Platform(s): PC
Genre: RPG/Action
Developer: Ballistic Interactive
Release Date: Q2 2018

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!


As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

'HellSign' Plays Like a Supernatural Monster of the Week TV Episode

by Rainier on Oct. 24, 2018 @ 7:00 a.m. PDT

HellSign is a supernatural investigative hunting RPG, where you assume the role of a freelance hunter building your career towards uncovering the ultimate terror.

HellSign is an investigative action RPG that pits you against the horrors of the afterlife, let loose on a small town. As a Hunter, you’ll plan, hunt, and kill to pay the bills and get revenge on the monster that butchered your family. Just remember - a smart hunter is always prepared.

You're a Hunter, the last line of defense between our world and the savage creatures that lurk just outside. By investigating the world around you and reading the evidence you’ll learn more about what you’re hunting and how to kill it. Use your wits, your experience and your arsenal of monster-hunting tools to rid the world of ghouls, ghosts, demons and everything that goes bump in the night - for the right price of course.

You've been tracking a bloody trail across rural Australia for almost a decade, following the beast that took your family. Your hunt has led you to the small town of Windsor Heights. Ever since the reopening of Ravenhall Manor, townspeople have started to go missing and strange sightings have been recorded around the town.

Woken up with the vague memory of having died the night before in a drug-induced state of delirium while on a dangerous job. There is a fresh brand upon your skin, a brand you do not remember but which causes you great unease. You find yourself following a bloody track where strange sightings have been recorded, from spectral women beckoning people into the fog, to spiders as large as wolves, Australia is a dangerous place to live in…

Whether it’s the paranormal, crime, or a particularly busy hospital, the “monster of the week” trope remains one of the most recognizable storytelling formats on television - from The Winchester brothers and Mulder & Scully, to Buffy, the Scooby Gang and the Charmed Ones.

While few games have embraced this narrative loop, HellSign wears its passion for these series’ on its sleeves.

Inspired by years of paranormal hunting in television and games, the team at Ballistic Interactive have translated one of TV’s most enduring tropes - the infamous monster of the week - into a game that puts players through the paces as a hunter of all things abnormal. Rather than being the Chosen One on a linear quest to take down the Big Bad, HellSign revels in the thrill of the hunt, as though you’re just someone who’s doing their job - albeit a particularly dangerous one.

Adopting an open-ended mission structure, players take on procedurally-generated contracts around the city in whatever order they please. Just like your favorite monster of the week episode, they then have to investigate the disturbance, collect as much information as possible, load up on equipment, and take down the threat, all before hitting the streets and identifying the next bounty to bag. With this tight gameplay loop at its core, players are immediately familiar with what needs to be done, but the how is where HellSign’s encounter engine and reverence for its inspirations offers up continuous surprises and tense hunts.

“As a supernatural lover myself, the monster of the week genre is particularly interesting because of it’s ‘unknown’ element,” noted Ballistic Interactive's Pete Skyking. “You never know what to expect, what you will encounter, and what might happen at any given time. Couple this with some heavy inspirations from games such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Silent Hill, Dark Souls and more, and the end result is HellSign!”

Key Features:

  • A hardcore single player hunting game centralized around investigating and hunting supernatural enemies.
  • Dark & unique art direction, using light & shadows to create a mysterious haunting atmosphere, with carefully tailored animation bringing the game to life.
  • Procedural level generation, mixed with dynamic clue and enemy generation makes for a massively replayable experience. Clues are logically scattered around the level which the player has to find and decipher.
  • There are all manner of creatures prowling the streets, from ghosts to hellhounds, monstrous spiders to demons. Which order you take on contracts is up to you, but each monster you slay brings you closer to unearthing the dark truth that’s been stalking you.
  • How you clear the town is up to you. Go in guns blazing and let your shotgun do the talking, or plan and research your targets to use their weaknesses against them.
  • Start your journey with a flickering torch, rusty gun and a whole lot of guts. Complete jobs to develop your skills and learn more about the monsters that haunt the night. Develop your character and build your arsenal through a detailed RPG and job system. Become an elite hunter and get your revenge.
  • Contrasting gameplay starts with careful investigation involving stealth, but progresses to fast paced intense combat by the end of a job.
  • As a hunter, knowledge is one of your greatest weapons. Read your environment and uncover the weaknesses of the creatures you're hunting, to make it a little easier to slay them. The Cryptonomicon is your hunter guidebook, tracking the creatures you’ve slain and the signs you’ve collected.
  • From shotguns and booby traps, to silver nitrate rounds and high tech gadgets - there are many tools in your arsenal that can help you fight the darkness. Choosing what to bring with you, and when to use it can be the difference between victory and a grizzly defeat.

HellSign's story is being written by novelist C. Michael McGannon, co-author of the Charlie Sullivan and the Monster Hunters series of young adult novels, and is one half of the humorous, father/son duo known as The Monster Guys, mixing humor, folklore, and all manner of comedic improv to special events. His other titles include: KAOS Obsidere: The Nightmare Has Begun (Dark Waters Press); Hollow World: Escape From Limbo (vol. 1) & Hollow World: The Thief’s Sacrifice (vol. 2) (Incendia Books); and, Yokai Tales: Stories From Japan’s Grand & Mysterious Tradition of Folklore (Incendia Books).

An expert in all things “monster,” Mr. McGannon brings an “academic humor” to the subjects of folktales, urban legends, and storytelling. Michael is a fan of stories, of libraries, of books, of Japanese and British humor, and of ginger beer and dark chocolate. When not writing or attending conventions, he is usually recovering from all-night gaming excursions.

HellSign lands on Steam Early Access (PC) on November 7, 2018, bringing forth more creepy crawlies, spectres, and creatures from the unknown than you can shake a flare at.

More articles about HellSign
blog comments powered by Disqus