Developer Raven Software
Things You Might Like
- Vibrant colors
- Decent voice acting
- Engaging Story
Things You Might Not Like
- Unoriginal gimmicks
- Unimpressive graphics/level design
- Time travel!? Ugh…
Singularity is one of the only titles to “borrow” so shamelessly from other franchises, yet still remain playable from start to finish.
3 out of 5 Katorga-12 Tourists
The amount of gameplay mechanics that Singularity takes from past titles cannot be understated enough. Here is a short list:
In-game events that move the story along from the protagonist’s perspective, a-la Half-life franchise? Check! Bioshock data recorders hidden everywhere to fill in a mysterious back story and help with puzzles? Check. Mass Effectish upgradable weaponry? Check! Bullet-time as found in a bazillion shooters since Max Payne? Double Check! Tool with two modes of use which serve to manipulate the environment to solve puzzles similar to Portal? Check! (although in the case of Singularity the player manipulates time with the device rather than making portals but the effect on gameplay is essentially the same) Having secret messages hidden throughout the game that add to the stories intrigue (also a Portal idea) Check! Time travel in which the player enables their future self to gain access to new areas or change events like Timesplitters: Future Perfect among others? Check! Receiving orders from disembodied voices over a comm for most of the game as found in games such as System Shock, Borderlands, etc.? Check!
The list of borrowed gameplay mechanics could probably go on, but in an effort to avoid being overly critical the list will have to end here, because to a degree no game in a given genre can be completely original. Yet, even with gameplay issues aside the game looks like a sunnier Bioshock in terms of graphics and effects. This is not bad, it is a decent looking game, although it is nothing jaw dropping.
The puzzles are nothing mind bending, and are actually just boring filler probably intended to act as a change of pace for the player In addition to the mandatory puzzles necessary to progressing through the game most of the secret areas are pretty obvious, usually marked by colors or by poor level design.
So with all this naysaying why does the game deserve a decent score? Well, it is hard to be honest while playing this game (really, it is) because of its aforementioned flaws, but – if the player is able to be honest with themselves – after a few hours of playing most will come to the horrifying realization that they are actually having a good time.
The thing about Singularity is that it actually does a decent job of capturing and re-interpreting it’s borrowed elements. The story itself starts with lots of intrigue and mystery, and the player slowly gets pulled deeper into the narrative. The voice acting goes a long way in helping the world seem more alive. The game handles well. It is very playable with little to no learning curve. It is not to long, and it moves quickly, and even at the harder difficulty there are very few moments of sheer hair pulling unfairness; things like cheap deaths, and rooms that take hours to work through.
The game also features multiple endings which are determined by the players choices in the last few minutes of gameplay. The nice thing about this is the player does not have to play the game several times from the beginning to achieve all the endings, just load the auto save before the final stage and play it again. Even the end is fun in its execution.
The bottom line is that somewhere in the mess of banal, threadbare, been-there-done-that execution and gameplay that is Singularity there is a playable and enjoyable game. Though some will be resistant to admit it Singularity has cult potential.