Reviews from

in the past

Todo el apartado estético/visual es maravilloso y el gameplay bastante satisfactorio. Ojalá pusiese algo más fácil entender la historia, que es lo único que me ha faltado para disfrutarlo al 100%

(mostly played on Steam Deck, some back and forth)
You can clearly tell what influenced the game (Silent Hill, BLAME and Alien being the most apparent ones but there's a lot to go around) yet Signalis feels like a synthesis of these influences and creates a really strong horror experience on its own. Probably more melancholy than scary, like the best Silent Hills

Good atmosphere and brilliant worldbuilding, although both very, very derivative. It draws fully from Evangelion (aesthetics), Resident Evil (mechanics), and Silent Hill (mechanics and narratives) - as a result it feels like a comfort nostalgic patchwork of many good things. Sadly, this also affects the game loops, design, and storytelling: all really derivative, repetitive, and at time gratuitously tedious - the gameloop never changes: find object to get keys, get keys to move on, kill zombies in the meantime. The only original gimmick, the radio, turns out to be one of the worst ones.
The good things are: how ultimately open to interpretation the plot is, how the game merges psychological horror and science fiction, and how it makes the game loops parts of the diegesis, leading you towards different endings in a quite brilliant way.

An exquisite psychological/survival horror game, tight in resource managment, cool puzzles and beautiful both in style and themes. It all connects beautifully and creates a hard to decipher (and sometimes overwhelmingly freeform), but emotionally rich narrative. Also it's very gay, that's always a plus.

Auch ohne Erfahrung mit Horrorklassikern wie Silent Hill oder Resident Evil (zumindest alles vor Teil 7) hat mich Signalis sehr gut unterhalten.
Das zweiköpfige Entwicklerstudio rose-engine baut hier eine super dichte Atmosphäre auf mit vielen tollen Rätseln und Mysterien. Seit Control habe ich nicht mehr so viel Text-Dokumente in einem Spiel durchgelesen, da mich die Welt von Signalis wirklich fasziniert und interessiert hat.
Doch leider war mir persönlich Einiges ein bisschen zu nebulös. Ich glaube das hier war das erste Spiel, bei dem ich mir bis zum Ende nicht sicher war, wer zur Hölle überhaupt der Charakter ist, den ich selbst spiele. Während ich das World Building wie ein Schwamm aufsaugte, hat mich der primäre Handlungsfaden nur verwirrt und so war das Ende für mich nur bedingt ein zufriedenstellender Abschluss, da ich garnicht genau verstanden habe, was ich jetzt überhaupt erreicht habe.
Doch all das trägt auch irgendwie dazu bei, dass man sich beim Spielen von Signalis permanent (auf eine für Horror-Spiele lobenswerte Art) unwohl fühlt. Das wird ergänzt durch simples aber gut funktionierendes Gunplay. Die Gegner sind in der Regel schon sehr mächtig, und flüchten ist fast immer die bessere Option, zumal auch Munition immer äußerst knapp ist.
Der beste Teil des Gameplays ist aber nicht das Schießen, sondern die Rätsel, die man immer wieder lösen muss. Diese sind echt wirklich toll durchdacht und erzeugen immer wieder sehr schöne Erfolgsmomente ohne dass zu viel Frust aufkommen würde, da alle Rätsel sehr logisch aufgebaut sind.
Zuletzt möchte ich auch noch die Genialität der verschiedenen Enden erwähnen. Während Spiele mit verschiedenen Enden diese meistens von einigen wenigen, offensichtlichen Entscheidungen abhängig machen, bestimmt bei Signalis dein gesamte Spielverhalten, welches Ende du bekommst und das ist einfach genial.
Alles in Allem hat mir Signalis viel Freude gemacht und ich hätte mir lediglich gewünscht, dass die Hauptstory ein wenig klarer erzählt wird.

Can't understand a single thing about the story, but i love it.

