Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
  1. Oct 24, 2017
    The game is visually stunning and sets a new bar for the genre of Cyberpunk games. The voice acting from Rutger Hauer is perfectly casted, and he delivers the role spectacularly. Observer is overall pretty short, but it will have you playing until you push on to uncover the truth – it truly is a captivating game. The sound design is fantastic, too, from the impressive soundtrack, written and composer by Arkadiusz Reikowski, to the noise of creaky doors, all lends itself to a truly great psychological horror game.
  2. Aug 14, 2017
    A dark, unforgiving descent into one family’s darkest secrets, brilliantly stylized and exquisitely paced and acted. Hauer is in top form as the cynical, tired, end-of-the-road Detective Lazarski and Observer lives to subvert any possible genre expectations you might approach it with.
  3. Sep 11, 2017
    A few minor technical flaws keep me from giving it a perfect score, but Observer is one of my favorite games in a year that has much to offer.
  4. Sep 6, 2017
    Bloober Team’s latest is one of the scariest horror experiences I’ve played in a long time, and its strong sense of place, story, and action put it above the majority of other games in the genre. Observer is simply the best of both worlds and is a must-play for anyone who considers themselves a fan of either sci-fi or horror.
  5. Aug 24, 2017
    Observer takes place and memories and turns them into frightening things, dragging the player into realms of terrifying visions that stir up a nameless fear.
  6. Aug 22, 2017
    >OBSERVER_ is a superior, more frightening take on the experience we glimpsed from Westwood Studios’ Blade Runner adaptation back in 1997. Outstanding level design and a perfectly paced nightmare make for one of the best adventure titles I’ve ever played. You will feel a sense of cybernetic dread that has been missing since your last run in with Shodan. This is a must play for fans of the genre or anyone looking for a solid scare.
  7. Aug 17, 2017
    >observer_ takes the beats from Bloober Team’s own Layers of Fear, adds a layer of cyberpunk, and somehow comes out the other end both unnerving, and more than the sum of its parts. There are a few small technical hiccups present, and some infrequent uneven voice work, but beyond that there’s an amazing story about the human toll of investigation and observation.
  8. Aug 14, 2017
    >observer_ is one of the most immersive games I have had a privilege to play in recent memory. It grabs you by the collar and pulls deep into its twisted cyber mystery. The game progresses with the beat of any good thriller and won’t let you have a dull moment, even with a lack of action as observers come unarmed. It took about 10 hours to solve the case (or did it solve me?), but I would gladly have spent twice the time in the bleak and oppressive neo Krakow. The game is worth jacking back into, though, as it has alternate paths to take and endings to see. >observer_ is like a direct-to-video B movie that never was that you can now play yourself. And it stars Rutger Hauer. Did I tell how awesome that is?
  9. Aug 14, 2017
    Its grimy characters, seedy underbelly of futuristic Poland, and uncomfortably bizarre storylines combine to make some of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in gaming. It may be a little unorthodox, but it’s executed fantastically. If you’re looking to be simultaneously terrified and intrigued, you need to spend a few days with Daniel Lazarski as an Observer.
  10. Aug 14, 2017
    Cyberpunk is a reflection of where we’re headed as a society, an oddly alluring reality where we've allowed impressive technology into our lives at the cost of our humanity. This is a niche genre that needs new revisions and new pioneers so it can keep evolving as we inch closer to seeing its fictional warnings play out in real life, and Observer adds to the familiar parables in fascinating and unexpected ways. In that respect, and on so many other levels, Observer is a haunting and remarkable achievement.
  11. Aug 14, 2017
    An audio and visual tour de force, Observer doesn’t pull any punches. It would appear that Layers of Fear was simply foreplay for Bloober Team; a warm up for the full-on fuckfest that Observer is. Combining investigation, exploration, stealth, puzzles, and a near constant barrage of horror, Observer is a meticulously created game that rarely puts a foot wrong. If you think you have the stomach for it, this could be one of the biggest surprises of the year.
  12. Sep 4, 2017
    Despite some minor technical quibbles and uneven voice acting, Observer is a nightmarish gem. Drawing heavily on seminal sci-fi film Blade Runner for its overall cyberpunk aesthetic, this new game from Bloober Team adds fantastic game design and an engaging narrative to keep you coming back despite the terror it induces.
  13. Sep 1, 2017
    Even with some minor quibbles about the puzzles, I can’t pretend Observer is anything but a brilliant accomplishment. It’s original, creative, stunning, creepy, and occasionally disturbing. It marvels at fantastic technology and wallows in brutal gore in equal measure, creating a hardcore sci-horror that must be played. This isn’t for the faint of heart or those prone to photosensitive seizures (there’s a lot of flashing lights!) but for anyone looking for a different kind of horror or innovative visuals, it’s a must-play.
  14. Aug 29, 2017
    Advertised as a cyberpunk horror, I do feel that >observer_ falls short of that aim considering I only jumped three times throughout. What it did right is more than enough reason for any fans of the cyberpunk genre, fans of works centered around dystopias, and fans of vintage sci-fi to at least give it a shot. From the setting to diving into others’ minds, and then watching the lines between real and unreal begin to blur, it’s an unsettling walk through madness I’m happy I took.
  15. Nov 20, 2017
    Bloober Team’s >observer_ marries cyberpunk and body horror tropes into an intense, disturbing sensory feast, for the most part successfully.
  16. CD-Action
    Oct 30, 2017
    During 8 hours I spent with Observer I never felt that the developers’ creativity is waning. [10/2017, p.45]
  17. Oct 19, 2017
    Observer is filled with alarming images, sounds en conversations, elements that come together as a mystery which is bound to get under your skin. Let the raw voice of Rutger Hauer guide you through a nasty world, in which the game-within-a-game With Fire and Sword: Spiders forms a nice diversion of all the somber misery. But be forewarned that this is more of a walking simulator than a Outlast-like horror game.
  18. Sep 3, 2017
    Layers of Fear proved that Bloober Team knows how to make horror games, and now Observer proves that they can tell great stories too. A little more variation in the gameplay and Observer would have been just perfect.
  19. Aug 31, 2017
    Observer crushes you with its extremely rich, but deliberately disgusting environment. Here cyberpunk means garbage, ruins and dirt, and you will remember this atmosphere for a long time.
  20. Aug 25, 2017
    Solid step forward from Bloober´s previous game Layers Of Fear to offer a great first person horror adventure game that creates gorgeous cyberpunk setting. A true must have for the fans of the sci fi genre, who will be blessed with the voice of Rutger Hauer acting as the game´s main character.
  21. Aug 21, 2017
    Obscure and really paranoid first person adventure from the makers of Layers of Fear. Great atmosphere and a very dark and enjoyable story to step into.
