A new Observer trailer reveals Rutger Hauer as a Blade Runner-like 'neural detective'

Rutger Hauer has done a lot of cool stuff over the years, but his best-known role has to be that of Roy Batty, leader of the renegade replicants in Blade Runner. In August he will take the lead in a similarly dark tale of humanity's craptastic near future, in a "cyberpunk horror story" called Observer—but this time around, he's the lawman. 

Observer (technically, the proper title is ">observer_," but we won't be doing that) is set in the year 2084, when the bulk of humanity has been wiped out by either the Nanophage or the War. Survivors wrap themselves in drugs, VR, and neural implants to escape from the grim ugliness of day-to-day life. Hauer plays Detective Daniel Lazarski, "an elite neural detective with the authority to hack and invade suspects' minds" called an Observer.

"When you receive a mysterious message from your estranged son, a high-level engineer for the almighty Chiron Corporation, you journey to the seedy Class C slums of Krakow to investigate," developer Bloober Team explained. "But as you hack into the unstable minds of criminals and victims to look for clues, you are forced relive their darkest fears. How far will you go to discover the truth?"

"Bloober Team" isn't the sort of name you might naturally associate with a studio making a horror game, but this isn't its first kick at that particular cat: Its previous game was the 2016 tale of madness Layers of Fear. And I do very much like the look of that trailer. The Blade Runner "inspiration" is pretty heavy-handed in places, but I'm a big fan of Blade Runner so I'm prepared to let that slide. We got some hands-on time with a brief demo back in February and that seemed promising, too.

Observer is set to come out on August 15, and you can find out more about what's coming at observer-game.com.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.