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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Cyberpunk
Posted: August 25, 2017 at 4:15 am
“At first [Ruiner] started off as a sort of cyberpunk Die Hard adventure, where you hacked your way up a building. Even at this point working on early ideas, we thought, ‘Wow, this is like a party'”, added Tomkowicz. “We then thought of taking the gameplay direction similar to Hotline and we were still looking for a graphics designer. We found Benedict Szneider and showed him some early graphical references. He simply told us: No. Let’s do this in a different way,” she added. That’s how the Ruiner you see here started.
Tomkowicz jokes that for a lot of cyberpunk fans disagree that this can even be the right term. (“Not enough neon blue and pink!”) This isn’t cyberpunk, then, but it’s certainly inspired by it. As you tear your way through corridors and rooms, the environments wouldn’t look out of place in Ghost In The Shell or other near-future anime properties. There’s some Matrix-esque touches here and there too, but also a lot of run-down dirtiness. Think Syndicate Wars, think the original Alien movie.
The team says it look a lot of inspiration from Japanese animation — and that layer of misery and grit you’ll see smeared across the screen was another part of that. “The game should feel like you’re standing on the edge of a bridge, in the middle of the night,” explains Tomkowicz, half smiling.
First impressions might suggest a whole lot of mindless slashing and shooting, screen after screen, but there’s an elegance to the combat that’s hinted at even during the introductory stages: You can pre-assign your “dash” locations to avoid fire, take out a few enemies and reach cover all in one tidy movement.
Not that I could manage that. Coupled with other augments (shields and furthers methods of destruction) and using both analog sticks to steer and shoot, there’s a steep learning curve that kept getting me killed.
Yes, the game isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t call it unforgiving, either. If your anonymous dot matrix-headed protagonist falls, he’s swiftly resurrected to a few screens earlier, and you’re back in the thick of it. The addictiveness has its drawbacks though — it’s an exhausting game, and I needed a breather after my short demo at Gamescom. As for the team at Reikon, they’re still readying the game for PC and console launch September 26th — then there’s DLC incoming and then? “We need to rest,” says Tomkowicz.
Follow all the latest news live from Gamescom here!
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Posted: at 4:15 am
Observer for Xbox One review: Cyberpunk meets horror in a twisted …
Observer shows the potential of intense psychological horror when technology meets the minds of the insane.
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Posted: at 4:15 am
The image above is that of a woman trapped at the moment before her violent death, endlessly repeating the combination to a secret door she’ll never reach. It’s just one small sliver of the sci-fi mind-fuckery that awaits in the Rutger Hauer-voiced cyberpunk horror game Observer.
Developed by Bloober Team, the studio behind Layers of Fear, Observer is a psychological cyber-horror game set in a dark, dystopian vision of 2084 Poland. Between war and the nanophage, a deadly virus that targets the cybernetically-enhanced, humanity is pretty much broken. The survivors have submitted to the rule of a shadowy corporation that controls where and how they live.
Veteran Dutch actor Rutger Hauer plays Daniel Lazarski, a corporate-funded cybernetic Observer, a neural detective with the ability to interface with the minds of others and explore their oft-fractured psyches.
Lazarski’s own mind isn’t perfect. He suffers from a condition that requires he take frequent doses of a special medicine or risk “desynchronisation”. The more stressed he becomes the lower his medication levels drop, causing glitches in his perception. He may be an elite cop, but he has the same vulnerable, electronically-accessible mind as most of the remaining humans in 2084. He can’t even trust himself.
The game opens with Lazarski receiving a call from the son he hasn’t seen in years. Adam Lazarski gives his father a warning: “You are not in control.” Then the call drops. Tracing the call to a run-down apartment building out in the sticks, Lazarski rushes off to find his son. When he arrives he finds a decapitated body that may or may not be Adam. As he investigates the crime scene a nanophage alert sends the entire building into lockdown. Lazarski is trapped inside with a murderer, but also something much worse humanity’s leftovers.