  22. Aug 21, 2017
    Dark, violent, visionary. Observer's cyberpunk universe hits hard despite some too long and boring mind trips.
  23. Aug 17, 2017
    Observer is a must buy for cyberpunk fans. Bloober Team's ambitions grow and this game is a good example. An interesting idea, well designed visions, pretty graphics and superb soundtrack are worth the price of admission. It's still a "walking simulator", but a very good one.
  24. Aug 14, 2017
    Observer features remarkable trips through fictional minds that unsettle and terrify without relying on excessive jump scares. The nightmares contrast wonderfully with an atmospheric and detailed cyberpunk world that is always fascinating to explore.
  25. Aug 14, 2017
    Quotation forthcoming.
  26. Aug 14, 2017
    Observer is a brilliant commingling of cyberpunk and horror. It demonstrates how interesting the game concept is and how much Bloober Team has grown.
  27. Aug 14, 2017
    Observer is a good sci-fi horror adventure, with a strong narrative, blessed by the amazing performance of Rutger Hauer. Some less-convincing elements (notably, recycling of assets and gameplay ideas from Layers of Fear, the previous game from Bloober Team) don't diminish the value of an intriguing experience, full of love for Blade Runner and the sci-fi avantpop.
  28. Nov 12, 2018
    A brilliantly unique experience later soddened with unusual game design decisions.
  29. Aug 16, 2017
    Observer is a great sci-fi adventure that looks goods and drags us into its world. We missed more difficulty, but other than that, it's worth the journey.
  30. Aug 15, 2017
    Observer is a very interesting first person adventure game featuring a well-crafted setting and characters as well as the team's signature transitions, which manage to carry everything forward in spite of the gameplay which gets slightly repetitive over time. While the single elements may not be particularly original, the sum of the parts more than makes up for it, making Observers a worthy purchase for fans of psychological horror and dystopian settings.
  31. Aug 14, 2017
    Observer is an interesting experience, which finds its main strength in the spire of a deep and intriguing story, and harmoniously combines sci-fi themes (primarily trans-humanism) with other intimate and familiar topics.
  32. Aug 14, 2017
    Observer is a fascinating adventure with solid narrative references and a focus on the inevitable ethical issues of cybernetic augmentations. Beautifully dubbed by Rutger Hauer, detective Daniel Lazarski takes us on a journey into the dystopian future of year 2048.
  33. Aug 16, 2017
    The scary bits aren’t scary and the story goes flat almost out of nowhere, leaving for an experience that is very stunted.
  34. Sep 21, 2017
    Observer tells a compelling story about people, their mistakes, and man-made nightmares, but I believe that this narrative could have been better if its creators weren’t spreading themselves thin on genre cliches and cheap jump scares.
  35. PC PowerPlay
    Oct 8, 2017
    Before it resorts to some rather cliched horror tropes, Observer is a gritty, oppressive cyberpunk nightmare. [Issue#266, p.60]
  36. Aug 25, 2017
    Cyberpunk adventure with a horror tinge and great focus on the Bladerunner legacy with Rutger Hauer in the leading role. The game will catch and charm you with a dark, claustrophobic atmosphere. But unfortunately, they will plug you out from its magic virtual reality too soon, what will probably cause you a temporary perception disorder.
  37. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Oct 16, 2017
    Search for clues in the downtrodden districts of the future turns out to be far more captivating than diving into someone’s memories – which is supposed to be Observer’s main course. In the previous game by same studio, Layers of Fear, developers managed to evoke anxiety before the unknown, but here, all their efforts fall flat. Playing this game is just like fiddling with a jammed mechanism: you keep thinking that if you go just a bit further, something will click and the gears will start to turn – but in Observer’s case, that never comes to be. [Issue#223, p.62]
  38. Sep 25, 2017
    Overall Observer is good at what it does, but it’s not the sort of place I overly enjoyed being in. Rather than pelting headlong down the horror route, it straddles an awkward thriller line that didn’t overly entice me. At no point was I desperate to boot it up and find out what happened next, no doubt partly due to the busy, often dizzying art style that made me feel like I was sat in the back of a hot car on a long journey. For those after a narrative driven, cyberpunk fix Observer certainly fills a hole though, provided you can deal with yet another take on technologies potential impact on humanity.
  39. Aug 29, 2017
    Unfortunately, even though Observer has its moments, it is nevertheless inferior in almost all aspects when compared with the uniquely horrifying experience offered by Layers of Fear. The decently crafted intrusion of people’s minds cannot overcome the absence of world building as well as the derivative main plot. Worth mentioning that Rutger Hauer may seemed a right choice on paper but in reality its disinterest with his role is almost palpable.
  40. Aug 15, 2017
    Observer starts out as a quirky cyberpunk thriller that tries to play a lot mindgames with you. But it gets predictable after a while.
  41. Aug 14, 2017
    Whether or not you suffer from simulator sickness, Observer will make you queasy. For better and worse, that's the point of the game, which uses a cyberpunk detective framework to meditate on augmented reality and consciousness.
  42. 50
    The same elements and design choices in Observer that make it a cerebral and provocative failed-future experience are those that prohibit satisfaction in its gameplay. Detailed world-building shines through in-game dialogue and lore, yet falls drastically short in any actual spatial embodiment of forces and institutions. The small space in which you're trapped is a quaint microcosm of Observer's world, but after rich promises of variety and exploration, it's ultimately too micro to satisfy.
  43. Aug 23, 2017
    Brainhacking will blow your mind, but you'll want to get the cop out of your head by the end.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Aug 18, 2017
    A splendid hybrid of CSI, cyberpunk and Silent Hill woven around a potent central performance, spoiled a bit by unconvincing scare tactics. [Recommended]
  2. It’s the Cronenbergian cyberpunk game I never knew I wanted, and it’s shot right into my top ten of the year so far. [RPS Recommended]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 304 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 304
  1. Aug 16, 2017
    Despite the fact that the game borrows many props from the Blade Runner movie - eerie volumetric lighting, desolate future mixing futuristicDespite the fact that the game borrows many props from the Blade Runner movie - eerie volumetric lighting, desolate future mixing futuristic looking tech with decaying old buildings, even Rutger Hauer's voice (who sounds really old and tired, and does not deliver the lines with much energy, to be honest), despite all that, and all the flickering, motion blur and distorted sound, the game fails to cover the simple fact that it has nothing to say. It drags you from one cheap jumpscare to another (especially during the scenes where you rummage through other people's minds), hoping to somehow impress, but it fails miserably.

