that achievement. I simply refuse to believe that any playtester gritted their teeth through this kludge and said "yeah, this is fine."

    But worst of all? This game had so much potential. The story and art direction are world class. The game mechanics are there. As an omnipresent AI, you could've had a quest in which you must dance from room to room helping the protagonist escape an enemy. There could've been genuinely rewarding and clever puzzles instead of a string of inane "fiddle with MacGuffin #2 in Room #11" missions.

    As a 20 minute short film, Observation would've been enjoyable. As a game? A game needs serviceable gameplay. 3/10.
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See all 42 User Reviews

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