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SIGNALIS

Developer: rose-engine Publishers: Humble BundlePLAYISM
27 October 2022
SIGNALIS - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.04 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
458 Ratings / 6 Reviews
#151 All-time
#6 for 2022
Replika Unit LSTR-512 awakens alone on a crashed starship and delves into an abandoned government facility infested by things mankind was not meant to know in order to keep a promise to her missing partner.
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An absolute masterclass in survival horror. There was not a single misstep in any aspect of this game: everything from the music to the visuals to the plot and world-building to the gameplay was remarkable. If you're a fan of Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Ghost in the Shell, Evangelion, Monogatari, Lovecraft, gay robots or all of the above, you're doing yourself a disservice by not playing this game. Absolutely cannot recommend this enough.
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ViridianJCM 2024-02-11T22:36:23Z
2024-02-11T22:36:23Z
5.0
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Tries to be a lot of things but ends up just being mediocre
The Steam people's choice awards are a bit of a wild ride. There's bound to be a lot of variance when some of the reviews of a game like Signalis are 'SPACE LESBIANS 10/10'. But how good is Signalis really.

Lovecraft, 1984, Ghost in the Shell, Silent Hill, Resident Evil. This game wears its influences on its sleeve, but I don't really think it captures the essence of these influences particularly well. Like, okay, its Lovecraftian. But does it capture the essence of Lovecraft? No. The whole communist dystopia thing? Paper's Please does a better job (and mind you, the art style is very similar, hmm.) And while theres elements of Ghost in the Shell here, there's not much of the maturity in exploration of existentialism. And despite combining all these things, the influences are so blatant that the game doesn't feel particularly unique.

So really, you are left with a Gen Z, gender dysphoric, anime-weeb Resident Evil 1 with worse gameplay.

For Lovecraft done right, as well as esoteric storytelling, see Bloodborne.
For survival horror or psychoogical horror, RE1 and SE2 respectively.
For emotionally driven storytelling that doesn't have this anime-inspired-weird-depressive-twitter vibe, look at Mother 3.

This doesnt reach anywhere close to those games. Really, at the end of the day, most games can get 'overwhelmingly positive' on Steam by giving gamers a gut punch to the end. But it isn't particularly hard to do that, and the rest of this game doens't really have much to say, nor does it do anything particularly well.
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Crimson7 2023-12-31T15:07:19Z
2023-12-31T15:07:19Z
2.5
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I'll just come right out with it, I'm absolutely blown away by this game.

It should be noted that gameplay wise this does almost nothing new. Outside of some light point-and-click adventure-style sections, this is a very straightforward, old-school survival horror game, very much influenced by the likes of Resident Evil and Silent Hill. But while it really doesn't innovative the gameplay style any, it still gets the formula down absolutely perfect, to an almost frightening extent. As such, it's still extremely satisfying to play.

The biggest draw, though, is literally everything else. The cryptic story, the interesting characters, the setting and abstract world-building, the excellent art and sound design, the intense and haunting soundtrack, the claustrophobic atmosphere, and the very cinematic and surrealistic presentation are all supremely crafted, sucking you into its cold world and making for a wholly unique and unforgettable experience.

This is already among my favorite games now, and I'll definitely be returning to it in the future.
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Revolution666 2023-09-10T23:17:41Z
2023-09-10T23:17:41Z
10.0
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psychological survival horror surreal horror robot horror sci-fi horror lgbtq+ Lovecraftian survival horror dystopian horror body horror romantic horror
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Signalis is a game that wears its influences on its sleeves. Almost every part of the gameplay is indicative of old PS1 survival horror games such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill. It strongly captures the look and feel of these games but does it in a way that seems refreshing compared to other horror indie games. Its mix of the german language with locations that are either cold and sterile or fleshy hellscapes is an aesthetic I find very appealing.

The gameplay is not too taxing with there being plenty of ammo as long as you pick your fights carefully. The inventory, while a little cumbersome, is something I got used to once I figured out what the game wanted me to bring with me. The puzzles were creative and did a good job of tying back into the lore of the world. There were only a few I felt really stumped on that I felt could have been explained a little more clearer. The gameplay delivers a satisfying cycle of resource collection and exploration. There are brief sections that take place in first person that add to the retro style the game is going for with you interacting with technology that would not be out of place in the 90s.

