Tuesday, February 5, 2019

"the ominous phrase BRING HER keeps appearing on your glitchy interface"

Observation is an upcoming sci-fi thriller from No Code, the team behind horror anthology Stories Untold. In it you play as SAM, an orbital space station's advanced artificial intelligence that has suddenly become self-aware. Something has gone horribly wrong on the station, leaving it drifting near Saturn, and it's up to you to help survivor Dr. Emma Fisher escape to safety—a job made complicated by the fact that a sinister presence is interfering with your computer brain, and doesn't seem to have Fisher's best interests at heart.

The game is viewed through cameras that litter the station, which you can remotely control. These are SAM's eyes and ears, and through these he can interact with stuff to help (and maybe, later, even hinder) Fisher. You can open and close airlocks, activate devices, read data on laptops, and more. You'll solve intricate puzzles via a series of complicated computer interfaces, talk to Fisher and respond to her commands, and hopefully find a way to rescue her. But the ominous phrase BRING HER keeps appearing on your glitchy interface, suggesting some kind of manipulation from an outside force.


Last month I visited No Code's studio in my hometown of Glasgow, Scotland to play an early demo of the game and talk to its creative director, Jon McKellan, about what inspired his team, its spiritual connection to Alien: Isolation, and what it has in store for us when it's released later this year.