Signalis 2022

Log Status






Time Played


Days in Journal

1 day

Last played

January 15, 2023

Platforms Played

Library Ownership


Signalis is a top down 2D version of the classic Resident Evil formula I love so much. I appreciate what they were going for but to me Signalis doesn’t hit the highs of the genre, but it’s still a very well done game.
The story is a bit esoteric with lots of flashy direction with quick cuts to random images that are supposed to mean something different. There are plenty of notes and cutscenes that fill in the story but ultimately leaves much to be interpreted by the player. This works great for those that want to really explore the lore but for me that rather have a story enhance the moment to moment gameplay I kind of checked out. It takes place in the future on some isolated planet after a civilization created androids to pair with humans and sent them to work, well something goes wrong and the androids get infected and boom you have a game with monsters to fight.
You play as Elster, an android looking for her human partner and you are lost in this facility that so happens to have a bunch of locked doors and puzzles to unlock them. Most of the game plays out like a standard survival horror game with limited inventory and ammo as you navigate a maze like location looking for items to advance. There is way too limited space in the inventory, only six slots and you never earn more, this means way too many trips back and forth to the item box. Luckily the level design is pretty well throughout so a save room with an item box is usually just a few rooms away. Levels smartly unlock, creating new paths and locking behind others.
It’s more Silent Hill at times as there are so many damn doors to get into and really boring enemies at the start.
Combat is basic aim and shoot, it’s not supposed to be complicated, combat is just a means to stop the aggressive monsters in your path. There are also defensive items like the ones in REmake. Ultimately it’s better to just run around them especially because these enemies just get up again. I can’t stress how poor of a decision this is because it totally disincentivizes killing an enemy to clear a room which is basically the entire point. Many hours into the game you all of a sudden have fire items that allow you to burn the bodies of defeated enemies, exactly like in REmake. In REmake though that mechanic was tied to the crimson zombies, meaning if you wanted to clear a hall of standard zombies you risk them coming back as powerful monsters, burning them became a smart way to deal with it, and that only applies to the zombies. In this game everything gets up again so you have to pick from very few flame items to kill enemies you think will bother you most, the rest what’s the point in killing them. I felt that whole balance was off for most of the game.
This game does a really weird thing where it has a fake ending and credits that dumps you to the main menu and doesn’t tell you at all to keep playing. I thought the game ended on a bad note, two simple sections that had some good puzzles but lacked in survival. Thankfully the actual final area after the takeout is really well done and increased my final score on this game. Finally we get an area filled with danger and really tested all the ammo conserving and navigating skills needed.
Puzzles are one of this games strength, they are way better than most found in Resident Evil games. The game has this radio signal mechanic where like in metal gear you can change the frequency and hear different messages. This plays into certain puzzles and even one enemy that requires an opposite frequency to beat. Sadly that’s severely underused as it’s only done in very specific spots. There is a weird item that lets you take in game screenshots, why I would waste an item spot on something I can do on every modern gaming device is beyond me but it’s there. I also did not like needed a flashlight taking up space, way too many rooms needed it and there was nothing worse than reaching a new area and have to back track just for the light, so I kept it on me at all times lowering my inventory space to five.
Enemies are rather boring and don’t come in too many types, about five total. Again it’s not really till the end until they really start making hard rooms with lots of big enemies. There are only two bosses, not that great but serviceable. I much rather have more as they usually serve as big show stopping moments to break up locations.
Signalis is a well done survival horror indie game. It nails the spirit of the games and the puzzle solving side but I think failed at the item management and survival part of the game. There are games with better level and enemy designs, I would say Tormented Souls is better at the classic survival horror homage. Still clearly Signalis hits home as many people love the story and it’s still well made.
Score: 6.8