As influential as the STALKER series has been, Big Robot’s The Signal From Tölva is one of the few shooters to properly replicate its blend of emergent open-world wandering and sci-fi spookiness. Tölva was admittedly a little on the short side, but Big Robot are generous sorts, and are just about ready to roll out a major free expansion for the game.
Alice took a look at the Polar Regions expansion a while back, which promises more mysteries, laser-fights and exploration in new and colder climes, but now we’ve got a goodly chunk of gameplay footage, along with promises from Big Robot that it’s very nearly ready to be rolled out. Within, lasers glittering across ice, and plenty more robots doing robot things.
It only stands to reason that robots would gravitate towards the colder regions of a planet. While that snow might present some problems, you can’t argue with the free cooling – it’s an overclocker’s paradise! For the most part, the expansion looks like more of the same, although when much of Tölva’s appeal lies in its meandering virtual tourism (with laser guns), more ruins, more hillsides and more enemy bases to shoot up is just what the engineer ordered.
The Polar Region expansion will be entirely free, and promises an additional few hours of gathering artifacts, trying to scan weirdo space-ghosts (although probably not from coast to coast), exploring anomaly-laden ruins and other such low-key robot adventure stuff. Your handler back aboard your ship looks to have a fair amount to say about this new environment too, and I must admit that I got a smirk out of describing a wandering ‘survey cow’ robot as being the centerpiece of a pastoral scene.
The Signal From Tölva is around £15//$20 on Steam, Itch, GOG, and the Humble Store. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the Polar Regions expansions would hit the Steam version first, followed by Itch second and GOG third.
Disclosure: In the Before Times, before I started cluttering up your news feeds, legend tells that one ‘Jim Rossignol’ co-founded this lovely website. He apparently got bored and decided to leave to make games about robots and space ghosts instead, The Signal From Tölva being one of them. Beyond that, I don’t know much about him.