Bloober Team’s Observer is perhaps one of their best and more unique games to date, not least because of its fascinating story, immersive atmosphere, and unsettling setting- and soon, it will be getting a new lease of life when Observer: System Redux launches for the PS5 and Xbox Series X later this year. Promising significant improvements to visuals, additional story content, and more, it’s looking to become the definitive version of an already solid game. Curious to find out more about it, we recently sent some of our questions about the next-gen remaster to its developers. The questions below were answered by Szymon Erdmanski, Project Manager at Bloober Team.
"The new story content is interwoven with the rest of the game, so it’s hard to put an exact number, but an average playthrough should be 20% longer."
Observer: System Redux is confirmed to feature new story content, but how hefty are these new additions going to be, in terms of how significant they are to the larger narrative?
The new story content allows the player to participate in a couple of additional investigations. They flesh out the game world. We want the player to better understand the harsh reality and unsettling minds that Observers like Dan Lazarski have to work with on a daily basis. We are excited to deliver a new immersive experience to the gamers.
How much gameplay time will this new content add to the game?
The new story content is interwoven with the rest of the game, so it’s hard to put an exact number, but an average playthrough should be 20% longer. Remembering, of course, that everything depends on the individual gaming style of the player.
Observer: System Redux promises improved visuals, and the reveal trailer certainly showcased some excellent graphics. Can you talk about the biggest improvements you’ve made to the game in that area, and how you’ve utilized next-gen hardware for that purpose?
Observer: System Redux offers Ray Tracing, high-quality textures, new approach on lighting and post-processing along with volumetric systems, more realistic particle effects, as well as revamped models and animations for NPCs. We are still working on improvements allowed by the new generation of consoles- for example, much faster map loading and zero freezing.
"Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers seem like a great opportunity to provide additional information about the environment – crucial for every investigator – or to create even more suspenseful experience, which you cannot overestimate in the horror genre."
Speaking of utilizing next-gen hardware, what are your thoughts on the PS5’s DualSense? Will Observer be making use of its unique features like haptic feedback or the adaptive triggers?
Haptic feedback and adaptive triggers seem like a great opportunity to provide additional information about the environment – crucial for every investigator – or to create even more suspenseful experience, which you cannot overestimate in the horror genre. We will for sure try to use these new options to enhance the dark and gritty atmosphere already present in Observer.
Something else the PS5 boast is its custom 3D audio engine, Tempest. I imagine 3D audio is something that can greatly benefit an atmosphere-driven title such as Observer. What are your thoughts on the tech, and can we expect to see it being leveraged in the game?
We can’t go into the details now. At the moment we can confirm next-gen graphics, enhanced gameplay in all the next-gen glory, and new story content.
But if you watch the reveal trailer closely you can find examples of new features we’re working on. Keep an eye out for more details on the enhancements in the coming weeks and months leading up to the premiere of next-generation consoles!
With this re-release, are you also taking the opportunity to rework or fix any issues that may have been brought to your attention by players or critics when the game first launched?
Yes – here we have analyzed most of the available comments on Steam and more. We also reviewed a lot of walkthrough on YouTube etc. Then we analyzed it and made a list of all the things that could be improved and we are doing it.
To mention just a few changes inspired by the community feedback, we are updating the save system, user interface, accessibility, and graphic options, as well as AI of some NPCs.
What’s the frame rate and resolution that you’re targeting for Observer: System Redux?
A stable, smooth gameplay and high quality of graphics are both very high on our list of priorities in this project. That being said, we cannot tell you the final frame rate and resolution just yet.
"The current launch window is Holiday 2020 and we will announce the exact date in the coming months. We are planning the premiere with the next-gen launch."
Will Observer: System Redux also be coming to PC and Switch at some point?
Currently we’re focusing on next-gen platforms. We will have more to say about other platforms at a later date.
Is Observer: System Redux going to be a launch title for the PS5 and Xbox Series X, or is an exact release date something you’ve not yet firmly landed on?
The current launch window is Holiday 2020 and we will announce the exact date in the coming months. We are planning the premiere with the next-gen launch.
Is this remaster of Observer indication that you’re looking at this IP that you want to invest in for the foreseeable future, perhaps even with sequels?
Observer is extremely important to us, which is why the idea of creating its definitive version came up. Currently we’re focusing on next-gen platforms, and on other projects like The Medium.