The Signal from Tölva is great. It makes a valiant attempt to breach a genre that sees far too few entries, bearing a not unkind resemblance to the likes of Far Cry 2, or S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I say valiant, because I think making a game like this is genuinely foolish. There’s an unreasonable number of pitfalls, a few of which Tölva does not escape, and if you succeed, you’ve just made one of those games. Y’know, the ones that are instantly polarizing, and those who love it utterly confound those who don’t.
I think Big Robot ultimately executes on the right things. It has a sense of place, and that’s really a thing where you’ll go, “Oh, sure.” Or, you’re like me, a weirdo, and you say some shit like, “I belong here. Fuck.”
The core gameplay feels designed by capable people, but if I said it doesn’t feel rote by the halfway point, I would let you call me a liar. But the surrounding elements–the audio-visual treatment, the profound eerieness of a few distinct locales, the scattered ruins that tell a story all their own–these things prop up a world that isn’t immediately unbelievable, but remains kind of surreal, and I found it immensely satisfying to explore.
I also just think it’s got a damn good look (some screenshots for your perusal).