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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 30 July 2010
Singularity is without a doubt, to my mind, one of the most underrated games released this year. It's seemingly derivative nature, combined with a glut of recent top-tier shooters has seen it slip under the radar of many gamers. I, however, would encourage anyone who likes sci-fi, and FPS' in general to check this one out. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Singularity starts with a bang. And a slight sense of Deja-vu. The island of Kartorga 12, an abandoned research complex where the Russians discovered a new element (E99) has the U.S.A worried. It's emitting energy spikes, and a crack team of US soldiers are sent in to investigate. However, before you can take breath, the team's helicoptor gets hit by what appears to be an EMP, causing them to crash. You wake up, and set out to find the remaining members of your team.

Now, i'll try not to spoil the remainder of the story. But needless to say, it involves your character 'Nathaniel Renko' traveling through time to 1955 and back again to 2010, seeking to undo damage done in the past that has caused a catastrophic chain of events that has left the world royally screwed.

The reason I have cited both Bioshock and Half-Life as influences on this game in the title, is well, because, the game takes elements liberally from both. The Time Manipulation Device (TMD) that you recieve about an hour into the game functions like plasmids do in Bioshock. It is powered by E99 which you are constantly accumulating and using throughout the game to do a number of things. You can reverse time on an object, like a staircase, and in doing so return it to it's original useable form. You can use it on enemies, to age them to dust, or revert them to horrible disgusting monsters that attack and puke on other enemies (I kid you not). It can be used to freeze enemies in a time bubble, making them almost stationary targets there to be picked off. There's nothing more satisfying than freezing an enemy in a bubble, shooting them, reversing the bubble, then watching the enemy crumble to pieces. There are more powers besides these, but I won't spoil them. Needless to say, the TMD is a delightful tool, that while not wholly original is incredibly fun to use. It helps to elevate the game above your standard shooter.

The other way it 'borrows' from Bioshock is through it's pack rat mentality. You are constantly picking up E99, or new weapon upgrades, health packs, or audio logs documenting what happened on the island in 1955. It may sound like i'm deriding the game for this. However, it's been done so well, and so confidently that it fits seamlessly. It helps create an atmosphere akin to Bioshock or Half-Life. One where for the first 6 or 7 hours of this 10 hour game, the atmosphere is almost as enthralling as the gunplay. You'll love seeing what's around the next corner, whether to see what new locales await you, or to be scared senseless by the game. Again, this dark brooding atmosphere in FPS' is nothing new, but done so well that you won't even care.

Singularity was developed by Raven Software, a seasoned pro in the FPS genre. A developer, also known for there creation of brilliantly wacky weaponry. Sure, you've got you usual assortment of guns such as Assault Rifles, shotguns, miniguns etc. But, what would you say to a Rifle known as the Seeker, which enables you to steer you're bullets manually in slow-mo at your targets, allowing you to witness there ridiculously silly and brutal annihilation close up? Or a Sniper rifle that allows you to slow down time when aimed down the sight in order to line up the perfect shot? It's all a bit silly, especially combined with the gore, (dismemberments, blood everywhere etc) but is so much fun that the silliness only makes it better. The guns control beautifully, and become even more fun to use, gaining more power as you progress and improve.

It's not all perfect in Singularity however. I'm not sure what it is, maybe it's just super easy to use in development, but here is another game that uses the Unreal 3 engine. It doesn't look bad as such. Some of the environments are brilliantly detailed, and creatures in particular look fantastic. However, most of the game looks ordinary, with a lack of detail and an over reliance on dark colours being the primary problem. The sound as well isn't great. While some of the music can be spooky it too often feels a bit cliched, and the Russian accents hover somewhere on the scale between horrible and adequate. It just goes to show in many ways how good the game is, because with sometimes cliched music and elements that can pull you out of the game, it still manages to be consistently jumpy and oftentime scary.

The single player should last you about 10 hours on your first run through, a decent length for a game these days. My advice would be that if your a seasoned FPS gamer, then play the game on hard. On Normal, it can sometimes feel just a bit too easy. Especially near the end. Once your done with the single player, there is a multiplayer to fall back on. Don't go in expecting to be playing for long, because the lack of people playing it, combined with only 2 game modes means it wears a little thin after a while. However, what's here is fun. You have a team deathmatch mode, where teams take it in turns to play as either creatures or soldiers, and a capture the beacons mode, where the creatures aim to defend their territory from the humans. Playing as the creatures is superb fun, as there are different classes with different perks and abilities. The same also applies to the soldiers. Again, while it may not hold you for long, it's a great added bonus on top of the single player, and exciting in short bursts. The single player, however, was undoubtedly the main focus for the developers.

