Observation: Control AI and Traverse a Large Space Station All Alone

Observation is a unique sci-fi thriller developed by No Code and published by Devolver Digital. Released in May 2019, the game stands out for its innovative gameplay and immersive narrative. Here’s an in-depth look at what makes Observation noteworthy:

Plot and Setting

Observation is set on a space station orbiting Earth in the near future. The story begins with a mysterious incident that causes significant damage to the station. You play as SAM (Systems Administration & Maintenance), the station’s AI, assisting Dr. Emma Fisher, the sole human survivor initially, as she tries to uncover what happened to the crew and the station itself.

Gameplay Mechanics

The gameplay involves controlling SAM, who can interface with various systems on the space station. This includes:

  • Cameras: You view the station through different camera feeds, switching between them to gain different perspectives and access areas remotely.
  • System Interfaces: You interact with various systems, such as unlocking doors, fixing malfunctions, and rerouting power. These interactions often involve solving puzzles or completing mini-games to simulate hacking or technical troubleshooting.
  • Exploration: Although you don’t move as a character, you explore the station through the eyes of SAM. This exploration is key to uncovering the story and solving the mystery.

Narrative Style

Observation employs a storytelling approach that blends traditional narrative with environmental storytelling. Key elements include:

  • Holographic Recordings: You reconstruct and play back holographic recordings of past events, piecing together what happened to the crew.
  • Log Entries and Documents: Scattered throughout the station are logs and documents that provide background information and context to the unfolding story.
  • Direct Interaction: Conversations and interactions between SAM and Emma drive the story forward, with Emma often giving you tasks to complete to progress.

Themes and Atmosphere

The game delves into themes of artificial intelligence, isolation, and the human condition under extreme stress. The atmosphere is tense and eerie, enhanced by the realistic depiction of a space station and the constant sense of danger.

Visuals and Audio

Observation features detailed and realistic graphics, capturing the claustrophobic and high-tech environment of a space station. The sound design is also critical, with ambient sounds, the hum of machinery, and a haunting musical score that intensifies the sense of isolation and suspense.

Have you played Observation? What’s your favourite Part of Observation? We’d love to hear from you. 

Other things you might want to know:

How many hours is the Observation game?

Around 5+ hours long.

What type of game is Observation?

Adventure-puzzle video game.

Is observation worth playing?

The game was well-received for its innovative gameplay and compelling narrative. Critics and players praised the unique perspective of playing as an AI and the immersive experience of the space station setting. The puzzles and technical challenges were noted for adding depth to the gameplay without feeling tedious.

Check out other articles by month: