EGX Rezzed Spotlight: The Signal from Tolva

In the distant future factions of robots search the remains of ancient civilisations. On the planet of Tolva a signal has been discovered, what is the source of the signal and where will it lead?

The Signal from Tolva is an open world sci-fi FPS from the guys behind Sir, you are being huntedBig Robot. You take command of drones on the planet’s surface and take on the dangers of Tolva to uncover the mystery of the signal.

This was another game that I’d wanted to play for a while; I’ve been following its development and was really interested in seeing it in action. The demo of the game was roughly 20 minutes long and gave a good overview of the general gameplay. Both me and Murr played, I was really impressed with it, but Murr a little less so, I think it just wasn’t the kind of game he likes.

To start with you take over your drone on the planet surface and are mostly free to roam around where you’d like. There are a few points on interest marked on your map and HUD to give you a general sense of where to go. I started by making my way towards a beacon and investigating it and then finding a base of sorts where you can customise your loadout. As it was only a demo, I don’t think I had anything else to choose from apart from the pistol, assault rifle and scout rifle that I already had equipped. The scout rifle was my go to weapon for the whole time, only really switching just to see what the others were like.

As you roam around you will find enemy robots roaming freely, defending bases, or checking out crash sites. You will also come across friendly ones too and if you happen to get in to a firefight any nearby allies will join in the fight with you. It made for some interesting encounters where I would go it alone against a small group and as soon as I was in the fight I would notice that a few robots would be coming over to help me from further afield, but this also works the other way around, so more bad dudes could show up too.

The aforementioned weapons on offer all felt unique and fun to use. They all used a projectile laser meaning that you would have to lead your shots if you were moving, which at first took a little getting used to, but your reticule has two dots on screen to help you, one bigger circle for where you’re looking and then a small dot for where your shots will land – like you might see in a flying game whilst dog fighting. I actually really liked this approach, to me it made the gun play feel really satisfying and quite unique. I’m not actually sure how many more guns are on offer, but I’ve seen sniper rifles and bigger, more explodey looking weapons in screenshots so I think there will be a nice variation.

The Signal from Tolva isn’t all about shooting robots in the face though – although there is quite a bit of that. There are also puzzle/maze elements to the game. At one point I had to make my way towards and objective that needed to be scanned and identified. The object was hidden in a large structure. As you entered the building you walked in to a main room with various paths leading down different corridors, after walking down one I quickly realised that the route had brought me back in to the same main room; only that would’ve seemed impossible from the route I took. These maze rooms will require you to find the right route to lead you to the end and your objective. The first one wasn’t too difficult with it being quite small, but upon talking with one of the developers after he was saying that later ones would be much larger and more complex, he even mentioned that some people would take up to 40 minutes to get through them. It’s something that mixes the gameplay up nicely – although I do enjoy shooting robots.

From the demo alone I could tell that there was a lot to do and see in the game. Most of the map was locked off but you were able to see the whole area when on the map screen. I’m not entirely sure how large the map is, but I had access to maybe a quarter of it and it would take a few minutes running from one point to the next. If I were to run from the start to the other end I think it would’ve taken 5 minutes, so maybe 15-20 minutes to run across the whole map? But that is purely guess work. Either way, it looks big and it looks like there is a lot to see and do.

Tolva has an interesting story to tell with secrets to uncover set across a fascinating planet to explore with monolithic sized robots destroyed and strewn across the landscape. What I got from my hands on time with the game was  very promising and I’m really keen to play more of it. The Signal from Tolva is actually out right now on PC, so go and check it out!

-Will

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