Singularity Review (Xbox, PC, PS3)

Introduction:

It is increasingly difficult to excel in certain genres, because
competition and the enormous costs of developing games that are made
today that few companies want to take risks, and always end up going to
play it safe. Thus, in some genres, such as shooters, just seeing the
same formula over and over again but with certain details that give
personality to each game. It may be that the case for the title in hand,
Singularity, a first-person shooter where to shoot well, you can play
with time.

Eagerly anticipated by a good thrashing avid FPS players in this summer
season usually stingy with news, offers us a Singularity sympatic
adventure, centered on the concept of time manipulation. Friends, the
time has come to kill more or less time effectively by grinding it in
all directions.In the middle of the game, while legions are fictional
contexts, the alternate history is really rather little used. A gamble
but it paid off when you look at titles like Resistance: Fall of Man or
Stalker. Write and rewrite the history, it also offers us the adventure
Singularity, SPF broodstock relatively unknown Soldier of Fortune.

Game Story:

The game’s story takes us to the 50s, when in the midst of the Cold War
the Soviets were experimenting with a strange item called the element
99. Thanks to the properties of that element, any object that was in
contact with it could move in time. Thus, a rejuvenated plant into seed
or rot and disappear. But when the Russians were already rubbing their
hands in the possibilities, something went wrong and there was an
explosion that contaminated the area with the element 99. Fearing that
his discovery came to light, the Soviets sealed off the area and no one
returned untill Now.

On a secret mission deep into Russian province, an American black ops
squad crash lands on an land mass research base that was strangely
discarded in the 1950’s. Cut off from the outer surface and under
assault by a military of nightmarish creatures, Captain Nathaniel Renko
is enforced to clash his way throughout the antagonistic territory
equipped with the TMD (Time Manipulation Device) – a time shifting
weapon that was produced over 50 years back. Who made the TMD and why is
just one of the many Cold Wars undisclosed Renko must expose as he is
thrown back and onward across time, building alternatives that will
change the course of humanity history.

If Singularity demonstrated a degree of sophistication in terms of its
story, the opening sequence and the starting pitching still have a bad
aftertaste. Normal for a game that his time on the first
notice. In short, in outline, Singularity begins as a dumper other
adventure games. We actually found in the uniform of a brand new kind of
American soldier in 2010, instructed by his staff to investigate
anomalies from Katorga 12, an island off the eastern coast of Russia. As
might be expected, the two helicopters of the reconnaissance team will
obviously crash as dung and leave you alone there, in his underwear at
that.

Soon you will discover that after the Second World War, the island was
used to conduct all kinds of scientific experiments on E99, a rare
element that under certain conditions, allows the alteration of nature
same time. From there, Singularity will deploy a fairly complex
scenario-based alternative history, acts to change in the past (the 50s
in this case), scientific theories, honest citizens zombification by E99
and bad not own in search of world domination. Let’s face it, trying
too hard to do well, Raven takes a little trip over the carpet and
eventually gives rise to a story worthy of a big series B Still, the
atmosphere is there in the first part of the game at least.

Progressing through the remains of a gigantic abandoned complex, with
residential areas after the war and its various facilities embellished
stiffs more or less well preserved creates a delicious sense of dread.
For you see, Singularity eyeing more than necessary on the side of a
BioShock for breathing life into its universe decaying obsolete. Even if
the software is much more linear than the baby of 2K, it is full of
notes written and audio journals supposed to give you an overview of
what happened to the people of Katorga 12. Another similarity with SPF
submarine mentioned a moment ago: the presence of a multitude of bags of
garbage dumpsters and other traps to examine and collect ammunition and
other care packages.

Gameplay:

The captain of the Air Force Nate Renko is sent on a reconnaissance
Katorga 12, an island of the former USSR deserted since the 50s. But it
only happens on an impulse electromagnetic field causes the crash of his
helicopter. Renko extricates carcass and enters a base nearby. Soon we
discover that Katorga was a place of secret research on ore unknown, the
E99. An element capable of interacting with the time and would allow
the USSR to win the Cold War. Only here. A lab accident has caused a
huge explosion and left the scene in the grip of a "singularity".
Abandoned mutants created by radiation, the island is trapped in a
temporal fracture e. Everywhere, 2010 to 1955 and mingles faults can
then change at will. At the risk of changing history.

Without spoiler anything, we can say that the first foray Renko in the
past will bring you to save a man named Demichev flames. On his return
to our time, everything has changed. Demichev statues of Lenin have
replaced those and the world lived under Soviet control. Helped by
Victor Barisov, the scientist behind the project, Nate will have to
restore the course of time. And you too.

In all grafted course some generous tide time putting you on a regular
basis in years 50 to do stuff and see people we will let you discover.
"After all, your real concern, this will be more survivable marauding
Russian privates and representatives of local wildlife. Residues of
humanity (or Bugs moderately identifiable) deformed by E99, many of the
latter can often be killed by manipulating the time. Fortunate, you will
quickly fall on a manipulator temporal (MT for short), a gadget that
takes much of the wristwatch as the washcloth Robocop. Indeed, the
bousin offers the possibility to disrupt the flow of time in one way or
the other. Initially, the MT will enable you to grow old enemies to
reduce them to dust and generate a shock wave to repel the creatures a
little too enterprising.

