Singularity

Singularity Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PC

New sci-fi action game from Raven Software.

Review Verdict Read Review
7Out of 10
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Singularity screenshot
Singularity screenshot

Half-Life 2 meets BioShock sounds like a good pitch for a first-person shooter. Two of the most popular and well received games of all time, squished together to create something that combines the best aspects of each, from a publisher with the financial might to make it a commercial success too. This was no doubt Raven Software's dream when it started working on Singularity, but for whatever reason it arrived at retail with barely a whisper and, well, I expected the worst. It isn't nearly up to the quality of the aforementioned classics, but it's plenty good enough to tempt FPS fans.

Time travel and manipulation are central to the sci-fi goings on in Singularity. You're cast as Captain Nathaniel Renko, a US military operative who is sent on a mission to scope out the abandoned Katorga-12 island. This place was used during the Cold War for research, in particular the study of the newly discovered Element 99 - a terribly unstable but incredible power source. Being a game about time travel, it's not long before strange events occur, resulting in you being transported to the 1950s, where you rewrite history before returning to the present day. This travel between then and now happens throughout the campaign as you attempt to make up for your history altering actions.

To begin with Singularity feels like a fairly bog-standard shooter. You've got your usual assortment of automatic rifles, pistols, shotguns and sniper rifles. In use they feel like they lack punch, although that doesn't stop them blowing enemies apart if used correctly. Gunplay is solid, and the later weapons (including one which fires bullets which can be guided from a first-person viewpoint) are more exciting, but it's the time manipulation abilities that make Singularity a more interesting shooter.

After a brief opening sequence you acquire the Time Manipulation Device, or the TMD - powered by E-99. When you initially get hold of the device you can't do much more than alter the age of objects, turning new things old and decrepit and old things new and shiny. It's a bit gimmicky, but does come into play during the odd puzzle. Soon you'll have numerous other time powers, including blue orbs that slow down everything inside them. You're also able to levitate objects (like in Half-Life 2), repulse enemies using a kind of time blast, display your required path using a time echo, and more.

When you use the TMD during puzzles it's great, but these aren't nearly complicated enough. While perhaps an unreasonable expectation, the fact that only certain objects can be interacted with also hurts the believability of the game world. Why can I change the time state of that crate but not that door? There's also a somewhat bizarre set of effects that the TMD has on enemies. Some will disintegrate while others will just slow down. I also can't help but think that Raven missed an opportunity by not letting you visit different time periods.

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8 Comments

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EISPower's Avatar

EISPower

Great game i"d rate it 10 stars.
Posted 20:10 on 10 March 2011
draytone's Avatar

draytone

I got my rental copy from Boomerang and I'm loving it. It's a Raven game so you know your going to get a quality FPS (SoF was one of my favourite games!) and it's a good mix of HL2 , Bioshock and FEAR... much better then Black Ops imo.
Posted 12:49 on 21 January 2011
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Looks cool. NEver going to play it though lol
Posted 17:48 on 07 July 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone@ chelskiboy247

Yeah that's true a demo would of been a good idea, especially with the lack of press coverage. That way people could have decided themselves and you never know what kinda games will get a cult following.
Posted 11:22 on 07 July 2010
chelskiboy247's Avatar

chelskiboy247@ draytone

Yeah, if what Tom says about the multiplayer it true (which I'm sure it is ;)) then a rent seems like a good idea, especially as the campaign is apparently fairly short.

I find it strange that a demo hasn't been released for this game, it seems like the sort of game that would benefit hugely from one.
Posted 11:14 on 07 July 2010
draytone's Avatar

draytone

Well I'll be waiting for it to be reduce or might even rent it so they won't be getting any dollar off of me.
Posted 11:09 on 07 July 2010
chelskiboy247's Avatar

chelskiboy247

It appears that this game has surprised a lot of people. Most likely (as you said in your review) because it has been released with practically no support from Activision in terms of advertising, it's as if they expected it to fail.

It's a shame then that this game will probably fail commercially as a result :(.
Posted 11:06 on 07 July 2010
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draytone

I've been looking for a review for ages! It looks like a 90's FPS but in a good way. Kinda reminds me of PainKiller.
Posted 10:25 on 07 July 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Singularity
7
Out of 10
Singularity
  • Some smart time puzzles
  • Good background story
  • Multiplayer is forgettable
  • Visuals are mixed
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Release Date: 25/06/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Raven Software
Publisher: Activision
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 2,282
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