With most of the building’s tenants sealed inside their homes for their “own protection”, much of Lazarski’s interactions with the living involve conversations with small static viewscreens. Hauer’s voice warbles like he has a mouthful of moist pebbles, his inflection occasionally shifting erratically, as if glitched. The people he talks with range from the oddly friendly and upbeat to violent and angry. All of them are lost and broken.
While not learning horrible things about horrible people, Lazarski uses his special cybernetic enhancements to try to solve the murder and find his son. A sort of electronic vision allows him to see and interact with wires, bits of technology, and electrical components, even those buried deep inside human bodies. His biological vision allows him to scan for DNA and analyse blood.
His greatest tool, however, is the ability to jack into the brains of other people and explore their thoughts, hopes and fears. Mostly fears. In the extended clip below, Lazarski enters the mind of a dying murder victim in order to glean information about his attacker. It’s one seriously fucked-up trip.
Developer Bloober Team has earned a reputation for creating creepy horror games. They have mastered the use of off-putting sound and visual cues to layer on the fear. The difference in Observer is they have multiple realities to play with. There’s the real world, which isn’t always real to begin with, and then there’s the mindscape, where anything can happen. These digital mental constructs are packed with horrifying imagery, inventive puzzles, and the odd deadly creature relentlessly hunting for interlopers. Nowhere is safe. As Adam warns at the beginning of the game, Lazarski is not in control.
I’m about five or six hours into Observer, having had to stop playing early this morning because I needed sleep and certainly not because I was frightened. Between the main investigation and the side missions I’ve discovered exploring the future’s most horrible tenement, I have many more hours to go. I’m looking forward to it.
Observer is now available on PC.
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I had this conversation on my Facebook recently and it went absolutely ballistic, so I thought I’d bring it to Kotaku. Best Back-To-Back movies by a single Director. What are your favourites? Top of my list. Ridley Scott with Alien and Blade Runner. Imagine making those two movies back-to-back. Insane.
It’s understandable that most people don’t finish the story campaign in games that trade more heavily on their multiplayer, like Call of Duty or Battlefield. But you’d expect singleplayer-only games to be different, right?
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Posted: at 4:14 am
Observer on PlayStation 4
Right from the off, Observer is textbook cyberpunk. Grim and brooding with atmosphere, its world feels like a digital recreation of a William Gibson novel. Observer uses this unsettling ambiance to tee up a gripping horror narrative, but it also simultaneously weaves in themes of paranoia and espionage classic to the genre. It had me utterly captivated over the course of six hours, soaking up the tension of its eerie environment and locked into unraveling the mystery of its story. So captivated that even persistent technical issues such as frame rate drops and glitches almost werent enough to break my immersion. Unfortunately, though, slowly but surely the sum of these issues began to weigh heavy, culminating in a game-breaking glitch that stopped me dead in my tracks and disappointingly ruined the experience.
Observer is a first-person adventure game. I hesitate to use that popular and reductive term walking sim, but that is essentially what it is. As an Observer an augmented KGB police detective youll wander around a retro-cyberpunk vision of future Poland piecing together an ever thickening plot. Traversing a beaten up apartment complex, gameplay revolves around scanning crime scenes, interrogating residents, reading journals and emails, solving basic puzzles, and going inside the minds of victims to slowly reconstruct the order of events that lead to their death.
Observer is a story-heavy experience that relies on the curiosity of its world to compel players to explore, take their time, and absorb the macabre aura of its environment. It does this very well. You really cant understate the attention to detail packed into the nuances of its aesthetic. Observer is clearly inspiredby eighties science fiction, with flickering CRT monitors, analog computer controls, and film noir detective vibes. There are no clean lines and no bright colors in its palette; void of glamor, its dark and intimidating.
The plot is equally fascinating. Having received a somewhat cryptic phone call from his son, Adam, Daniel Lazarski is shocked to find a headless body in his sons apartment. Is it him, and if not, where is he? The scale of this thriller quickly expands as more lifeless bodies appear in the confines of this crumbling building, and it becomes apparent that Adam is involved in something sinister. Placed on lockdown, residents are unable to leave their rooms, and communication with them is through intercom only. Voice acting is decent for the most part, and conversation not only provides a breadcrumb trail to follow but also fleshes out Observers lore. The everyday struggle is well conveyed by these working class personalities.
