First thoughts: Singularity

Singularity (the game), for those who aren’t aware of it, is a first-person shooter, which takes place on a fictional island called Katorga-12. The story revolves around Russian experiments with an element called ‘E-99’, which, rather inevitably, go horribly wrong and create Things What Want To Kill You And That™.

So, about 15 minutes in I was thinking “well, this is all very generic,” but half an hour later I was hooked and eager for more; The story is still complete trash, but it’s clearly been written around the planned mechanics of the game, and they work very, very well, at least so far. I think the reason they work so well, however, is because most of them have been done before.

It isn’t a game that oozes originality, but then very little does in the FPS genre these days, and it’s to Raven’s credit that what it lacks in originality it makes up for with fun; violent fun. The TMD (that’s ‘Time Manipulation Device’) allows you to switch the state of certain items between old and broken, and working, or something like that. Further upgrades allow you to lift items and fire them at people, and create a sort of bubble, which freezes time and works as a shield.

Half-Life 2 appears to be a very strong influence on the game’s development; from the fairly obvious ‘gravity gun’ mechanic, to the storytelling method of never breaking character – story is often explained through notes left behind by the main characters, and projectors that play short films for the staff working on the island. Again, the story feels clumsy, but it’s clear that a lot of care and passion has been put into the game and that’s why it plays as well as it does.

It only arrived this morning, so I’ve got some way to go, but I’ll hopefully write a full review once it’s all finished. Maybe the story will turn a corner and not be ridiculous, by-the-numbers garbage. Probably not, mind.

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