For some reason I never picked up this game when it first came out. So when I found it on sale I was tempted. And, as Oscar Wilde has cynically observed, the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it. So I allowed myself get pulled into the gravity well.
THE FABRIC OF THE SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM IS BEAUTIFUL SINGULARITY runs on the Unreal3 engine and this means that water effects will make you reach for a towel whereas flames will remind you you are playing a game. However, both the environments and the objects are very nicely designed and attention was paid to details one may or may not observe the first time around. I particularly appreciated the retro Soviet era paraphernalia scattered around as well the hollow boasting the characterized the era.
BENDING REALITY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE The game is a thinking gamer's FPS. Besides the usual survive-and-shoot-everything-that-moves fun, it offers a number of physical and tactical puzzles that can be solved by going back or forth in time. You can "rejuvenate" supply crates to replenish your ammo or bridges to go across; alternatively, you can dilapidate rooms or doors with age to find or gain hidden exits; or you can manipulate the environment to make your enemies vulnerable. It will take some time to figure out the hints but once you get the hang of it you will notice where to apply your time-manipulating powers.
THEY AIMED AT REALISM IN A GAME WITH TIME-TRAVELING AND MUTANT MONSTERS? There are many guns in the game, most of them very imaginative in design and masculine in sight. Unfortunately, you can only carry two of them. This may be much more realistic to the impossible load than, say, Gordon Freeman can carry in HL2 but come on now guys, we popped the cherry on realism long ago. Right after the first time shifting wave and just before your first albino mutant! And, to add insult to injury, the game is inescapably linear to the effect that most areas cannot be revisited once exited. So, make sure to loot everything and try to plan ahead on which guns to choose before moving on.
THE ARROW OF TIME STOPS FOR NO ONE This is where the game looses a star in both fun and overall: gamer saves are not allowed, there are only checkpoints - and not many of them, at that. Now, because the game is also somewhat short I strongly suspect this was done in order to artificially prolong the gameplay time by forcing the player to start over from a not-so-near checkpoint whenever the hero dies. And since reaching a checkpoint and automatically saving your progress...erases older saves, one cannot go back and replay a favorite part or approach a situation with different tactics.
RADIATION: MINIMUM. PROCEED WITH CAUTION The game uses SecuROM as a simple disk-check and requires neither activation nor any perpetual online reauthentication. It is the same DRM used in Fallout 3 and I find it borderline palatable. Certainly much better than If however, you object to SecuROM altogether, you can now make an informed decision.