Questions; that's been the theme that's kept cropping up in my recent gaming. So many games I have played ask questions of the player that are never really answered. At least not during the short time I get to experience them.
All of these questions are plot points that leave one guessing everything from the motivations of the character they are playing through to why they have a penchant for wearing a certain style of hat. The Signal from Tölva isn't really concerned with head wear, but it is very interested in a certain beacon and why it's active.
Set on the planet of Tölva, the player assumes the role of a nameless hacker who has elected to take control of various robots that have been sent to the planet to discover why a signal is being emitted from it. The nature of this signal is never explained other than, to say that it's extremely important.
The Signal from Tölva is a single-player FPS title that has the player taking control of bipedal robots that can be commanded to do the players bidding. They are part of a larger surveying expedition that is being competed on by three factions. The robots from the other factions are programmed to kill-on-sight any robot that is not of the same faction. This results in exchanges of fire on a fairly regular basis as the surveying robots from all three factions try to find the source of the signal.
With the player being a remote hacker they are never personally in danger, it is only the robots they control that take the brunt of the fire that is delivered unto them. Robots can be improved by exchanging scavenged material that is scattered across the landscape. This acts as currency and can be used to pay for weapons enhancements that make your robot less easy to dismantle (read: 'blown to smithereens').
It is also possible to control more than one robot by gaining access to a command module. This device is simply pointed at a friendly robot and they are then at the player's mercy. This normally involves sending them into a firefight to create a feint that allows the player to take out the opposing faction robots with superior weaponry and aim.
One of the many reasons I stopped and played The Signal from Tölva for quite some time is its visuals. It's based on imagery drawn by Ian McQue, formerly of Rockstar Games - he published images of bipedal robots and strange space ships that seemed to be connected to them.
Intrigued by these pictures developer Big Robot decided to make a game about them and The Signal from Tölva was given form. These images have been infused into the graphical style of The Signal from Tölva - it's not too dissimilar to concept art that litters various visual mediums and that makes the game really stand out from the crowd of FPS titles.
After playing The Signal from Tölva it's clear it shows a great deal of promise. This is hardly surprising considering the previous game made by Big Robot is the excellent Sir, You're Being Hunted.
The Signal from Tölva is due to appear on Windows PC, Mac and Linux in April.