But gradually as you progress, the MT can be improved and developed new
powers, lifting massive project for the enemy, generate spheres of
stasis in which time will be stopped for a few seconds, transforming a
basic human into a zombie who wants to go eat his mates, etc.. So many
lovely uses that will allow us to harm the opponent. The whole course
associated with more conventional weapons (rifle, shotgun, pistol,
snipe, solfate Gatling-type) and a small selection of weapons that
changed the E99 will unfortunately use that at key moments. Examples
include the aptly named Seeker, whose projectiles can be controlled
directly, history to go pull the arms or head to explode. Despite this,
we must recognize that overall, the arming of Singularity is singularly
lacking (wouhoo!) Potato. To say it with style, it often seems to draw
balls of paper on enemies foam. And to top it off, the AI is not exactly
the most huge severance, so that the gunfights – which are gasoline
(leaded) a FPS anyway – are often too softies.

The time on your hands:

The game is played today, in 2010, when a group of American soldiers
just falling in the area. There they discover that something is not
right, that strange monsters that attack them seem to fluctuate, and our
protagonist begins to see echoes of what happened in the past. As we
saw, at least at the beginning of the game, will receive the help of a
strange Russian who will guide our steps. Furthermore, in a way that has
not been unveiled yet, just a strange artifact in our power that will
allow us to modify the time.

Checkout the Time Manipulation Device in action:


Thanks to this device can move in time objects that are imbued with the
element 99. These items are easily recognizable, as they will be coated
with a blue that will highlight. Once facing the object, and consume
some energy in our unit, we can make it move in time. But it’s better
with an example. At one point the protagonist came to an end room, but
with a wall element sleeve 99. To demolish the forward in time, turning
it into rubble. Once on the other hand, found that the wall was a part
of a ladder that fell into ruin and also prevents him from climbing up
stairs. But no problem, because it makes using your machine and the wall
leads to the state it was in 1950, so it is again ready for use.

This will be one of the puzzles that we will see in the game, which as
we said are not too complex. But in addition to that, we use the ability
to move things over time as a weapon. It is thanks to her, we destroy
our enemies with a single attack, although at the cost of our energy
levels from being drastically reduced. We also use power against those
enemies that fluctuate over time, as our bullets will not kill them
while they are in another time. Know when this happens it will start to
become transparent and disappear, a sign that they are not here at all.

We may also, thanks to our newly acquired skill, stop and throw missiles
against our enemies or even shooting a bullet and run it, entering a
first-person mode will allow us to impossible places. As we see, the
concept of moving things on time is very integrated in the game, and
promises to offer interesting moments.

Past perfect:

Not surprisingly, this time stick a mandala Biff Tannen will not be
enough to put everything in order. Worse, if mutants and abominations of
this people the Katorga, the 50s they are full of Red troops, from the
time the complex was one of the most guarded of the world. In short,
stop Demichev and the singularity will not be an easy task. Fortunately,
Barisov designed the MT (for Temporal Manipulator). A graft mechanical
running on E99, which will allow you to defend yourself well.

And beyond the good ten weapons available, ranging from a simple
gun-rocket launcher, he’s the real heart of the gameplay. Subject to let
the scanner regularly recharge, the MT allows for example to change the
condition of a foe or a piece of scenery. You can break a soldier in
the aging of a discharge of MT or rebuild a staircase destroyed by years
of rust. A really fun with Singularity uses and abuses in puzzles
strewn throughout the game Phases of reflection and always fun logic
that bring a breath of fresh clashes between two very pleasant.
Similarly, you will return often in 1955 to change things for you to
grow in 2010.

But that’s not all. Your Swiss Army Knife time allows other follies,
such as creating temporary grenade to freeze enemies, or their bales,
throwing shock waves or levitate objects. The best part is that your
hero MT and weapons will all be able to "upgrade" in terminals scattered
throughout the huge building. A principle already seen in BioShock and
brilliantly adapted by teams Raven. By collecting items around, so you
can increase the size of your chargers, boost the power of the MT,
modify the strength and faculties Nate, etc..

Exceptional witness:

But in addition to offer original gameplay, the theme of the element 99
serves to bring us an interesting story that will be counting before our
eyes. As we move forward, we will find echoes of situations that
occurred in the past, and to display before our eyes as if his players
were ghosts. In this way we will discover little by little that happened
after the incident, for example, that people began to become the
monsters we see. There will be times when we finish in 1950, at which
time we talk to people who are inside this time and try to solve the
mystery surrounding the whole affair.

The game uses the Unreal Engine, which makes it look great on the
graphics. The scenarios are buildings in ruins, but the detail that
sometimes intermingle past and present creates an interesting effect.
The characters, on the other hand, are a bit generic, but it is also
true that the demo we saw had to be placed at an early stage of the
game, so that we may find more variety.

