Man, this week has been something else. Lots have been happening, both good and bad, but this week I get to talk about a game that I have been following for a long time. I have experienced little of older Silent Hill/ Resident Evil games but I think Signalis would fit right in with that genre. This week I awaken from my cryosleep to an unknown world filled with monsters to pursue an unknown enemy with an unknown motive. This week is Signalis.
Signalis is a love story. You take the role of a sort of, worker unit named Elster, who has just woke from cryosleep to search for someone. Her memories are pretty much shot but she eventually stumbles upon a mining facility where a horrific scene has unfolded.
If you have ever played any of the PS1 horror games mentioned above then Signalis will seem very familiar. The camera is third person, movement is incredibly tanky, and shooting requires Elster to stop completely. As mentioned, Elster stumbles upon a mining colony that now has turned into shambling zombies. Signalis has some of those typical survival horror choices: That incredibly small inventory, the incredibly limited resources (that require thinking about combat situations), and the loads and loads of puzzles and keycard-locked doors. I honestly think one of the best modern decisions was to include more save points to make the game less punishing.
Signalis does a really good job at maintaining a steady pace of spooks. Shambling corpses are spread throughout rooms, which can either be dispatched or the classic run-around. It really ramps up the spooks later on when bosses are introduced.
The puzzles are actually god-tier. Modern horror games don’t make me get my fucking notebook out to record what I see or a note that has relevance to a puzzle.
I think Signalis is supposed to look like a 32-bit game but I know that the game is much more than that. The game is gritty looking but the detail is on point, the enemies have a certain grotesque nature to them, and the tight corridors add so much to the already tense atmosphere and gameplay. On top of all of that, there are added glitchy effects that happen during cutscenes to ramp up the spookiness.
I personally like the ability to rotate 3D objects.
At the beginning of the game, Signalis is a very lonely game and during the mid-game you are still very much alone, albeit with some zombies moving around sometimes. The sound design mimics this feeling very well, with loud echoing footsteps and eerie shrieks from the zombies as they catch you out of the corner of their eyes.
Signalis is a shining example of a damn fine video game. The story is told entirely through the notes and diary entries that you find throughout your journey. It is something that I still do not understand and I think that that is a good thing.
I am enthralled with the story. I beat the game and I got a certain ending after that, went onto Youtube and snap and searched for the endings and lore explanations. I never do that, and it was so interesting to see the fan theories and such. The pacing is perfect, the puzzles are really good and thought-inducing, the game looks good and the atmosphere is really good.
The only gripe that I have is with the inventory. IF I HAD JUST ONE MORE SLOT. Because of that, there is a lot more backtracking than I wanted. You really have to be smart about what you take and what you leave because it will cost you if you have to go back and forth all of the time.