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The Operator screenshot

If you like detective thrillers, you REALLY need to play The Operator’s Steam demo

The Operator cannot come soon enough. An immersive dark puzzle game, it puts you in the role of an FDI operator, a fictional FBI-style government role, assisting agents as they are out in the field investigating crimes. A Steam Next Fest demo is available for The Operator right now, and it’s absolutely hooked me.

As the titular Operator, your tasks will be varied. Maybe you’ll be asked to examine a photo to find an inconsistency, or maybe you’ll need to search the government’s databases to find information on a person. Whatever you’re doing, it’s deeply engrossing.

But that’s only scratching the surface of what this game from developer Bureau 81 has in store. You see, the demo ends with your government PC being hacked by a prolific and most-wanted cybercriminal who goes by the name ‘Hal’. It seems the last couple of cases you’ve been working on are connected. And Hal knows all about them.

The Operator screenshot
Image: Bureau 81

In the space of fifteen minutes, I dealt with a homicide, an apparent alien abduction and a hacker. I can only imagine what else waits for me in the full release of The Operator, but it’s safe to say I can’t wait to find out.

Even without the intense mystery that The Operator promises, the act of going through the motions in this fictional government agency is enthralling, too. Typing in names to a database to see what you can find; scanning security camera footage to see if you can recover a license plate number; finding an inconsistency in a series of photographs. It really puts you in control, feeling like a true agent working on something big.

The Operator screenshot
Image: Bureau 81

I’m yet to play through everything I’ve downloaded from Steam Next Fest, but I’m fairly confident in saying it’s going to take something rather special to grab me quite in the way The Operator has. It’s set to release later this year, so stay tuned for more coverage.

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