Observation Image
Metascore
75

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

User Score
6.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 56 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: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  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 24, 2019
    10
    Awesome game on PC and PS4. Lighting and atmosphere is great, I love the setting. The slow pace is awesome for building tension, i was very anxious!
  4. May 22, 2019
    8
    It's a simple puzzle game at its core, but it's made unique by a compelling story that believably gives context to the gameplay.

    It does
    It's a simple puzzle game at its core, but it's made unique by a compelling story that believably gives context to the gameplay.

    It does require some patience; I got stuck a few times and the plot is a bit of a mind bender, but the game's strengths greatly outweigh the few negatives and make it worth playing to the end.
    Expand
  5. May 22, 2019
    8
    Cool little science fiction game. Observation's concept is awesome, very well thought and (if not original) refreshing. Graphics are not topCool little science fiction game. Observation's concept is awesome, very well thought and (if not original) refreshing. Graphics are not top notch but the game looks pretty and has a very strong personality. Music, sound effects and voice acting are superb. In terms of gameplay (the aspect most people will complain about) it serves very well the story and stands in a middle ground between games like Firewatch and Portal. I think the gaming industry needs a lot more of little/medium games like Observation providing variety. Expand
  6. May 22, 2019
    8
    Good adventure sci-fi game based on situation caused on the international space station. Especially like mini games and space stationGood adventure sci-fi game based on situation caused on the international space station. Especially like mini games and space station atmosphere with investigations mechanic. A little bit strange why i cant not swith to the flyable sphere at any moment. My own rate is 8 out 10 for this kind type of games. Expand
  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 14 User Reviews

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