What a way to cash in on nostalgia, huh? Aspyr Media and Bloober Team announced that their upcoming cyberpunk horror game Observer will star Rutger Hauer, veteran actor who made a name to fame in classics like Wanted: Dead or Alive, Blind Fury and the unforgettable classic Blade Runner.
Hauer isn’t just in the game as some sort of passing side character or nostalgic timepiece sitting in the background with a winking comment or two that only die-hard fans of the sci-fi genre would pick up on. Hauer is actually the main protagonist of the game, Daniel Lazarski, thus making him the Observer.
The title is a mind-horror game, mixing in walking sim elements with classic first-person adventure gameplay. The backdrop is an almost Orwellian dystopia where Big Brother sees all, even every fiber and strand floating in the darkest corners of your mind, all thanks to neural detectives like Dan, who are known as Observers. They have the ability to neural-jack your nodes and take a dive into your thoughts in order to help solve murders, track down suspects and bring criminals to justice… one way or another.
There’s a new trailer that you can check out to give you an idea of what Observer is like, and a small sampling of the gameplay beats. Check it out below.
It seems weird that Aspyr is just now announcing that Hauer is in the game. I would have had this plastered all over the promo material leading up to the release of the game. It’s a pretty big selling point for anyone who still has fond memories of some of Hauer’s sci-fi action films of the past, from The Blood of Heroes to Split Second, will have likely taken one look at the headlines and gone wide-eyed.
Anyway, the trailer itself plays off the Blade Runner motif quite strongly, with music resembling Vangelis’ score and imagery that seems to pay an homage to the late Jordan Cronenweth’s incomparable cinematography.
Most shocking of all to me is that at the end of the trailer we see Daniel for the first time, and they actually used Rutger Hauer’s likeness!
It’s kind of funny because the roles are now reversed, and he’s essentially playing the detective role that Harrison Ford once donned when he was playing Decker in the original Blade Runner.
Bloober Team have already proven that they can definitely make quality games with Layers of Fear. We’ll see if they’re a one trick pony or if they’re legitimately going to be leading the next frontier of thematic, story-driven games in the interactive entertainment industry.