Augmentation of the human body is a central theme in the game, playing on the quintessential cyberpunk trope of high tech, low life. A conflict between those who approve of implants versus those who are vehemently opposed to them is alluded to throughout. At the center of this conflict is the Necrophage a cyber plague that affects the augmented. The manufacturer of these robotic implants, Chiron, is the oppressive corporation responsible for blighting society with their benefits. As the story unravels, the Necrophage, Chiron, and Lazarskis sonbecome interwoven in a gripping tale that constantly kept me guessing.
For the most part, the gameplay that translates this story is engaging enough. Scanning crime scenes remind me of Telltales Batman series, linking evidence together using two different view modes organic sensitive, and technology sensitive retinal displays. Youll occasionally have to enter codes into keypads that require you to unearth information hidden in various rooms, but their location is never so obtuse as to frustrate with constant back tracking or head scratching. Overall, the game does a good job of shepherding you between objectives without ever feeling as though its holding your hand.
Developer Bloober Teams previous work includes the psychological horror Layers of Fear, and its lineage is certainly evident in Observer. Jacking into the digital memories of victims via implant is what gives the observer his name, and its during these sequences that some clever but familiar cinematic techniques are implemented. The world becomes confused and surreal, with eerie voices and hallucinations combining for some mind-bending and frightening moments. Later in the game, the technique cleverly expands the scope of the story beyond the zoomed in locale of the apartment to wider themes of corporate surveillance.
Alas, it is during these sequences that Observers technical frailties are exposed. Throughout the game, frame rate dips and stuttering had been notable, though only causing minor irritation and never impacting the ebb and flow of proceedings too greatly. Towards the end of the game, however, Observer finally became well and truly unstuck. Trapped in a room with no way out, only after fifteen minutes did I realize that the this was a room I was never supposed to be flashed into for more than a few seconds. Attempting to reload, though, my progress was blocked. Each time that I spawned from save, I found myself helplessly falling through the map into a black abyss. With no ability to manually save and no chapter select, I had encountered a game-breaking bug that forced me to restart the game.
It was an immensely disappointing turn of events. Nothing spoils the immersion of a narrative-driven ambient adventure game quite like a glitch that completely halts progress. Moreover, up until that point, even frame rate stutters wouldnt have convinced me to dock too many points from Observers final score, so compelling was its story and world building. These issues can and may be fixed via a patch, but at the time of this reviews publishing, its difficult for us to recommend a game with so many technical problems.
Despite the sour taste in the mouth left by upsetting technical shortcomings, Observer is a game that does deserve praise. Its grim, dystopian world is a truly brilliant imagination of cyberpunk, and it works superbly as a thematic setting for a horror game. The story itself invokes curiosity that tempts you to keep playing, compelling you to explore not just for clues about its immediate plot, but also the wider backstory and lore of its world. In that respect, Observer does everything that a good adventure game should do.
While gameplay might not break any new ground, puzzles and crime scenes provide enough interaction to keep you engaged beyond just watching the story unfold. The way in which the Observer uses implants as a means to explore memories is inventive, giving the narrative a grander sense of scale without technically leaving the building. The use of cinematic effects, too, cleverly shifts the games genre between thriller and psychological horror. In its best moments, these sequences play out like a blend of the Matrix and P.T. Yet in its worst instances, the game crashes and breaks, which is something that should never happen in any video game.
For more information on how we review games, check out Twinfinites review policyhere.
Posted: at 4:14 am
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What happens when you take Hotline Miami, Transistor, a splash of cyberpunk, and push it through the working hands of an indie developer? Thats right – you get Ruiner. Its a top-down shooter where youll smash through gangs and The Man to the soft encouragement of a woman whispering in your ear. Youll also be getting it pretty soon: September 26.
For more indie goodness, here’s the best indie games to play right now.
To mark the release date announcement, theres a new trailer which you can watch above. It shows off a bunch of the weapons, plus some of the combat – which is where the Hotline Miami and Transistor influences come into play.
