When Bloober Team let us know that they wanted to make an updated version of Observer for the next-generation of consoles and are interested in doing it together with us, we were delighted. As a mostly work-for-hire studio, we at the Anshar Studios were thrilled to work on the Observer: System Redux, as it’s our first next-gen project and an excellent opportunity to get to know the environment we will be working in for many years to come.
The game’s choice also made us happy because we know the Observer through and through – our studio ported the original game to Nintendo Switch, so we were a battle-tested company for Bloober Team. We are happy to work together again.
While talking of the Observer: System Redux, we couldn’t afford a simple port. It’s a release title for the next-gens and a simultaneous premiere on various PC platforms. The System Redux development team wanted to raise the bar as high as possible. We wanted to emphasize the climate of cyberpunk noir, the sense of exploring the slums of the city of the future. We wanted to do more, and this is why we asked ourselves how we can improve the next-gen version using our Anshar know-how. Our visual reference was the Blade Runner and noir films (neon lights, the contrast of light and shadow, rain). This is where we took our ideas of how to enhance the lighting and where to add ray tracing and other effects that weren’t there in the previous iteration.
There is a lot of hard work behind this project – our team was responsible for the implementation of enhancing character models, significantly improving the lightning and adding the Ray Tracing, taming the PS5’s Dual Sense features, adding cross-saves between WinStore/Xbox Series X and many more. We also added more dynamic effects such as fog, smoke, rain and completely reworked the contrasts of light and shadow, additionally, we’ve improved models and animations of characters to make them look more next-gen. The changes are particularly visible when looking at facial textures, wrinkles, and better-quality hair. Once again, kudos to our talented team for making the System Redux even better.
We wanted System Redux to be accessible for a wider range of players, so we have taken care of the new accessibility options. Anshar improved the legibility of night vision, biovision, and electro vision, and prepared a completely new lighting system, and it’s not only aesthetics. Thanks to the introduced amendments, careful observation of the surroundings will please the eye and be an essential navigation element around the tenement house.
Observer: System Redux is more than a visual upgrade, we worked hard to add something to the story as well. We came up with an idea of three new cases and they all introduce new characters whose stories are intertwined with tenants’ lives already known to the returning Observer players. It’s always great to be able to add something extra to the already known story, and it brings a big pleasure when it all comes together perfectly.
We also added some additional eye-candies, such as high-quality textures, a new approach to lighting and postprocessing along with volumetric systems, more realistic particle effects, as well as revamped models and animations for NPCs. We worked on improvements allowed by the new generation of consoles, e.g., much faster map loading and zero freezing. We also updated the save system, user interface, accessibility, graphic options, and AI of some NPCs, to mention just a few changes inspired by the community feedback.
Take a look at Janus, the janitor. The numerous interactions with this character made us think we should reiterate him. We equipped him with a full set of new animations and remade the model to make him look more realistic, more next-gen. With the new lighting system and better shaders, he looks way better than before. We also remade some of the apartments to make them more believable, players will now feel that people living in the building have deeper backstories. Bringing System Redux to next-gens is a hard-work for both Anshar Studios and Bloober Team. We are very excited to have an opportunity to create a next-gen experience for all players.
Those who already played Observer will have a chance to taste the new content and re-live the best moments in a quality never seen before. For new players, we want to make the experience as surprising and unforgettable as possible. Observer System Redux is a must-play for every cyberpunk maniac out there and a definite farewell to Rutger Hauer’s portrayal of Daniel Lazarski. We hope you’ll enjoy playing the game as much as we did making it.
– Observer System Redux Dev Team