This game was easily one of the best I’ve played this year. Its aesthetic and story are right up my alley and it was hard for me to put down. There’s a lot of depth to its lore and characters that I feel I’ve only skimmed the surface of and I can’t wait to go back and learn more about it.
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ThatOneLupin 2022-12-24T01:44:22Z
2022-12-24T01:44:22Z
4.5
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Not Derivative
Often times critiques of art point at newer media as derivative. One of my favorite examples is the subset of people who call Blade Runner derivative of Metropolis. They share some similarities, the architecture and cinematography is clearly influenced by it, and ironically both films suffer from pacing issues (and I'm a fan of both films). However, while Metropolis might be the more important film in terms of influence, that certainly does not mean that Blade Runner did not reinvent the wheel in some ways.

Signalis is maybe even a better example of this. The game is clearly reminiscent of Silent Hill, Silent Hill 2, Resident Evil [バイオハザード], Evangellion, Lovecraft, and Ghost in the Shell. While it is proud of its influences (especially Silent Hill 2), the game still creates its own unique identity that creates something revolutionary for games.

For starters, Signalis' story telling is purposefully broken and confusing. It keeps the player guessing and giving them a reason to return to seek more answers in further playthroughs. It's a heartbreaking story that kept me intrigued as I pieced more of it together. It's narrative helps keep the horror in place (a problem a lot of games have as they become less scary near the end of the game)

Signalis also perfectly understood what made classic survival horror so good, and refined it. The low inventory count leads to management skills to be constantly in effect. The enemies' terrifying designs, attack patterns and chance of revival keep the game tense. The variety of ways to approach a situation keeps the game interesting. Each area never overstays its welcome and keeps the horror of exploring fresh. Every puzzle is a pleasure to solve and feel like the perfect difficulty for a game like this.

It is signalis' refinements and twists on survival horror tropes that keeps the game fresh. I could go in depth about specific moments or mechanics, but even with spoiler tags I don't want to take that away from anyone. I played more games from the current year then I usually do in a year, and signalis easily the one that stuck with me the most. Please give this a try.
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OGDreamcast 2022-11-24T05:07:09Z
2022-11-24T05:07:09Z
5.0
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Lo-Fi Hills
Light and shadow. Hope and despair. Despite being at times almost impenetrably dark, Signalis is ultimately a tale of contrasts. It's simultaneously one of the most impressive and most disappointing indie games I’ve ever played. Impressive, because the story, setting, and visual design are absolutely top notch; disappointing, because I can’t help but wonder how much better it would be (and to be clear, it’s already excellent) if it wasn’t held back by the constraints of independent game development.

The DNA of the original PlayStation runs thick through Signalis’ veins. The most obvious influence is Silent Hill, lending generous portions of metaphysical horror and gameplay conventions like limited inventory space. Dig a bit deeper, though, and you’ll spot traces of Metal Gear Solid, as evidenced by style of the first-person 3D sections, as well as the presence of a radio with tunable frequencies. Psycho Mantis [サイコ・マンティス] would feel right at home here.

Signalis spent eight years in development and it shows. The backstory, woven of interplanetary empires and oppressive societies, resonates fully with the graphics and gameplay, from the design of the metallic coffin you pilot through space to the emotionless violence of the Replikas you encounter. It’s a game that asks deep questions but never forces answers. You can ponder over the true meaning of your journey or you can run from room to room and blast Replikas. Regardless of how you choose to play, you’ll be rewarded.

Why, then, did I also feel disappointment? It mostly comes down to limitations. While the game looks great as is, the overhead camera perspective always keeps the player at arm’s length from the horror. Although pre-rendered backgrounds like those in the original Resident Evil [バイオハザード] games were probably out of the question given the game’s indie scope, a dynamic camera system like the one in Dino Crisis [ディノクライシス] and Resident Evil: Code Veronica [バイオハザード コード:ベロニカ] could’ve made for a nice middle ground. As it stands, running through the game’s rectangular spaces feels more Zelda than horror. Of course, classic survival horror locales like the Spencer Mansion are also largely grid-based, but clever camera work made those grids come alive. The world of Signalis feels static in comparison.

