Demo Days – Signalis

This week is a demo of a game that I have been waiting to play for such a long time. I was really excited to see it on Steam Nextfest. It is a good mix between old-school Resident Evil and Silent Hill; This week is Signalis.

Signalis is a horror game from rose-engine and it will be published under Humble Games and PLAYISM. The game will be available on all platforms and will release on October 27th.

The demo really doesn’t do anything in terms of the lore but the Steam page has a little to add:

“Awaken from slumber and explore a surreal retrotech world as Elster, a technician Replika searching for her lost partner and her lost dreams. Discover terrifying secrets, challenging puzzles, and nightmarish creatures in a tense and melancholic experience of cosmic dread and classic psychological survival horror.”

The demo starts with the main character waking from some sort of sleep to find the dystopian world around them has fallen prey to bloodthirsty creatures that linger in the dark. You are searching for something through this decrepit, mysterious government facility, in search of something larger than you. Find all the things to be able to leave the ship and experience the outside world before these creepy, lurching enemies get you.

It is noticeable immediately how heavy and slow the main character, Elster, is. WASD moved, Shift runs, and Elster has an inventory of items that can be used throughout the demo. Elster, on waking up, is given a gun. Combat is what reminds me the most of Resident Evil 4, where Elster has to ready the gun before fire making them a target for the demons that roam each section of the map. You will have to pass by some enemies on your way to the cockpit to figure out what the next play is, so combat is a must. When in range, enemies will lurch forward in attempts to incapacitate you, but ready your weapon, hold and wait for the perfect moment to strike. Kinda feels like all the Silent Hills and Resident Evil games that I have ever played.

The game has a top-down camera and each section of the ship is its own dedicated section. It really adds to the fear, as coupled with the combat and movement, makes for a really solid, spooky experience. Rooms are tight and enemies take a lot of bullets, so for the first few interactions combat is pretty scary and when you thought you got a hang of the combat, new enemies arrive. There is a puzzle section that really feels like the puzzle from Resident Evil 3 where the formula has to be made perfect.

Signalis really just looks like a PSP game. It has a combination of pixels and a lot of dark colors to give off the horror theme. Only in cutscenes does Elster have a face, but when they are walking around the ship everyone, including the enemies are faceless entities. The ship is a dark, gray area, but the items that you pick up are extremely colored and, at first interaction, really took me off guard, because I was unaware that bright colors could exist in a game that is so gray.

I am glad that Signalis made it to Steam Nextfest and I am excited to see what will come next from Rose-Engine. The game has its roots in these older horror games but it introduces itself in a dystopian fashion with enemies that are nameless and terrifying in their own right. Everything that I played I want more of and I am really excited for what is to come.

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