Sign of Silence is a Co-Op Multiplayer first-person horror game, which can be played with up to 4 player co-op, or in single-player. The game was developed by Renderise and released on October 1st, 2020.
Players take the role of a group of 4 friends whose car falls off a destroyed bridge during a trip to the countryside. They find themselves stranded at night in the forests surrounding the remote town of Danwille, which has been taken over by supernatural forces. The goal is to find a way to escape the area without being killed by the creatures occupying the town. Gameplay is heavily focused around sound; the primary zombie-like enemy type has very poor vision and is primarily triggered by sound, and making too much noise will also spawn an invincible spider-like creature that can kill you instantly if it catches you.
The game provides examples of:
- Apocalyptic Log: Diary pages by a journalist who had previously attempted to investigate the strange occurrences around Danwille can be found scattered around the map, and give some backstory as to what's going on.
- Cult: The area is infested with supernatural horrors because a local cult has summoned an ancient malevolent pagan god; members of the cult patrol the forest and town, and will attack you with a telekinetic force choke if they catch you (in Version 2.0 they throw sickles at you instead).
- The End... Or Is It?: Every ending other than Banish the Darkness ends with your group escaping, but no one believing your stories of the supernatural monsters around Danwille, with the game asking you if you're brave enough to return and find a way to stop the Darkness once and for all.
- Excuse Plot: Being primarily a co-op focused game, the experience is geared more around a gameplay-focused game session, similar to Left 4 Dead or Monstrum, rather than telling a scripted story like games like Outlast or Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
- Fission Mailed: The first time you're caught by the Witch, it will simply drag you off to its lair in a haunted dead tree in the northwest corner of the map. Get caught by it again, and it just kills you.
- Version 2.0 gets rid of this in favor of a more typical "extra lives" system where you earn extra lives from lighting sacred totems and get set back a few dozen meters from where you died.
- Flare Gun: A flare gun serves as your sole means of offense. A single shot will kill a Sprouter or Cultist, but ammo is extremely rare, so most of the time you'll be evading rather than fighting.
- Gathering Steam: The game world becomes increasingly dangerous the longer a session goes on. When the game starts, the Witch isn't active and there are no Sprouters around. After a certain amount of time, Sprouters begin appearing all over the map, then the Witch becomes active, etc. A good strategy is to just run straight to the nearest objective when the game begins, as the major threats aren't active yet.
- Genre Shift: Even though the game is a full release and isn't in Steam Early Access, the developers are still shifting on their vision of what the game is supposed to be. In April 2021 the game was put into "Version 2.0", which radically altered the gameplay, with major changes to how enemies react to players (zombies now chase you instead of teleporting, cultists throw sickles instead of using a force choke, and the spider now pops up periodically and patrols the map instead of simply rushing you when you make too much noise) and the addition of a crossbow as a defensive weapon, making the game more of a Survival Horror game rather than the stealth/horror game it was originally released as.
- Gods Need Prayer Badly: Killing the Cultists feeding the Monolith with their life force will cause the Monolith to collapse, banishing the Darkness.
- Hollywood Darkness: Averted. The game is completely pitch black, with only the light of your flashlight allowing you to see a couple dozen feet in front of you. Helpfully, most enemies either glow or carry lanterns, allowing you to spot them in the darkness.
- Humanoid Abomination: The Witch is a pale, multi-limbed beast with pitch black pits for eyes and a twisted Slasher Smile shaped hole for a mouth that can tunnel through the ground and is fast enough to easily catch up to and kill her target. The implications behind her origins don’t paint the Witch in a very natural light either, being that she’s either related to/is an old malevolent god, or a monstrosity created by the Darkness itself to serve as a guardian against outsiders.
- Let's Play: The game had a noticeable surge of popularity when first released, being featured on most of the major horror gaming Let's Play channels.
- Multiple Endings: There are currently 4 different methods to win the game; escape by cargo lift (which will take you back to the top of the bridge your group crashed your car off of), escape by boat, call for help and escape via rescue helicopter, or find the source of the darkness and banish it. Each ending requires a certain amount of key items (i.e. to escape by cargo lift you need to find 3 fuses, escaping by boat requires 1 boat engine and 2 fuel, escaping by helicopter requires 2 fuses and 1 fuel, and banishing the darkness requires 3 flare gun shots). As of Version 2.0, each ending also has a seperate text epilogue.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The main regular enemy type in the game are the Sprouters, zombie-like creatures who are humans with tree-like branches growing out of their face and chest. They have poor vision, but will react violently to excessive noise or having a flashlight shone directly into their face. When attacking, they also teleport to your location instead of chasing you on foot. Sprouters in an advanced stage of transformation, known as Criers, will become immobile as a sapling-like growth bursts out of their chest; in this stage they can't attack, but act as a noise trap and will instantly summon the Witch if you get too close to them.
- Spider People: The game's main monster is the Witch, a half-woman, half-spider who bursts out of the ground when you make too much noise, and can kill you instantly if she catches you. She's much faster than you are, but can't travel through obstacles, so she can be avoided by climbing up on rocks, running into buildings, jumping over railings, or running into heavy tree cover. She's apparently either an ancient and malevolent nature god called Nuna Hotan, or Nuna Hotan's daughter. Version 2.0 indicates she's a beast created by the Monolith Entity out of several human bodies for the purposes of hunting down any intruders in the area.
- Was Once a Man: Version 2.0 indicates the Sprouters are Cultists who have mutated after years of exposure to the Monolith.