Skip to main content

Observer's 'hidden horror' sees players invading the minds of NPCs

After the teasiest of teasers last year, James shared some cultured thoughts on Bloober Team's Layers of Fear follow-up Observer, after going hands-on with an unreleased demo in February. Within, he claimed Bloober Team's second major project still holds onto the "haunted house tricks" of its forerunner, but that it "breaks up those tiring sequences with contemplative detective work."

In its latest developer-led commentary trailer, Bloober explains how it hopes to do so by allowing players to invade the minds of NPCs in something it suggests could be viewed as a "new form of psychological rape". Observe:

Between its ransacked Steampunk world, glitching Orwell-esque ever-watching surveillance, and a typical amount of thoughtful jump scares, I fancy what we've seen so far of Observer. I really enjoyed Layers of Fear's power of suggestion—something which I found far more terrifying than said jump scares—however I'm equally looking forward to how Bloober Team orchestrates fear by way of deeper storytelling this time too. 

"That's what catharsis is," explains Bloober above. "But in games, you make the choices, you decide what happens. That's much more powerful than simply watching a movie on a screen. You experience an interact with the horror yourself. 

"Because of this, you're constantly asking yourself as you play: why am I afraid? Why does this feel wrong? What am I really afraid of. In this dystopian future, if you really stop and think about these questions, you'll experience what we like to call catharsis 2.0—a release from fears you didn't even know you had." 

Interesting. Observer is due at some stage this summer.