The Signal From Tölva starts broadcasting April 10th

The Signal From Tove Lo [official site], the new open-world sci-fi FPS from Sir, You Are Being Hunted devs Big Robot (and therefore RPS co-founder Jimmy Ro-ro), now has a release date: April 10th. It’ll blast us off to an alien planet where warring factions of robots go about their own lives and missions, which sounds promising for emergent antics. It’s pretty stylish and all, as you can see in this here new trailer:

Good landscapes, good zapgun noises, good spaceship, good tune.

Big Robot released a limited test version of Tove Lo’s Signal earlier this month, letting 500 players buy in early to kick the tyres, adjust the seats, it and ask questions like “Is this supposed to happen?” when they wrench the wing mirror off. If you were one of those 500, what have you made of it? Our last time playing Signal was ooh ages ago.

Tove Lo will start beaming her signal to Windows, at least, on April 10th. Big Robot say that “OSX and Linux version release dates are TBD, pending head-scratchy tech tinkering.”

[Disclosure: RPS co-founder Jim Rossignol also co-founded Big Robot. I must confess to feeling sympathy for him, as he did work with Kieron.]

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46 Comments

  1. TΛPETRVE says:

    So basically we have The Forest, but with robots and pew-pew instead of mutant cannibals and survival sandbox gameplay. Gimmegimme.

    • Collieuk says:

      Nothing at all like the Forest. It’s a lightweight shooter with a bit of exploring on an alien world. Good fun but lacking in depth. If they keep improving it and adding more then it might be a cult hit.

      • TΛPETRVE says:

        You didn’t get my point. Both The Forest and Tölva are at their core open-world exploration games (also disparagingly called “walking simulators” by some), hiding behind a survival or action sandbox respectively (though with The Forest arguably having a much stronger emphasis on the survival part than Tölva does on the action).

    • padger says:

      Yeah, there’s no crafting (thank God, I never want to tie two sticks together again), and it’s more like a mood piece: a weird little world ticking over, with brief battles as you explore. I feel like the devs will find themselves bumping up against expectations set by Halo and Far Cry, when they themselves are far more of the Day Z/Stalker lineage. w/e, it’s only twenty bucks, I am not sure what people expect.

      • Collieuk says:

        Yes people will be expecting some kind of Halo or Far Cry experience as this trailer makes the game look like some kind of heavy sci-fi shooter. I personally think the incidental music in the game and the trailer is fantastic and in parts the game is extremely atmospheric. I’m not sure the Devs know how best to portray their game, nor to tell their story. Needs tweaking. Ultimately they have a strict timeframe in mind to launch the game and I wish them all the best. Although I’m not a fan of early access titles maybe they’d consider that route next time as it gives them a longer timeframe to make continual improvements.

        • padger says:

          Yeah, you can’t judge it by this trailer, for sure. The Waypoint stream was the only coverage I’ve seen which accurately demo’d it. But that’s probably true for streaming generally, and they’ve not done much of that here. Hopefully they will push out a chill dev video to match the chill game world.

          (About your other points: I found my second playthrough was better, I guess because the robot stuff is dynamic i just had a better paced play. idk)

  2. frightlever says:

    I bought it when it went on limited release. It looks nice, but the gunplay is really weak and controlling your robot minions probably not what you thought it was going to be. It’s quite puzzley at times.

    You might like it if you’re into uncovering stuff on the map a la every Ubisoft game ever.

    If I had a time machine I’d have skipped buying it and waited for a sale, though I’d also have time machine money so I probably wouldn’t sweat it either way.

    If they could do one thing to make it better, improve the feel of the weapons. And combat in general. Kind of a shame fighting stuff is such a big part of it.

    • Collieuk says:

      I concur. I thought I was getting much more of a game for the price than what it actually is. Whilst it’s fun in parts and the game world and style actually very good, they’re missing a trick with the way the game plays out. I think ultimately they’re limited to what they can do and it shows. But I hope they can make some improvements to make it more replayable. And fun.

