Each day we are surrounded by gadgets that track us and monitor our destinations and purchases. This intrusive technological future is becoming the new norm, and it’s only a matter of time when privacy is a thing of the past. Developer Playmestudio is exploring this possible future and taking it a step further in their surreal first-person adventure, The Signifier. We were able to spend some time with the developer to preview its unique premise and tech-noir mechanics.
The Signifier introduces players to a device known as the Dreamwalker, which allows users to explore the memories of the deceased. Still, the device isn’t used without some push back as privacy is a huge concern here, but we are offered a high profile case after the vice president of the world’s largest tech company is found dead.
Players assume the role of Frederick Russell, who isn’t necessarily a detective, but he is an expert in AI and psychology. One interesting thing about the narrative is how the case develops alongside Frederick’s personal story. Understanding him is just as important as the case at hand, and I’m glad to see the developer put time into fleshing out his character.
The gameplay within The Signifier is exceptionally unique and features some puzzle elements that require a bit of thought. You see, there are three dimensions that players can explore, reality, objective memories, and subjective dreams. Each of these is required to piece together exactly what happened. There are plenty of clues to interact with it, but the developer has used a mixture of sound and visual elements to uncover secrets.
The opening sets the stage for the mystery, but after seeing some late-game levels, we were able to see just how clever some of the systems can get. Throughout the game, the developers push the capabilities of the AI as you figure out more about this murder.
Graphically, Playmestudio has put a lot of time into crafting this world by filling it with things to interact with and explore. Walking around any given room will provide you with insights into the people who inhabit the space as well as more about Fredrick.
The Signifier has a lot to offer in its premise, but how it builds on that premise will be what allows it to stand out in the sea of other mystery adventures. The system of switching dimensions and exploring these dreams is incredibly complex, and we are entirely on board to solve this case. For now, I’m just excited to see a game take some chances as The Signifier is one that we are looking forward to.
The Signifier is coming to PC-via Steam on October 15, with a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release planned for early 2021.
This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.