I first took notice of this game while browsing Game Pass a few months ago and noted that the cover looked pretty interesting, then I read the description and thought it might be a fun play. It was a bit out of my comfort zone, but I figured there was little harm in trying it. I am SO glad that I did. SIGNALIS is a hidden gem and I don’t regret a second of the 10 hours I spent on my first playthrough.
- While there are some specific aspects of the gameplay I discuss in the cons section, in general I loved the gameplay. The conservative nature of the gunplay (if you can even call it that) fits the vibe nicely, and the exploration felt rewarding because I was simultaneously dreading and waiting for what lay behind every door. The puzzles also have their fair share of “eureka” moments; I won’t spoil the solutions but my favorites had to be the butterfly safe and the microphone keypad. They took me forever and when I finally realized how to solve them, I felt like I was the next Einstein.
- Another unique aspect that I really enjoyed was the limited nature of the save rooms, though I suspect this is just a survivor horror thing and not exclusive to this game. In SIGNALIS, you should save every chance you get, because if you die, you are getting sent back ALL THE WAY to the last save room you were at, which might have been 30 to 60 minutes ago if you weren’t careful, You’d think this is a bad thing but I honestly loved the tension it brought to the game. I had to pace my ammo usage and ensure that I had enough to get out a situation unscathed because any death meant having to start all over. The relief I would feel seeing a red monitor…
- The atmosphere and setting of this game is something else entirely. There are so many little aspects that go into making sure every inch of the environment is foreboding and disconcerting, it's perfect. From the glitchy cutscenes, to the ability to toggle on ‘CRT mode’ (which distorts the screen as if you were playing on a CRT monitor), to the fact that the game tells you ‘you will regret this later’ if you choose to continue without saving. The setting itself is also amazing. Roaming the halls of a labor mine belonging to a communist, dystopian space collective, filled with shambling Replikas (sort of like androids) that writhe and contort as they take notice of you? Yes please.
- Of course, the atmosphere is also set by the music and sound design. I’m not the best at critiquing audio, but I really loved the muted, static-y soundtrack, interspersed with beautiful piano music; it's unlike the music of any game I’ve played before. And the sound design is also top notch: you are acutely aware of every single noise you make, which does wonders for a horror game.
- The story is very interesting as a significant part is left up to the player’s interpretation. There is no one theory that solves the entire thing (though some cover a lot of bases), and almost every player you meet that theorizes about this game will have a different idea of what Elster’s (the player character) journey meant. Some may take issue with this, but in my opinion it's what makes this game so impactful. Regardless of the specific story beats, the EMOTIONS I felt playing SIGNALIS were never in question, and that I believe is the story’s true strength. This game will leave you equal parts unsettled and somber. There are bits and pieces here and there that slowly build up an engaging narrative, and only in the end do you realize what Elster was truly meant to do. It hit me like a truck. This is the kind of game that warrants a video essay; there is truly so much to understand about it. I can’t deliver the story justice, you’d just have to check it out yourself.
Cons (not too many):
- For the most part, the limited inventory system is more annoying than challenging. Six slots is pitifully small: merely having a healing item, a weapon, and its ammo already takes up half of the space, and that doesn’t even take into consideration using a utility (flashlight, photo module), another weapon, or any puzzle/exploration items. The amount of times I had to backtrack to a save room to get ONE thing, then run all the way back to where I was before, was insane. Doesn’t help that Elster doesn’t run all that fast.
- The aiming mechanic could also have used a little more work. It's not terrible by any means, but it can take a decently long time to acquire targets, and if enemies are close together, it can be hard to switch between them quickly. This problem is magnified by the fact that most combat takes place in small rooms or tight corridors, meaning if you can’t aim quick enough, you’re going to get hurt.
Objective rating: 4.5 stars
Subjective rating: 5 stars

Signalis: Has inventory management
Gamers: The quirky PS2 stylized Resident Evil/Silent Hill 2 throwback survival horror game

Signalis is a love letter to Survival Horror and is not a mere shallow imitation, the creators clearly knew what they were doing and know what makes a good puzzle and just how much ammo to give you to create tension. The story is at times baffling and others poignant, it wears it's references on it's sleeve (maybe a bit too much) and clearly takes inspiration from the games of Yoko Taro, not only with literal world building elements (like the Gestalt android), but with multiple endings that take place in different time periods and realities, intended to be played together to piece together the story. You can spend many hours deciphering it's non linear story telling and attempting to figure out the secret endings, but if you want to simply engage with a well designed game the likes of Silent Hill and RE, then you will have a lot of fun, at a very low price.

It's heartening to see games like Signalis being released, even though this is far from a perfect game.
The story disappears up itself a little towards the end, but it keeps your attention, and it's not boring.
Gameplay-wise, if you don't like classic tank control-style survival horror with backtracking and VERY restrictive inventory management, you won't like this. I enjoyed it, but I acknowledge the inventory is too limited and the backtracking can get a bit excessive.