Combat mechanics are also not a strong point. Shooting is functional but not particularly fun, and usually I found myself running around enemies unless I absolutely had no choice but to clear a path. Perhaps this was the developers’ intent, but given the wide variety of weapons they provide it’s a shame that firing them isn’t more engaging.

Don’t let these minor gripes keep you away from Signalis, though. This is a horror gem that’s absolutely worth playing, thanks to authentic PS1 vibes and a uniquely oppressive atmosphere. Could a larger budget and a few gameplay tweaks have elevated it from very good to all-time classic? Perhaps developer rose-engine’s next game will provide us with an answer. I’ll certainly be looking forward to it.
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toadhjo 2022-11-08T14:06:15Z
2022-11-08T14:06:15Z
4.0
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Catalog

cryptic SIGNALIS 2024-02-28T07:54:52Z
2024-02-28T07:54:52Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
reubenfrancis SIGNALIS 2024-02-27T10:18:29Z
2024-02-27T10:18:29Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
masterP SIGNALIS 2024-02-26T00:26:51Z
2024-02-26T00:26:51Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Lightern SIGNALIS 2024-02-23T16:19:16Z
2024-02-23T16:19:16Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ahrehd0506 SIGNALIS 2024-02-21T03:45:05Z
2024-02-21T03:45:05Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ZachGM SIGNALIS 2024-02-20T23:35:22Z
2024-02-20T23:35:22Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Giann96 SIGNALIS 2024-02-20T00:10:40Z
PS4 / PS5
2024-02-20T00:10:40Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Timmydoggo SIGNALIS 2024-02-19T22:34:35Z
2024-02-19T22:34:35Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
enomoto SIGNALIS 2024-02-19T18:04:49Z
2024-02-19T18:04:49Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
perhaps this is hell. personal favorite
argusEyeless SIGNALIS 2024-02-19T08:28:28Z
2024-02-19T08:28:28Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
JJ155 SIGNALIS 2024-02-18T16:15:09Z
2024-02-18T16:15:09Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TheAbyssalArchivist SIGNALIS 2024-02-18T01:49:29Z
2024-02-18T01:49:29Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • Previous comments (38) Loading...
  • unj 2023-10-31 23:27:47.880871+00
    Curious blend of Metal Gear Solid/Ghost in the Shell/Silent Hill/Resident Evil.

    I have no idea who any of the characters are as they all look nearly the same and have little personality to separate them apart. I'm just sort of chugging through.
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  • shauno5166 2023-11-04 08:51:52.932676+00
    Don't really understand the logic behind the limited inventory style RE gameplay when so much of the combat is avoidable. They really should have gone the SH route and just let you have an unlimited inventory. Like a third of this game was just me going back and fourth between item boxes dumping items off that I would never end up using. There was not a single tense moment of me having to weigh the value of taking or leaving an item behind like there is in classic RE, which is why the limited inventory works on those games.
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    • Azel 2023-12-01 02:07:23.399841+00
      this was exactly my main critique and why i think the both game is a bit of a designer mishap. limited inventory = back to safe room = progressive lack of tension. never a genuine moment of survival or on-the-fly planning because of how often you are forced back to safe ground without penalty. keyword on penalty which is the driving tension behind resident evil 1 in that you need to make consequential decisions. concede to a side and build from that instead of picking facets from both games that aren't congruent philosophy
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  • TheInverseCynicism 2023-11-27 13:55:50.503436+00
    cINEMA
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  • babyclav 2023-12-22 17:34:37.583635+00
    I dont think epistolary storytelling really works here, still loved the game but theres so much note reading man
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  • tunita_aisling 2024-01-09 01:26:55.339386+00
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1Gv8yjEXw8
    this video made me appreciate the game so much more
    i almost feel like crying now oh my god
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  • babyclav 2024-02-09 01:37:23.744535+00
    the anime cutscenes really do clash with the rest of the game
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