    • Bernardo says:

      I very much like the game, and seeing as I’m not an experienced (or even frequent) player of FPS’s, I’m fine with lightweight combat – though I understand if others aren’t. What I’d wish for is more strategic options for both player and AI (I think the basis for that is there, but needs to be fleshed out) and more story.

    • padger says:

      I think the combat did okay: it provides a bit of noise and jeopardy as you explore. It’s no AAA shooter, but then those tend to be shitty experiences these days anyway. Bring back 2007!

      • frightlever says:

        Best thing recently for me was getting Hard Reset Redux for free from Twitch. Quite shiny, very old school FPS game.

  3. Scythe says:

    I was one of those 500.

    There’s a lot of little mystery bits. Secrets unfurling, etc. However there’s a lot of trudging towards a interesting-looking landmark, picking up a few resource thingers, scanning a thing, and then more trudging.

    So much trudging.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I loved the trudging. Wandering around the landscape, hearing the sound of distant combat, discovering the odd spaceship ruin and anomalous cavern, but mostly just trudging.

      Trudging as the sun goes down, as the ambient electronic music swells, and a swarm of glowing insect-things flies up from the alien grass, disturbed by my approach.

      Then a laser suddenly fizzes past my face, and it’s all action for a few minutes as I fight off the enemy patrol that had seen me. Pleasing lasers, lovely explosions, and soon I’m back to peaceful trudging once more.

      • padger says:

        Yeah. Like I said up thread, it’s a chill mood piece. Which is probably the opposite of an fps shooter’s shooter, but w/e/

        • cpt_freakout says:

          There’s a whole series of FPS games in which trudging is great, I think (RPS should do a feature on it!). You get to know the world and its ambience quite well only when trudging, and I’m thinking here of the generalized sense of place that Morrowind or STALKER had over other first-person games designed around set-piece levels. Even the very, very sparse bits of trudging in Halo gave it so much more personality than other shooters at the time.

          • frightlever says:

            I’m playing the Call of Chernobyl Stalker mod, off and on, which is most of the maps from the three games in one massive sandbox. SO much trudging, but it doesn’t get old.

  4. Zorgulon says:

    I loved Sir‘s style and premise, and its angry robot noises. I just for some reason found the collect-a-thon mechanic at the game’s core didn’t grab me enough to ever play a game through to the end.

    The style of Tölva looks great, I just hope there’s a compelling reason to explore its world.

    • Jay Load says:

      This, and I found the game actually b*****d-hard too. Kept getting killed before I could make any meaningful progress. Some lovely ideas but I don’t believe it was a successful blend of concepts.

      • padger says:

        Yeah, a lot of people said that. I found it too easy to run away and hide. Though in the late game you tended to get run over by rocket-horses.

        WAIT, THAT WAS AWESOME.

  5. padger says:

    I bet you can’t even go inside the buildings! Etc.

    • Bernardo says:

      Another one of those mythical 500 here. The buildings are very much part of the exploration, and have some weird characteristics and secrets to be found.

      • RedViv says:

        Yep. Almost every weird-looking building can be a variety of That One Building from STALKER. Any of them. Alien geometries? Space looping in on itself? Surprises!

    • padger says:

      Yeah, I am on the beta too, i was making a joke after the thing where the devs had to blog about why you can’t go in the buildings in Sir. I never had a problem with it myself.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      I for one severely disliked “Sir” (just as much as I liked the sound of robot-hiding-britpunk) – it was barebone basic and the houses were merely a symptome of that.
      So unless there’s a completely different philosophy behind this game I’m out.

  6. xyzzy frobozz says:

    Signal from Tove Lo, eh?

    Here’s one of her previous signals, errrr…. singles:

    link to google.com.au..69i57j35i39l2j69i60l3.2401j0j4&client=ms-android-telstra-au&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8#mie=e,,tove%20lo%20habits,H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgFuLSz9U3KC8xM87NUuLVT9c3NExKys3NKyus0hL0LS3OTHYsKsksLgnJD87PSwcAq6g3XzAAAAA

    • iRaphi says:

      yeah I was actually wondering why no one else commented on it yet

    • frightlever says:

      Having played the game I don’t think the pay-off is quite as good as the one in Tove Lo’s Fairy Dust video.

