LinuxGameCast Reviews: Observer

Your intrepid heroes play in tiny windows, get stuck, and take drugs. Observer faces the CHAIRQUISITION!

Game: Observer
Webzone: observer
Devel: Bloober Team SA (published by Aspyr)
Engine: UE4
Price: £22.99 / US$29.99 / CA$32.99

Wazzat: >observer_ is a cyberpunk horror game from Bloober Team, the creators of Layers of Fear. Discover a dark cyberpunk world beset by plagues, war and squalor. Play as the new front line of neural police as you hack into the jagged minds of the insane.

Mandatory Disclosure: Aspyr sent us keys

CHAIR– Nooope

CHAIRCHAIR– Not sure if want


CHAIRCHAIRCHAIRCHAIR– Shutupandtakemymonies

Makes with the working


  • This games problems have problems.
  • Stuck playing @1080 in a window. Known problem
    • We are able to replicate this issue. It has been bugged and will be added to a to fix list. Sorry I cant provide you with an immediate solution.”
  • Fullscreen cranks it to 2160 no matter the setting, unplayable.
  • Cursor stays on-screen if you touch the keyboard while using the controlla.
  • Can’t take pics with overlay.
  • Only pulls 55/60 @1080.
  • It’s using 89/90% of the 980.
  • Barely registers on the 1700.
  • Seems Ass-Pyre didn’t port this one, only published… it shows.
  • Twice I have had the game stick me to the floor forcing a reset.
  • One last thing, don’t white-knight games just because they are on the Linux.


  • Runs like a butt


  • It seems to have issues keeping the mouse cursor contained if you alt-tab.


Shiny / Sounds


  • It does an amazeballs job of simulating a failing video card.
  • That, however, is part of the game.
  • Take your drugs or things get blurry.
  • The building is incredibly detailed, even the parts you might look over.
  • The environments during the brain-humping segments are all over the place.
  • I might even say they are trying a little too hard to be “trippy” or “booga booga”
  • Good job on the audio, were talking Frictional level.
  • Voice acting is good for an indie game, take that how you will.


  • It’s UE4, so it gets all the nice texturing and graphical effects that come with it
  • That said, when you start jonesing for your medications, the effect gets more than a little annoying.
    • Venn’s not kidding when he mentions failing video card
  • Rutger Hauer doesn’t seem very into it. I keep expecting him to get fed up and pick up a shotgun.
  • The rest of the voice acting is relatively well done
  • They also have a good sense of ambiance. It gets spoopy quickly


  • Disregarding the facts like Rutger Hauer has one tone throughout the whole thing, he clearly phoned his lines in and that this makes dialog sound even more disjointed than I guess they intended it to, this is a very good sounding game.
  • Assaultingly so, at some points.
  • The human characters all look like they were slapped so hard down the realism slope they landed face first in the Uncanny Valley, but with the whole undertone of cybernetic implants and body modifications, I will excuse it.
  • In fact, this game put me in the mood to excuse a great deal many things!




  • No issues with the XClone
  • Same with Areola Controlla


  • This game tries to do the frictional grab and stick, but it’s not quite as smooth as the game it takes inspiration from


  • The framerate jumping around like crazy and, every now and again, the cursor slipping from the confines of the window make it so I can’t give it 4 chairs.
  • But it would have to be really bad for this game to fuck up controls when I can play it with just the cursor keys, ctrl, shift and my 10 button mouse.




  • Doors, doors everywhere #calledit
  • Really, it’s alright.
  • Don’t really have any of the immersion since I’m playing in a little 1080p window.
  • Bit on the slow side.
  • Think visual novel with some interactive bits.
  • Puzzles are fairly easy to sort.
  • Lots of unintentional puzzles due to not being able to figure out what exactly you’re supposed to interact with.
  • For the most part does not rely on jump-scares.


  • It’s another one of those walking simulators with a few “puzzles” strewn about
  • Most of the investigation you do is simply a scavenger hunt in one of 3 different modes.
  • Then you get to dive into people’s brains, at which point it just turns into layers of fear
  • While it’s a well done example of this sort of game, I’m not that into it
  • It’s just random spoopy shit shit thrown at you
  • As has been mentioned though, the “horror” here comes from a bunch of unnerving sounds and visuals, with not too many jump scares. That in itself deserves some recognition. To many games conflate startling with scary


  • Even the few jump scares that it does have feel organic.
  • It’s like they were thought out to feel as natural as possible.
  • It’s like someone actually listened to criticism of Layers of Fear rather than throwing a hissy fit and standing their ground.
  • Observer is the symmetrical opposite to Frictional’s SOMA.
  • While SOMA took elements from Amnesia and Penumbra and wasn’t as good a game because of it, Observer took elements from Layers of Fear and brought them to the sci-fi thriller genre with great success!
  • I love to see developers actually take the criticism of their past mistakes and improving on them.
  • You’d expect this to be the common, sensible thing to do.
  • But we’ve seen the opposite happen so many times, it’s refreshing to actually see good decisions and improvements for once.




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