Its then coated with a cyberpunk finish, plus some bassy EDM throughout. Despite the fact that weve not seen a huge amount of the gameplay, Im pretty into it – visually, at least, it looks phenomenal.
Theres also a comic on the website in case thats also your jam, plus loads of images and GIFs to feast your eyes on. I dont think theres been a better game to ogle as you wait until its release.
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Posted: August 20, 2017 at 6:23 pm
New Cyberpunk Game Asks Players to Invade People's Nightmares
This scene takes place in the early hours of Observer, a new cyberpunk horror game from Polish developer Bloober Team SAthe indie developers behind Layers of Fear. Observer puts you in the shoes of Dan Lazarski, a corporate detective who specializes …
Games review: Observer is a cyberpunk survival horror | Metro News
Cyberpunk Horror Game Observer Available Now, Receives Launch …
Go Behind the Scenes with Observer's Protagonist Voice Actor, the …
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Posted: at 6:23 pm
Remember Me is an interesting, memory hopping cyperpunk adventure crafted by Dontnod, who youll probably know better for Life is Strange. The truly startling thing is that Remember Me is Dontnods debut title, and its definitely one to remember. The game sees you playing as Nilin, a memory hunter working for an underground resistance called the Errorists. Like many cyberpunk works, a megacorporation called Memorize has taken an unhealthy control over the world, and laid claim to peoples memories in a way as well.
Remember Me uses many typical cyberpunk themes, but its more a game about emotion and relationships, and how budding technology like social media can impact those. Across the adventure, Nilin has to recover her own lost memories, and even has the ability to reconstruct and view others. Remember Me does have a few problems, particularly in the gameplay and pacing departments. However, theres an incredibly ambitious story to see here, with a strong female lead that grows and changes throughout the experience. In terms of world building, characterization, soundtrack, and presentation, Remember Me stands tall with the best cyberpunk games, even if the gameplay doesnt match up.
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Posted: at 6:23 pm
By Joel Couture . August 19, 2017 . 9:00am
Cyberpunk horror game Observertakes players to a bleak future of cybernetic implants, disease, and war, tasking them with searching the memories and thoughts of dangerous criminals in search of thought evidence of their crimes.
As Dan Lazarski, an aging neural detective with a distant son, players will follow trails of evidence using several types of implanted scanners, shifting their eyesight to see traces of physical or technological clues that will help them through a world of people twisted by their bionic implants and pacified by drugs and distorted programming.
Players will also be able to hack their way into the minds of criminals using their implants, creating living worlds out of the fears and desires of dangerous people. There, players must seek out proof of their actions, but will find the shattered minds of these men and women to be a dangerous, unsettling place, offering up unsettling imagery and frightening moments.
Obeservers frightening scenes and frightening look at a broken future are available now on Steam, PS4, and Xbox One.
Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.
Posted: at 6:23 pm
Dragon Age: Inquisition director calls it “an exceptional point and click with a killer story.”
By Jeffrey Matulef Published 17/08/2017
Wadjet Eye Games’ sci-fi point-and-click adventure Technobabylon has just launched on iOS.
Set in 2087, Technobabylon tells the tale of two detectives, Charlie Regis and Max Lao, who are hot on the trail of a “Mindjacker” who hacks into others’ brains, steals their knowledge, then leaves them for dead. They believe the next target is an agoraphobe named Latha Sesame, who is addicted to a cyberspace realm called the Trance, and she must contend with the outside world for the first time in years.
Developer Technocrat Games has described Technobabylon as “Blade Runner meets Police Quest,” which is certainly the vibe I’m getting from its original launch trailer.
Technobabylon has been out on Steam for over two years now. In that time Dragon Age: Inquisition’s senior creative director Mike Laidlaw raved about the game’s sharp writing. “This game is an exceptional point and click with a killer story. Recommended on any platform,” he tweeted upon this mobile port’s launch.
The iOS version of Technobabylon goes for 4.99 / $4.99, a pretty big savings over its 10.99 / $14.99 PC release.
If you’d like to try it out before buying, there’s a free demo on Steam.
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