9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Competent, but seen it all before,
This review is from: Singularity (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Singularity is a first-person shooter, which takes place on a fictional island called Katorga-12, where Russian experiments took place during the height of the Cold War. In 1955, a catastrophe involving experiments attempting to form a "Singularity" occurred on the island, causing the island's existence to be covered up by the Russian government. In 2010, an electromagnetic surge from Katorga-12 damages an American spy satellite. A military reconnaissance team is sent to investigate the uninhabited island. You control Captain Renko, a member of the reconnaissance team, and you are tasked with exploring the abandoned island, to uncover the secrets around the Singularity.
The game starts promisingly. The graphics are pretty, the premise is intriguing, the controls are fluid and it is slightly reminiscent of Bioshock whereby you explore an old abandoned environment. The similarity to Bioshock strengthens when you're given possession of the Time Manipulation Device (TMD), which you wear on your arm and can manipulate time. Similarities to other games don't end there as there are also echoes of Half Life, and the rather unfortunate Blacksite.
Unfortunately what becomes apparent very quickly is that this game doesn't really have any original ideas of it's own. There isn't anything really wrong with Singularity - I played it through to the end and quite enjoyed it - it's just that it feels a little lazy and has a `seen it all before' feel to it. The TMD could have been the game's trump card, and it is admittedly good fun using it to age soldiers to dust particles, but you are never really called to use it in any inventive ways. Instead you're tasked with the usual `find another way round this obstacle' type exercises, which then involve you having to use your TMD to age or renew crates. It's not bad, but it's just so......ordinary and feels lazy. There are also `perks' you can acquire and upgrades you can invest in, which are also slightly reminiscent of Bioshock. They're all quite standard upgrades (extra health, the ability to carry extra healthpacks etc) and feel like they've been added for the sake of it, and you never really feel like you've upgraded or developed your character, or improved his abilities.
The game isn't all bad. The combat is great fun, the selection of weapons is fairly standard, but they all pack a nice punch, and there are some nice settings - traversing an old sunken ship being the highlight. A single playthrough on the normal difficulty level took around 10-12 hours, so it is of a reasonable length and the storyline is sufficiently intriguing to hold my attention for the game's duration. In conclusion, if you can buy Singularity for around £10, then it's worth a look. It is a competent, good looking, solid shooter, but don't expect anything that you haven't seen in countless other games.