Observer coming August 15th, starring Rutger Hauer

First-person cyberpunk thrill-o-horror Observer [official site] will launch on August 15th, developers Bloober Team have announced. After trapping us in a painter’s kooky spookhouse with Layers of Fear, this time Bloober are blasting us off into the grim future where everything sucks. It stars a cyberdetective jacking into suspects’ heads, and Bloober have now confirmed he is voiced by Rutger Hauer. You know, Rutger Hauer from Ladyhawke! And Blind Fury! And Blade Runner too I guess.

Hear Hauer’s gravelly tones in this new trailer:

For more on what Observer is all about, here’s the marketing blurb:

“The year is 2084. If you somehow survived the Nanophage, odds are you were killed in the War. Those who live have turned to drugs, VR, neural implants — anything to distract themselves from this new reality. You are Daniel Lazarski, an elite neural detective known as an Observer, and part of a corporate-funded police unit whose purpose is to hack and invade suspects’ minds. In this future, anything you think, feel, or remember can be used against you in a court of law.

“When you receive a mysterious message from your estranged son, a high-level engineer for the almighty Chiron Corporation, you journey to the seedy Class C slums of Krakow to investigate. But as you hack into the unstable minds of criminals and victims to look for clues, you are forced relive their darkest fears. How far will you go to discover the truth?”

If there’s one thing I like, it’s being miserable in the future (and in the game) so fingers crossed that this gets beyond jumpscares in ways that Layers of Fear didn’t. Our Adam’s Wot I Think declared, “Layers of Fear is an effective scare ’em up but the sense of dislocation and the lack of character development left me feeling as if I’d enjoyed a thematically messy series of shocks rather than a cohesive horror story.”

Go on, really put me inside this old man.


  1. YogSo says:

    You know, Rutger Hauer from Ladyhawke! And Blind Fury! And Blade Runner too I guess.

    What, no love for Split Second?

    Observer is looking good, hopefully it’ll be a better cohesive experience than their previous game.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Holy heck this looks amazing. I hadn’t even heard of it!

      • Neutrino says:

        Ditto. I know what’s getting donwloaded tonight!

      • Herring says:

        The solution to everything is bigger guns and more chocolate.

      • noom says:

        It doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the trailer imo, but definitely an entertaining watch if you’re a fan of trashy 80s sci-fi & horror stuff (which I’m fairly certain is true of Alice).

      • Velthaertirden says:

        No mention of LEXX? He likes Game there

    • Tony M says:

      All I remember of Split Second is that “We need bigger guns” became a meme in our teenage Shadowrun campaign.

    • Ben says:

      I was just about to post a comment checking Alice had seen Split Second! It’s a really interesting movie.

      Game looks pretty cool too. Could have done without the Vangelis-sounding music and ‘pretty lady on giant vidboard’ at the start, though – you’ve already got Rutger Hauer in, that’s enough Blade Runner for one game!

      • poliovaccine says:

        As much of a slobbering fan of Blade Runner I am, I totally agree. I want to see all kinds of stuff *inspired* by my favorite things, but not so much *straightforwardly derivative* of them. I mean usually games can afford to wear their film and literature influences on their sleeve more obviously than most other media, since reinterpretation to such a different form of media tends to be unique enough unto itself… but even so, yeah, the stuff you point out makes it look (and sound) more like a licensed Blade Runner game than a totally unique IP. I get it that they’re really going for that too, what with actually getting Rutger Hauer in the game, but just… in a way it feels like a missed opportunity to be more creative with some really excellent source material but none of the constraint of an actual licensed tie-in. Seems all too representative of the technically-competent yet ultimately-unimaginative flavor of their last game, though I see enough potential there to hope they surpass themselves this time.

        So I mean, in spite of all my qualifying here, I do have high hopes for this game… just, like I say, the devs’ past work doesnt inspire absolutely infinite confidence, in so many words. It was a mechanical little trolley ride through the Tunnel O’ Jump Scares and a competent tech demo amalgamating of some of the more popularly-enjoyed disorientation tricks that had been developed and explored by various separate indie projects/proofs-of-concept in the years just preceding. It certainly wasnt a cohesive game, nor was it the storied, poignant, or even remotely representational portrayal of psychosis it (or its devs, or its marketing, or someone) claimed it would be… though I dont think anyone could possibly come away from it still taking that claim seriously, and I cant tell if it was ever meant seriously in the first place. I mean I would hope not.

        Still, there was evident ability in there, and I would hope that shows itself a little more in this one, cus as far as its concepts go, this is a dream game come true for me. And if all it turned out to be in the end was the same basic philosophy of picking what undeniably works from scores of lesser games and piling those bits and bobs into a single, playable place, like crabs collecting bits of coral and broken shell to stick onto their shells for camouflage or to make a nest, well, even that would be totally “not too shabby.” All it would have to be is “not outright bad.” I just wish it were coming from Arkane or some name I especially trust, so I could afford to feel excited with less inhibition. More reasonably, I hope these devs take some real creative risks this time, given the strength of the material they’ve got.

    • Dlarit says:

      Hobo with a shogun clearly his masterpiece!

      link to

    • Crocobutt says:

      And The Hitcher (1986)!

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      phuzz says:

      Who can forget “Rutger Hauer smoking a cigar” on Banzi?
      Doesn’t seem to be footage on the internet, but at least the man himself remembers it.

