Observation Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 74 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 - Reveal Trailer
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 45
  2. Negative: 1 out of 45
  1. May 21, 2019
    90
    Observation is a fantastic game, bringing gripping science fiction and unique gameplay together for a truly remarkable experience.
  2. Sep 4, 2019
    90
    Observation is an unnerving, beautiful, and captivating space station thriller that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
  3. May 21, 2019
    80
    No Code’s sophomore title nails the organic intricacies of feeling like an artificial intelligence system while also telling a compelling and ambitious science fiction narrative.
  4. Aug 7, 2019
    80
    Observation inserts players into the circuits of the onboard AI. And because it is difficult to overlook how unnatural it is for a human mind to mimic the smooth functionality of a machine, the game effects a gap between the player and the player’s avatar that is intriguingly disorienting.
  5. Jun 4, 2019
    78
    Observation is original and entertaining, but sometimes also quite confusing journey into deep space and the mind of an AI.
  6. 75
    Observation does a lot of things correctly. Honing in on the isolation of space generates a wonderful tension on its own. Some pacing issues keep it from excellence, but there is plenty of appeal here for many different gaming preferences.
  7. May 21, 2019
    30
    2001 is hardly the most obvious movie to use as inspiration for a video game and perhaps predictably the end result suffers from slow-pacing and a lack of meaningful interaction.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 3 out of 18
  1. May 29, 2019
    10
    Fantastic, eerie storyline from a new and unusual perspective. I loved it! It had me dying to know what happens all the way to the end. I amFantastic, eerie storyline from a new and unusual perspective. I loved it! It had me dying to know what happens all the way to the end. I am very satisfied with how it all wrapped up! Expand
  2. May 24, 2019
    10
    I had played Stories Untold just last week. I was excited to hear that Observation was made by the same developer. I just finished the gameI had played Stories Untold just last week. I was excited to hear that Observation was made by the same developer. I just finished the game and it reminded me of a blend of 2001 Space Odyssey and Event Horizon. It was a story I didn't want to put down. A great story that you get to interact with. Expand
  3. May 21, 2019
    9
    This game is just awesome! I love it. A bit slow with the camera speed, but that's no big deal IMO.
    The atmosphere is gripping, the story
    This game is just awesome! I love it. A bit slow with the camera speed, but that's no big deal IMO.
    The atmosphere is gripping, the story interesting. The puzzles are sometimes a bit confusing, because most time there is no tutorial or specific information about what you have to do unless a small sentence in the menu.
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  4. Apr 19, 2021
    8
    The game's gorgeous. Story is fantastic and leaves the feeling for a real space movie. Voice acting is brilliant, puzzles are not quite goodThe game's gorgeous. Story is fantastic and leaves the feeling for a real space movie. Voice acting is brilliant, puzzles are not quite good though. Look for a discount price IMO Expand
  5. Sep 6, 2020
    7
    Observation is an exploration and puzzle game, where players have to solve problems as the ship's AI to progress the story, unravel theObservation is an exploration and puzzle game, where players have to solve problems as the ship's AI to progress the story, unravel the mystery of the broken down space station and protect the crew.

    Observation subverts the genre of claustrophobic space horror by pacing itself, building suspense, and putting discovery and interactivity ahead of scares and heart-pounding action, sidelining horror for immersion. But it also completely fails to deliver a satisfying narrative, ending up with a regurgitated third act straight from some sci-fi schlock. It's the same ending as a terrible sci-fi horror movie that came out a few years ago, which I won't name to not spoil, and this is just too bad. It feels like the whole epilogue is hastily written, and, in retrospect. makes the game feel like it was written and built around set-pieces rather than a cohesive, interesting and fresh story. And that's too bad, it's how you end up with interesting immersive game design and some fairly interesting characters colliding with a very mediocre narrative that falls flat on its face at some point and stays firmly on its face throughout what should be a climax. This is why you need a writer - a good one would've made this game a classic.
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  6. Jun 5, 2019
    5
    I remember playing Heavy Rain and not liking it, and talking to a friend who pronounced, with eyes shut, how the moment where you swing yourI remember playing Heavy Rain and not liking it, and talking to a friend who pronounced, with eyes shut, how the moment where you swing your son around (by pressing a single button on the controller) was one of the best moments he had ever experienced in a game. That was when I realized there are two different types of gamers: the ones who will excuse terrible story for a good game, and the ones who will excuse terrible gameplay for a good story.

    Observation is an interesting story. But it's a terrible game. So whether or not you will like it just depends on where you land on that scale.

    The 'gameplay' is just slowly panning around a screen using the left stick and clicking the only box presented to you, or entering simple patterns. That's it. It will never, ever be challenging because it requires thinking or planning or dexterity. It will be challenging because the interface is obtuse.

    I always think people who make games like this want to be screenwriters but lack the courage to try. They figure the bar for a good story is lower in games, and they're right, so they make a walking simulator or a trivial 'game' like this with an okay story, and it's called a good game.

    But it's not a good game.
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  7. Jan 18, 2020
    2
    I was disappointed, especially given the positive critic reviews. I felt the director/writer's artistic demands overrode any attempt to buildI was disappointed, especially given the positive critic reviews. I felt the director/writer's artistic demands overrode any attempt to build a game.

    In practice, Observation is a linearly told short story in the sci-fi horror genre. Your role is to occasionally push some buttons. There's no exploration or intellectual challenge here. You have no player agency, and there are no win/lose states.

    The story itself borrows so much from Arthur C Clarke's 2001 that only great gameplay or execution could save the title. Unfortunately, the sole element I thought well executed was the interior of an ISS-style spacecraft, with the attending spatial disorientation and peculiar soundscape.

    The player's perspective of an unreliable onboard computer had tons of potential, but this novelty was diluted into insignificance by the inability to affect any outcome and the absolute linearity of progression.

    Gamers with even basic comprehension of orbital mechanics, structural engineering, crew psychology, electrical engineering, computing, or any of the other scientific or engineering elements of spaceflight, will likely be unable to suspend disbelief thanks to the repeated butchering of these fields at the expense of narrative. There needs to be some element that is really great to overcome such concerns, but no such element is present.

    It seems to me the kind of title that will primarily impress journalists and artists.

    I can't help but compare Observation unfavourably to the brilliant intersection of exploration, challenge, immersion, and narrative revelation, that I saw recently in The Witness or in Return of the Obra Dinn.

    A missed opportunity.
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See all 18 User Reviews

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