There are many games that get a ton of hype before their release, but often the disappointment after playing is equally big. On the other side there are games that you hardly hear about but get decent review scores nonetheless. Singularity is part of the latter. Not a real top title, but a gaem that knows what it wants to offer and succeeds in its goal quite reasonably.
Singularity is a first person shooter in which you have to go to the Russian island of Katorga-12 as an American soldier. The Russians used to test their answer on the American nukes, Element 99, about half a century ago there but after scientists found quite some useful appliances for it, things completely got out of hand. What did you expect? One of the professors didn’t know when to stop his research and when his experiment fails the entire island had to be evacuated. Once you arrive on Katorga-12, it seems not all life has disappeared.
As said, the new element has some good appliances and you’ll be using it well throughout the game. The most important thing is the TMD or Time Manipulation Device. With this you can get objects and enemies through time. As the island has been abandoned for about fifty years, plenty of equipment and buildings have broken down but with the TMD you can fix that. To progress to the next part you’ll often use this. By making a broken container under a hatch “younger” the hatch will open and you’ll be able to use it.
Next to repairing the TMD can also break or kill. The first version can only deteriorate hostiles to dust or blow them away but throughout the game you get upgrades which allow different possibilities. After a while it can even be used as a gravity gun like in Half-Life 2.
This gravity gun isn’t the only thing that reminds of Half-Life 2 though. Enemies aren’t only soldiers (Soviet Union) and zombies, but also little crawling spiders that prefer nothing more than sitting on a human head. Next to that a female beauty called Kathryn will help you along with a professor you meet by travelling through time. Dr. Kleiner and Alyx?
I certainly would say that these similarities make Singularity equal to Half-Life 2. Singularity is all but innovative and focuses purely on fun. Something in which it succeeds very well. Some scenes are intense while others are dark and filled with tension. Still the game misses that bit extra to make it a top title. Or to say it in cooking terms: it could have been a bit more spicy.
For starters that storyline is all but original. Here and there we get a scene where other characters give information but more often than not info is given in a different way. Projectors will play a Russian propaganda movie in which the story of Katorga-12 is explained. In rooms of the buildings you’ll also find recordings in which the inhabitants express their fear or professors who talk about the progress of their experiments. This way to progress the story leaves some freedom to determine the depth, but I prefer cut-scenes or moments where we get more immersion. Next to that the gameplay might have been a bit more extensive. By collecting certain objects you can buy upgrades for weapons but this is limited to more damage, better precision… It’s also unfortunate that little more is done with the TMD than some simple puzzles.
Finally Singularity also has a multiplayer part which continues the lines laid out in the singleplayer. It’s fun to play but doesn’t really reach the top. There are two traditional modes in which you either play in team or everyone against each other. You can choose between zombies and soldiers with each type having its own classes. Especially the zombies are fun to play.
I believe Singularity deserves a bit more attention than it has received up to now. Although the graphics aren’t fantastic and the gameplay could be a bit more extensive, there’s quite some fun to be had with it. It isn’t a title that will become a classic but to fill the hole after the World Cup and the Tour de France it certainly isn’t a bad choice.