So in the end, what are we left with? Singularity is a shooter which borrows elements from several different games yet still manages to feel fresh and original. The fun sci fi story, TMD, satisfying weaponry, and superb atmosphere combine to create a game that you shouldn't miss. I just wish Activision had advertised this game at all. It's one of my favourites of the year so far, bested only by Mario Galaxy 2 and Bioshock 2, yet at this rate we won't be seeing a sequel. And that saddens me greatly. Pick it up.
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on 8 August 2010
This game has a great storyline to it, the game makes you feel like you are in control & makes you feel that you can change the story/outcome..... I wish Activision went full out with the marketing on this game, because it is a awesome game if you like plot twists and time hoping. The only niggles I have is the texture streaming issues at one point in the game but that was just a small hiccup (its running on the unreal engine), the scond is that there isn't any chapter reply menu so if you wanted to see something but didn't you would have to play the game again until you got to the point in the game where you wanted.

The game mechanics are simple to learn & most importantly FUN... The AI/NPCs are fun to kill and each environment in the game has character and 1 or 2 stories to tell.
All in all this is a fantastic game to play & the multiplayer modes are fun as well. Hopefully RAVEN Software will make a Singularity 2, 3 & 4 (thats a clue for the end of Singularity 1 :P )
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on 23 May 2011
To be honest I didn't know too much about this game when I picked it up other than it was a FPS and it had received some OK reviews. It was one of those purchases that was going to prove to be a bargain or a waste of money that could have been spent on a bargain bucket meal at whatever fast food establishment of your choosing.
After playing this game to completion I can say that I'm edging towards it being a bargain but only just! That's not to say it's a bad game as it ticks all the boxes well, but that is where the major issue lies with this game, you get this overwhelming feeling that you have seen it all before. It appears that the developers have `borrowed' a lot of good ideas from previous titles, mixed them all together and served them to the end user. This is nothing new in the games industry and many titles do have similarities to their competitors but at some points during this game I felt like it was a case of spot the reference. This in turn stops Singularity from gaining its own identity in the already overcrowded FPS market.

However, its not all bad news as what has been delivered is a fairly solid shooter which keeps you fairly engaged with the storyline which is a rarity in itself these days. Graphics and sound effects are very good but that should be expected on this generation of machines by now as developers have had enough time to get used to the hardware. The one thing that seems to be the constant theme of games on this generation that Singularity buys into is the short campaign mode which seems to be over by the time you have started to warm up.
A variety of weapons, well sculpted backgrounds and situations and more importantly a variety of enemies make sure that you never feel that playing the game is a chore, well apart from when you have to fight these little bugs but they are more annoyance than anything else.

Taking these positives and negatives into account it is still a good budget buy purchase especially if you require something to fill that whole waiting for the next big FPS title to be released.
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on 1 July 2010
Every once in a while a game chugs along that you are mildly interested in, but if you're at all honest with yourself it's mostly to see it fall flat on its face due to its derivative nature. Then again every so often a game comes along that cheats death against all odds and turns out to be quite decent...good, even. So here comes Singularity with its Bioshock swagger and its time bending typicalities and we're all wondering what that curious little addition to the new releases shelves is actually like, but not wanting to chance our coin on it. Well It's a good job I had me some trade ins to unburden so I could give you the lowdown.

THE GOOD:
- The graphics are very nice and full of great little atmospheric touches. A silky smooth frame rate puts the cherry on a very tasty cake.
- Controls are sweet and precise, nothing new (a point which you'll soon see will become somewhat of a theme throughout this review) but more than adequate to fill your foes full of a ton of lead.
- Creature design is somewhat typical of many supernatural themed games but they are, along with the rest of the game, sharp and well constructed and can often bring an acute sense of dread as they jump out from their hiding places.
- Weapons are functional and get quite interesting as the game progresses.
- The time manipulation high-jinks are actually really well thought out, as linear as they may be, this is where the majority of the stand out points of the game are to be found. Silly stuff but in a gripping and grand sort of way - the TMD is an awesome idea.
- The audio work is really top notch, again nothing new but it works wonders with a good sound system. The sniffles and grunts of hidden enemies are disturbing and always feel right down the back of your neck. Disturbing and almost moist.
- Loads of little nooks to find stuff in which makes you really appreciate the environments.
- Some of the set pieces are stunning and they are literally enormous - plus, bonus, they aren't all scrunched into the first level, they just keep popping up and blowing you away.
- excellent pacing
- engaging story, not massively original but all woven into a believable world that's engaging right to the very end.
- good length single player campaign.
- The time travelling and manipulation aren't just an afterthought: they are integral and very well implemented by an obviously skilled team.