    There is no poetry combined with a brilliant soundtrack Blade Runner had, there is not deep theme to ponder about, it's an incredibly shallow show that in the end will give you only a headache from all the flashing lights.

    It's pretentious, it drags on without saying anything, it uses dark interiors and visual distortions to cover the fact that the levels and objects are lazily designed, and it has no meaningful gameplay.

    I understand why companies make walking simulators like this - it's cheaper, easier, there are no complex mechanics that must be debugged and balanced, but let's hope this style of games won't become the prevailing trend. It was so bad I did not even finish the game, which does not happen often.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 16, 2017
    As soon as I realised this game was made by some polish developers I got curious. By experience most developers from Eastern Europe alwaysAs soon as I realised this game was made by some polish developers I got curious. By experience most developers from Eastern Europe always care a lot for a unique style, story and atmosphere and luckily I was not disappointed. A dystopian horror adventure with great character and a likeable protagonist!
    Do me a the first hour or so in a let's play...if you like what you see buy it! Small developers who dare to bring us experiences like that deserve to be supported!
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 16, 2017
    It really is Layers of Fear meets Blade Runner, the soundtrack is great, I love the graphics and the atmosphere, very unsettling use of analogIt really is Layers of Fear meets Blade Runner, the soundtrack is great, I love the graphics and the atmosphere, very unsettling use of analog video and retro-futuristic set-ups.

    On another note, the PS4 Pro version runs horribly, with constant screen-tearing and fps drops. Beyond that, an insane cyberpunk dystopia that Philip K Dick could be proud of.

    Edit : SORRY, there is no screen-tearing, it's actually a feature of the game when you forget to take your corporate-approved Synchrozine pill. Immersion 10/10 would take pill again.
    Full Review »