  7. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    I liked the idea of Sir…, but i was put off by the whole, well, being hunted part. From what I’ve heard this game deliberately has less constant pressure, so I’ll probably pick it up.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Wishlisted the game, read the article comments, unwishlisted.

    • padger says:

      I’ll balance that out by saying it’s well worth $20. But don’t listen to me, what do I know? (Note: same may be true of other comment section commenters.)

    • Caiman says:

      This is generally why I ignore comment threads (despite reading them, obviously). I tend to go with my gut after watching a trailer, regardless of what anyone says. It usually serves me well. Not always, but usually. My gut tells me that I’d enjoy Tolva, looks more like a Robotron-style FPS with funky music interspersed with periods of downtime than any tedious Far Cry clone.

      • padger says:

        Yeah, it’s not really much like Far Cry. I am not sure what it’s like, to be honest. It doesn’t feel weird or unusual, but nor is it familiar. Old Skool, I would say, like before all the shooter standards and expectations were set. Probably thanks to small team/limited experience etc. If old Ubi devs were making it then it’d be v different experience, I bet.

        • TΛPETRVE says:

          Maybe it’s what No Man’s Sky would be (minus the survival and space flight parts, obviously) if it had more action going on on the planets.

  9. kahki says:

    Looking forward to this. I really enjoyed Sir, even if I never did actually finish it (I’ve been meaning to get back to it though). Still, the fact that the map isn’t randomly generated this time is a definite plus for me.

    Btw, what kind of save system does this game have?

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      It autosaves progress at bunkers, and you can save and quit anytime.

      But you don’t need saves much—you don’t lose progress when you die, but just commandeer another drone robot to control.

      • kahki says:

        Interesting, that’s definitely more lenient than I expected. Many thanks for the info! :)

  10. Stevostin says:

    Pretty. The walking feels a bit like floating though.

    • Grovester says:

      I thought that at first, but justified it to myself by saying that it’s because you’re guiding a robot around a landscape, rather than walking around one as a human.

      And gravity and whatnot.

  11. Shadrach says:

    I loved “Sir…” and part of what made me play it over and over again was the procedurally generated map. Not sure if Tölva will ever have a randomized map, hopefully in the future.

    It is really pretty though, and combat is fun, but there’s not really a lot to do apart from exploring, finding stuff, and shooting AI bots. Feels kind of grindy.

    I think with multiplayer this could be really fun, trying to hold bases and capture new sites against 2-3 others I think would fit it perfectly. They added MP later on in “Sir…” but it was already after interest in the game had waned.

  12. SpinalJack says:

    I bought the pre-alpha and they’ve implemented some of my suggestions and it was a fun experience but there’s not much reason to play through it again.

  13. Premium User Badge

    DantronLesotho says:

    I think this game looks very pleasant; I hope there is interesting story in it, but so far it looks like there is. I’ll probably pick it up.

  14. mpk says:

    I’m another of the 500, although I’ve only been able to play a few hours due to things and stuff. Feels like there’s a very definite nod to the first STALKER in the tone and the slow pace of the game, although it also feels a tad shallow compared to Shadow of Chernobyl.

    I like it.

    • IanWharton says:

      I feel like this is Rossignol getting closer to his Stalker fandom. Maybe if they get another stab at it he’ll finally land it.

      • mpk says:

        To be honest I’m just dying to see Big Robot do a space combat game.

  15. IanWharton says:

    Wondering if I played the same beta as some of the users here. :)

    My review: very tidy, atmospheric shooter. It is doing a simple combat loop and, yes, some light exploration, aye, but what it does it does with some colour and character. The robots are absolutely great. For a small indie team it feels like a pretty generous offering. (I say this as someone has no idea about what is entailed in making games, but who has worked on large projects of other kinds.)

    The user who says “ooh The Forest” upthread isn’t exactly wrong, either: this is very much in the ballpark as that wave of “indie”* first-person games, it just isn’t a survival game. Thanks be for that, in my opinion.

    *is indie a thing now, still? Answers on a postcard.