  2. Tony M says:

    In every RPG and tactical strategy game I play, Rutger Hauer is who I imagine my character to be, going back to games like Baldur’s Gate 1 and Fallout/Fallout Tactics. For me hes the perfect RPG protagonist. Tough without being glamourous. Strong without being a Arnie/Segal style parody of strong. And his manner is compatible with the generic “tough/stoic” dialogue of most “choose your line” style conversation trees. But when I imagine Hauer saying it I can hear hidden depths in fairly vanilla dialogue.
    Specifically the older/more beaten down Hauer of “Blood of Heroes” (Salute of the Jugger).

    • poliovaccine says:

      That is such a genius idea haha. I tend to use actors or characters as foundations for my RPG creations as well. Like my last New Vegas character was pretty much an energy weapon-laden Mr Tibbs from In The Heat of the Night, which is a fairly flawed movie but Sidney Poitier is gold (frankly so is Rod Steiger but I’m not about to play as him haha), and my current NV guy is an American Geralt, which I think translates over pretty well.

      Also, in VTMB I used to be unable to see the male Nosferatu as anything other than Peter Lorre, but after playing New Vegas now I’m stuck thinking of him as having the voice of sardonic, world-weary irony that is the Freeside ghoul beggar Rotface, haha. It isnt so much a choice as just an association I cant even help..! It fits even better than Peter Lorre did.

      • QSpec says:

        Blood of Heroes… so freaking good.

      • noom says:

        While it wasn’t deliberate on my part, my Commander Shepard ended up looking almost exactly like Russell Crowe. A good look for him, I feel.

    • vahnn says:

      That makes five of us.

  3. rustybroomhandle says:

    If he doesn’t ride in on a horse, accompanied by a cheesy synth track, I don’t want it.

  4. Troubletcat says:

    Always loved Rutger Hauer but the lines in the trailer sounded a little off to me for some reason, like he wasn’t really putting his heart into it.

    Looks intriguing though. Didn’t buy Layers of Fear on account of the being a bit tired of ‘walking simulator with jump scares’ direction taken by many recent horror games, but the setting in this one seems super cool. I wonder if it’ll have a little more to the gameplay.

  5. Michael Fogg says:

    In my dreams Hauer is cast as Geralt in the new tv adaptation.

  6. merbert says:

    My “Bag-O’Shite-Ometer” reads 100.

  7. jonahcutter says:

    Since this a love-Rutger-Hauer thread (deservedly), I’ll toss in that Anne Rice always pictured him as Lestat for the film version of Interview.

  8. The Great Wayne says:

    One of the best actors of his generation, sadly so underrated…

    Mandatory blade runner clip (warning, spoilers).

  9. dontnormally says:

    > You are […] an elite

    Oh for fucks sake… can we *please* get a cyberpunk game where we play as a friggin punk?

    • Kollega says:

      When it comes to cyberpunk games, the devs most often get the “cyber” part more or less working, but manage to completely phone it in on “punk”. Because games are traditionally made as power fantasies and must have super-powerful protagonists, or some other lame excuse like that.

      • goodpoints says:

        Because games are traditionally made as power fantasies and must have super-powerful protagonists, or some other lame excuse like that.

        Well this seems to be marketing itself as a cyber-horror game or something, and being (or at having the impression of being) vulnerable and less powerful than The Foe is a core part of the spooking genre. Nor are the punks of the literary genre even incompatible with an action game, as the prototypical Case is the underdog in numbers and resources, but not ability.

        Deckard’s role really been emulated in a game either. Remember that in Blade Runner, everyone who has the money already left for the offworld colonies. Both the film and the book make significant effort to show that Deckard is not all that well-off, and being an LAPD detective is for from an “elite” position anymore. Pretty decent musical impersonation of Blade Runner in the trailer though.

        But beyond the power dynamics of it, surely I can’t be the only one who would prefer playing the role of an amphetamine-gobbling cyber-criminal to that of another UNATCO agent.

        • Kollega says:

          All fairly good points (ha! “How unexpected”! :P ) But it just underlines my confusion at why this game has you as “elite this or that”, rather than a desperate hacker who’s invading the minds of others because he sees no better options to get what he needs done.

    • poliovaccine says:

      Too true… even Deckard in clearly their biggest influence was a bit of an underdog, and a rogue, if not exactly a punk. I mean, I guess to be fair they *are* making “Not Blade Runner” here, and the lead of that story *was* a cop… but nonetheless, I totally hear you on that one.

      I mean, here’s hoping for CDPR, since it seems like they’re drawing directly from Cyberpunk the tabletop game, which apparently absolutely *did* feature proper punks for player characters.

    • Ghostwise says:

      Well, there’s Bunker Punk. You play a punk. Who lives in a punk bunker.

    • dylan says:

      Video games require programmers, 3D artists, jobbing actors, and marketing departments to get made. In summary, videogames are made by fuckin’ squares, man.

      People who fantasize about being cops or soldiers probably don’t have the mindset for it, unless they sort of come at the genre in an intentional way. Even the last Shadowrun game was all about teaming up with a cop to flee from some cultists or whatever. It’s too morally relative, when what you need is to glorify living in a squat with some broke philosophers.

  10. wombat191 says:

    squeal.. uncanny valley galore and i love it hahaha

    hopefully it will tide me over till cyberpunk 2077 is released

  11. Buggery says:

    Layers of Fear became dreadfully tedious after the first ten minutes and the realization that you’d seen all that the game had to show so very, very cautious about this.

  12. mercyRPG says:

    Had to stop the video at 0:52, why is this SO CRAP??