Also, to hide the misery and divert our attention, Singularity tries to
offer us our quota of temporal puzzles. For the fact is that the MT is
not just spray the villain, but also to grind the environment, finally,
or rather some very specific things, at well determined at that. Sample:
bibi gets stuck in a dead end alley apparent. By observing the scene,
Bibi eventually notice a bridge that collapsed. Never mind old branch, a
little bit of debris and MT hop gateway will rejuvenate, regenerate and
thus open a path by which bibi continue to grow. And as for the
accelerated aging of the enemy, nothing will prevent you from not more
than a few things deteriorate quickly over time by flowing more quickly.
Handy for catching a body seen behind a fence or wall: the thing is
liquefied, it seized it by passing through a slit his remains thought to
be impractical, and presto, it restores the body of the other side.
Will only remain while in the latter post in the right place to help us a
bit of wall climbing.

But the thing is that most of these small challenges, although enticing
on paper, appear generally simplistic, unoriginal and often a penny
redundant (you’ll touch a holy thrashing of boxes). Worse, some are
frankly artificial. You can not tell me that our beautiful navy is not
capable of crossing a wall four feet and must necessarily going to lug
around a box to cross it? Yet that is exactly what we propose
Singularity.

Well, the case is extreme, but is fairly representative of the disease
of the game: the idea of MT is super sympatic, but poorly exploited.
Once again, Singularity seems to be in BioShock, but never without
tempering. Transition all found to evoke a final aspect of the game, an
aspect that proves still quite successful. In the absence of plasmids
and tonics, playing Raven gives us the possibility of the E99 and use it
to boost the power of the MT or expertise of the hero (accuracy, number
of kits of care, increased health, duration sprint). That will not
change drastically the final result, but these possibilities have merit
to exist and we facilitate the passage of a campaign about eight hours,
generally well crafted, but not genius.

Actions:

Throughout the campaign, the records left by the workmen echo of the
disaster and can learn more about the sham that hides Katorga. Bands
often in poor condition and will therefore restore a blow MT. Same for
the films here and there that remind us of the leg retro aesthetic of
Rapture. And Bioshock is not the only one to have "inspired" Singularity
. The environments and monsters seem right out of a stalker or a Metro
in 2033 , a boss you remember great moments on Lost Planet and phases of
reflection reminiscent of Half-Life 2 Gravity Gun and famous. Sacred
references!

And that’s what best characterizes the Singularity. A kind of patchwork
that the action game has to offer us better in recent years. Of course,
in a little less. In a little more cheap. For the enemies, all well
designed, are ultimately not very diverse. The textures, perfectly in
tune but sometimes a bit rude. And the adventure, and addictive nerve
ultimately not very long (6-8 hours on normal). Even the multiplayer
effectively leans towards the repompa Versus Left 4 Dead with his
classes of humans and monsters. You understood Singularity is thus a
kind of super clone not full of pretty good stuff.

Once the 12 mysteries of Katorga thinned, it will do then is you look at
the multiplayer, we have been unable to try as it should, because
players. You should be aware that the multi Singularity can accommodate
up to 12 participants and offers two distinct modes: Deathmatch and Team
Extermination. This is by far the latter is expected to attract your
attention as will pit a team of soldiers against a team of creatures for
control of territory. The interest is indeed in gameplay that is
heavily loaded with specialized classes. As for the monsters, you play
in the third person and we always seek the body-to-hand, that one is in
the skin of a Zek able to pounce on the enemy as Ezio in pustules, in
one of a small tick could walk on walls, in that of a Reversed or
vomiting in the big carcass Radion, a kind of insectoid tank.

The Soldiers on the other hand are using basic weapons already
encountered in the solo (without MT) and all possess a special ability:
Teleport limited shock wave to repel bugs, and finally healing
camouflage. Hard to tell for now if all this is well balanced, but all
still seems very attractive. One doubts, however, that the only
multiplayer is a real selling point, it is at best a nice little bonus.
Despite its flaws, the game exudes an atmosphere of Raven excellent,
sometimes even scary. The pace never falters and does each new corridor
invites small pleasures like "Three enemies before me. I throw a grenade
to freeze time, I would balance a nitrogen bottle and I freeze it all
with a bullet well placed. And that’s really cool. No, the only major
failure Singularity is ultimately to have lacked a little ambition.

Conclusion:

The note may appear harsh to some, but the fact is that Singularity FPS
is finally a more sympathetic, full of good intentions, but many also
agreed that they seek to believe. Its good ideas do not lead to real new
situations, both in combat and in the sequences of "reflection". The
book title does indeed only a few moments of bravery, lost amid a sea of
shooting a little too soft for their own good. We then cross the real
adventure without displeasure, but never climb the walls either.

We believe that the concept of moving things over time is very
interesting and gives much of himself. It may not be the panacea, and
not likely to revolutionize the genre, but if we find an element that
can create an experience something different within the genre. Of
course, the primary is still shooting, but if carried out well-designed
levels and puzzles that take advantage of the mechanics of game
Singularity may be a really interesting game. There are three to four
years, the game would have been a bomb. Today, Activision released book
"only" a good shooter, with a thousand inspirations and nice gameplay.

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