THE BAD:
- It is as unoriginal as a reworking of the hula-hoop but in all the right ways, as mentioned above. Many games get nothing but boons for being the exact same thing as many others while others get lambasted - I don't quite know why at times but this is a very good culmination of many already well utilised components.
- those little bug creatures really annoy me - yup it's a personal one but they really wind me up.
- The multiplayer is functional but not inspiring in any way at all - it just sort of sits there.

CONCLUSION:
Those looking for multiplayer thrills should look to the new transformers game (War For Cybertron) for their kicks. Those looking for a very decent thrill ride in an FPS world thats immersive and believable could do far, far worse than Singularity - it's time travelling fun that won't stear the single player far wrong.
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on 24 March 2011
got this game last week by off chance and it,s made by the people who done the last Wolfenstein game which i thought was excellent. After completing Singularity single player 3 times now, i have got to say it,s a great game with great weapons,powers and the upgrades are prety cool and the best part is you can pick which ones to upgrade and which ones to use. But the best thing about this game for me is it,s really fun to play which is kind of missing in some games these days.

Overall this game may have taken a little from Wolfenstein,Bioshock & Half Life but Singularity for me has it,s own identity and just hope they made a 2nd game.
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on 10 November 2012
Singularity is very underrated but it has kept me busy for hours, Thanks for pulling out this Wild Card Activision.
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on 4 August 2014
Good game - excellent story line , graphics , and gameplay (nice time travel twist on a shoot em up) only one let-down , not much effort put in on game area boundarys - gaps left in walls etc. that are big enough to walk through but you can't because of the "invisible" area boundry (a tad vexing but didn't spoil my enjoyment too much!)
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on 10 January 2013
This is an interesting little game.
It is a first person shooter set on a Russian Island. The quirk that sets this game apart from other FPS games, with monsters, is the fact that it has a time distortion element associated to it.
In terms of game play - it is quite straight forward to get to grips with control and navigating the protagonist through the game. It is a fairly linear game to play. There are also a handful of fairly simple puzzles throughout the game, which are rather repetitive in their solution.
The graphics are so-so as the game is in 720 resolution as opposed to 1080.
The sound effects and music (Dolby Digital) are actually very good, they really do add an atmospheric depth to the game and makes it very absorbing, this was a major plus point. A few points in the game will make you jump in shock, this was a delightful bonus. There are plenty of baddies, a handful of weapons and a confusing array of power-up options throughout the game.
The game save automatically when the protagonist reaches specific places.

The game fails on the monologues. I used a surround sound and I believe there is a significant flaw, where when a character is speaking to you, their voice is extremely low. It is only when you turn your back to the character, that their voice is more audible (through the rear speakers). Unfortunately there is no subtitling either.
The ending is a bit of a muddle and left me bewildered.
To summarise, I found this is to be a good game, but not a great game.
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on 5 January 2011
Despite not hearing of this game before, I first saw it in an email sent by Amazon. After checking the web page and viewing the videos on this website, it very much reminded me of Bioshock (which I'm a massive fan of). Now I've played the game, it definitely reminds me of Bioshock and is by far one of the most under rated games I've ever came across.

I highly recommend buying this game.
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on 2 July 2010
This game has had absolutely NO promotion from the publisher and it does not even feature a trailer on the the playstation store which I feel is a great shame because its a very enjoyable game but no ones heard of it and if I hadn't stumbled across it by chance I would have missed out on a game that really is worth playing.

As mentioned the controls are familiar and smooth the graphics are nicely detailed, but mainly there's a couple of smart features and the TMD is one of the best weapons EVER to grace the FPS.

The online lets it down but not because it isn't fun, but because no promotion means its hard to get on a game... I have never played as a creature that can possess, puke up on and blow up the enemy soldiers before - you actually do feel like a creature as you scuttle or gallop around AND you can choose which one you want to be and what vile weapons and attributes you use. Soldiers are not the norm either here theres a selection to choose from each with a TMD that provides a different ability from healing, blasting to teleporting. You play half a match as the creature then half as the soldier which makes for fairer play. As a creature your 3rd person which makes seeing yourself with tentacles etc more fun and 1st person as the soldier makes killing and being attacked by the creatures more exciting.

All in all everyone should take a bit more notice of this game and give it a fair chance and Activision have done the game makers an injustice not giving this game any advertising at all - so please everyone at least check out the trailer, rent it or just buy it.
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