Jump to content

The Signal From Tölva

Recommended Posts

I enjoyed this one but eventually lost the will to continue, mostly due to more exciting games on my to-do list. The lore book released by the devs as a free PDF was a really great read for a sci-fi fan.

Share this post


Link to post

This game was weird to me. It felt like there was deep lore, and THERE WAS -- in a included PDF. However, while playing the game I understood none of it; didn't understand my character, my motivations, the people, the factions, anything. I tried scouring the planet for these lore capsules, but couldn't find them all -- so guess I'll never understand why I'm playing the game (unless I read the big-ass included lore dump).

 

In the end I think I enjoyed my experience, but it sure was "Hazy" for me.

Share this post


Link to post

It's clearly a hate/love game. It's kind of repetetive and bare bones, especially in the beginning. While the scenerey is nice, many assets are repeated over and over again. There are only four types of enemies (robots, drones, turrents and flying energy sparks ) and effetivly only four different weapons - of which one is your default pistol that is completely useless for anything and one is kind of useless, so you can make it two.

You task is to find data and signal fragments, collect scrap and take bunkers form enemy forces. You seem to play some kind of AI and can transfer yourself to a random robot chassis at checkpoints after you die or as a method of fast traveling. At first, that's kind of easy and you repeat your same tactics over and over again. Then, after about two thirds of the map are conquered, it suddenly gets all tough. Suddenly you can't go in solo, guns blazing, anymore. You have to use a recruitment tool, which takes one of your two weapon slots and take fellow robots along. As much in the game squad management is extremely basic. I haven't even found a command to kick a robot from your squad and the only command, rallying at a selected point, usually doesn't work. While the AI of your allies is braindead, they work as extra fire power and usually do the job. Except if there is a turrent, then they get killed every single time. So the best tactics is to go in solo, destroy all turrents, go back to base and come back with a squad. Tedious, but effective. Especially since the turrents are droppend from orbit and sometimes, very rarely, a second one will appear when you just have arrived with your mates.

Still, I think combat is pretty fun in this game. You have to manage raising and lowering your shield and your AOE, while trying not to get surrounded and looking for cover to recharge constantly. The guns have a feel for energy weapons and sound great, especially over long distances. 

The graphics are dated, but work very well with the gigantic ships and ruins strewn over the landscape. 

The exploration aspect is kind of so-so. While most objects you discover all look the same and just give you a piece of story you can read through (there are no voiceovers in the game), there are one or two small highlights among them. The story itself is interesting, but the presentation -again- is rather basic.

The music could be more present, in my opinion, it's generally hardly noticeable.

To sum it up: Very basic game with not much variety but interesting, tactical combat and a nice feel and atmosphere.

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/29/2020 at 9:29 AM, Olaxan said:

This game was weird to me. It felt like there was deep lore, and THERE WAS -- in a included PDF. However, while playing the game I understood none of it; didn't understand my character, my motivations, the people, the factions, anything. I tried scouring the planet for these lore capsules, but couldn't find them all -- so guess I'll never understand why I'm playing the game (unless I read the big-ass included lore dump).

 

In the end I think I enjoyed my experience, but it sure was "Hazy" for me.

After finishing the game I would correct my rating to "pass".

Why? Because it clearly feels unfinished und lazy. The 50-page backstory document you mention is a big part of that. They claim you can enjoy the game without reading it and that's a lie. Like you said, you don't get the slightest bit of information about the backstory in the game. I think a two-minute intro could have changed that. I read the story, it's not really complicated. They just couldn't be bothered to tell it in any better way. 

 

There's also a fifth enemy type I forgot about: Some kind of four legged spider walker that eats a lot of bullets but is otherwise completely harmless. It's too immobile to flush you out of your cover. This thing pissed me off, since it's just copy-pasted as a "boss" enemy to a few areas that are supposed to be ominous, creepy and important. It's even used as kind of a final boss for the two different endings. And that makes me feel like the cut corners. They could not be bothered to create a final boss. The two endings are equally lackluster - they are sequences that are about ten seconds long, without text. Without having read the backstory, you don't get what they really mean either.

 

I get it, it's a small independet game studio. But 90% of all games I play are from creators like that. If you can't afford doing anything else, why not at least an into with a textcrawl. They also could just cut the crawler enemy from all other places and just used it as the final boss. It wouldn't have affected the gameplay.

Edited by biosynth8 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post

It took me a few hours to really get into it, but then I did quite enjoy it. It may be open world, but it's only about 10 hours long as far as I remember and the mix of exploration and combat supported by good atmosphere did work very well for me. The combat is a bit on the simple side so that gets a bit repetitive, but as said, it's not very long.

 

Similar to the first game by the same developer, it feels a bit like Stalker. With Sir it was mostly the atmosphere and sometimes the sound, with this one it's the exploration and weird phenomena as well as the AI squads running around, battling it out.

 

Would certainly recommend it.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/26/2021 at 2:32 PM, BurningSheep said:

It took me a few hours to really get into it, but then I did quite enjoy it. It may be open world, but it's only about 10 hours long as far as I remember and the mix of exploration and combat supported by good atmosphere did work very well for me. The combat is a bit on the simple side so that gets a bit repetitive, but as said, it's not very long.

 

The ten hours felt extremely long to me, since there's content for about four. 

Share this post


Link to post
On 12/28/2021 at 12:32 AM, biosynth8 said:

The ten hours felt extremely long to me, since there's content for about four. 

Well, not everyone will like what they get equally. As said though, it's not like I started liking it immediately.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
On 1/3/2022 at 10:39 AM, BurningSheep said:

Well, not everyone will like what they get equally. As said though, it's not like I started liking it immediately.

I completed it. I tried to get everything out of it because I just refused to believe there was nothing behind it at all. I felt a bit cheated. They give you half a novel of backstory to read before playing and then you don't even get a decent ending - no matter which ending you choose. As for exploration: Maybe if the map would have been a quater of the size it was in the game, I would have been less disappointed. Because after playing through that amount, I realized that there was no real reward for exploration. I still went everywhere, just to see nothing.

 

I think this game can be summed up with one word: basic. Basic AI, basic map, basic enemies, basic story. The gunplay and general combat (if you don't count the very basic squad mechanics) , as well es the sound design (if you don't count the very basic music) however are really good. They lured me in and kept me going. I would have loved that in a more fleshed out game.

 

I've read other people's reviews saying that in the end it felt as if they had missed part of the game. That's spot on, I think.

Edited by biosynth8
Typo, Addition (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post

Here's the thing. It's designed like a Far Cry game, with its outposts and landmarks that unlock fast travel and new stuff.

But it's more bare bones than Far Cry. It's meant to be more of an experience.

Combat is flashy and intense, with other NPCs joining the battle as fights happen all over the map immersive sim-style. But a lot of what you're doing is just exploring the world, learning the lore in your own time instead of shoving it in your face (they even made a lore book PDF with the game), and just soaking in everything in its amazing art direction that feels like concept art.

 

The underground sections can get annoying, and having no vehicles can feel like a drag sometimes.

But when you see what they've achieved, it's pretty hard not to be wowed.

I feel "The Signal From Tolva: The Best Game Ever" by Cool Ghosts explains best what makes it so solid.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in the community.

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...

This website uses cookies, as do most websites since the 90s. By using this site, you consent to cookies. We have to say this or we get in trouble. Learn more.