The launch of the next generation consoles is a chance for developers to wow us with new titles and and never before seen stories, but there's also something to be said for underappreciated games getting a second life on cutting edge hardware. Bloober Team, developers of the cyberpunk tale Observer, are going the latter route with a new version of the game slated for release on the PS5 and Xbox Series X near launch.
Observer: System Redux is a retelling of the 2017 original that promises to feature enhanced gameplay, next-gen graphics, and new story content. Starring the late Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner's Roy Batty) as the titular Observer, players try to unravel the mysteries of a dystopian Cyberpunk future in Krakow, Poland by hacking into the minds of suspects and the deceased. What you'll find in these memories is rarely pleasant—Observer's as much a thriller as it is a horror game.
The original release of Observer has style and fidelity to spare, so it isn't as though it's in need of a remake from the ground up for next-gen. Still, if both the PS5 and Series X end up running System Redux at a solid 4K, 60 FPS as shown in the trailer, it should be a visual treat, especially for folks who wish a certain other cyberpunk game were launching on next-gen right away.
Bloober Team started to tease something Observer-related back in January. Now we know it was a build up for System Redux and not a brand-new Observer game, but the promise of new story content still raises the question of how Rutger Hauer's passing will be handled. Maybe there are some unused voice lines Bloober was able to rescue, but with the cyberpunk conceit of glitchy, shifting memories at play, it's not hard to imagine a myriad of ways that System Redux could expand on Observer's world.
The trailer promises a Holiday 2020 launch for Observer System Redux, which is still the window that both the Xbox Series X and PS5 are targeting. Everything's a bit TBD given the COVID-19 pandemic, and a recent report suggests there may be unrelated cost issues hindering PS5 production, but news of any game that's aiming for a next-gen launch is still something to watch for.
At this rate, we still have a pretty hazy idea of what else we'll be playing when the consoles launch. With that being the case, it's nice to know that Rutger Hauer's will be one of the first faces to grace the new hardware.