I love a bit of cryptozoology. I’d be more than happy to go for a swim to find Nessie or traipse around North America on the hunt for Bigfoot. There’s more than a hint of that in ‘investigative’ action-RPG HellSign, but instead of doing this all in the name of science (or pseudo-science), you’re trying to find ways to murder these monsters. It’s OK, though; they want to murder you too.
HellSign sees you exploring a monster-infested town, hunting and researching beasties like demonic hounds, giant spiders and spectral horrors in an attempt to find the monster that killed your family. Throw some moaning brothers and a Chevy Impala into the mix and you’d have an episode of Supernatural.
What separates HellSign from other action-RPGs is the aforementioned investigative element. Instead of kicking in doors and blowing away dozens of demons and ghosts with your shotgun, it appears to be considerably more methodical. You’ve got to hunt down the monsters, following clues and tracks and reading books. Research and experience will teach you the best tricks to putting them in the ground.
You can see how that all plays out in a gameplay trailer from earlier in the year, below.
That ghost smashed right through a wall. Rude! The environmental destruction is a nice touch, and hopefully won’t be restricted just to monsters. After all, if a ghost can break down a wall, surely a grenade can? Also worth noting is the interplay between research and your inventory. By selecting the spook, its weaknesses are displayed in your book, accompanied by icons that also appear in your inventory. As you prepare, choosing the right weapons and ammo, they disappear one by one, confirming that you’re ready for the fight.
It looks quite promising, but a bit unnerving if you, like me, have arachnophobia.
HellSign is due out on Steam early access on November 7.