IGN can exclusively reveal a new Observer: System Redux gameplay video, showing a fascinating glimpse at footage from new quests that have been added to this next-gen update of the 2017 game. The video, narrated by composer and audio director Arkadius Reikowski, shows new gameplay elements from early portions of the Errant Signal and Her Fearful Symmetry quest lines, both of which will be included when the cyberpunk horror game hits PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S on each console’s respective launch date.
Observer: System Redux will feature three new cases in total, with the third titled It Runs in The Family. Each will introduce new characters whose stories are intertwined with the lives of tenants already known to returning Observer players, and Bloober Team say that these new stories will add “quite a bit of new content” to the game. Check out footage of the new quests below:
In an interview with IGN Japan ahead of Tokyo Game Show, Bloober Team CEO Piotr Babieno shed extra light on the gameplay demo. Regarding Errant Signal, he explained, “While exploring the building, (protagonist) Dan (Lazarski) catches a cryptic message on his ComPass. The device glitches frantically for a few seconds, displaying just a simple ‘Help us’ and a number. Following this lead means that Dan will get to know the ugly underbelly of Krakow 2048 better than he’d like to. It seems that someone in the slums is occupied with human trafficking…”
Introducing Her Fearful Symmetry, Babieno continued, “Dan stumbles upon an odd-looking set of items strewn together in one hallway. Although their purpose is not clear, they were clearly left there deliberately. Along with the strange symbols scrawled on the floor and wall next to them, they appear to form an altar. Stuck into the contraption, Dan finds an unsettling message. Its author seems to be referring to some mysterious woman, longing for them to be together again. The intensity of his affection seems unhealthy, almost psychotic. Dan follows to check if there’s a woman bothered by a stalker somewhere in the building.”
Babieno also detailed the It Runs in The Family quest. “In the Ripper Doc’s tattoo shop, Dan finds a key to one of the building’s apartments,” he said. “Mail on Doc’s computer suggests that it is a spare key to a certain Stanley Tkaczyk’s home, and that Doc supplies him with illegal substances. What is the connection of this case to other of Doc’s questionable business pursuits? What brought Mr. Tkaczyk to the neighborhood’s notorious tattoo artist?”
While leaving a few question marks hanging in the air so as not to spoil the mystery, Babieno told us that the new cases allow players to further explore “classic cyberpunk themes such as omnipotent but faulty technology, unfair work conditions and corporate governance over the smallest details of life,” along with “more timeless topics like familial duty, grief, loneliness, sanity, greed and lust, as well as self-consciousness and emancipation.”
In addition to new quests, Observer: System Redux will feature next-gen upgrades such as ray-tracing and improved loading times, which Babieno says will allow the development team at Bloober to realise their vision for a dark cyberpunk future more completely.
Also, the developers paid particular attention to overhauling Janus, the janitor in the original game, and his office. “As the old janitor is our guide to the building and Dan interacts with him quite a lot, we decided to do an entirely new model for the character with a full set of new animations, to make him more realistic and interesting,” said Babieno. “The office was redone to feel more homely, even if a bit creepy. It now feels like a place where someone actually lives and works.”
Since the original version of Observer was released in 2017, its star Rutger Hauer – who voiced and gave his likeness to protagonist Daniel Lazarski – has unfortunately passed on. We asked Babieno how it felt to rework the game for a new audience in Hauer’s absence, and whether System Redux includes any previously unused footage of Hauer, or shows his work in a new light.
“It was a great privilege to work with Rutger Hauer and also to be able to make one of his last performances shine again,” said Babieno. “Sadly, there wasn’t much unused footage to add to the game, but what we had was enough to give Dan Lazarski a chance to uncover a few new cases.”
Observer: System Redux will be released on November 10 on PC and Xbox Series X/S, and November 12 on PlayStation 5.
Daniel Robson is Chief Editor of IGN Japan – follow him on Twitter to see if he survives Tokyo Game Show.