Heat Signature (2017) is a tactical shooting game where you break into spaceships on missions to hijack them, steal important technology, assassinate crew members and rescue captives. With simple visuals, viewed from above, you can approach this in many ways using the game's in-depth simulation of combat. With the flexibility and realism comes high consequences that mean you will die a lot and try again.
You direct your character to the target ship in a small undetectable shuttle. Once on board you creep around the ship to take down enemies and find objectives. Unusually, you can pause at any time to plan chained-together attacking or stealth moves.
The range of approaches on offer make the game unique. You can do the usual switching of weapons, picking up or dropping inventory items and remote control of the shuttle. But you can also pick up weapons of a fallen enemy, equip it, and use it against another target. Or you can use a gadget to swap places with an enemy, making them shoot themselves. Or you can break the window so they are sucked into space.
Working through these different heists, the goal is to liberate the strongholds of each of the four factions in a randomly-generated nebula. As you do this you gain new guns, gadgets, explosives, or pods.
Along with the novel set-up, it's your ability to get out of impossible situations by pausing the game to figure out a clever plan that makes the game really stand out. You have a wide range of gadgets with clever uses, and you can switch, aim and fire them with no time pressure at all, letting you pull off ridiculously cool tricks without needing twitch skills.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Heat Signature 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 20 months ago.