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[pc] Singularity

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Hi Review section, im reviewing Singularity because I really feel the need to get this off my chest. Singularity has been a game ive been anticipating since its announcement purely because its developed by Ravensoft which gave us JK2, Quake 4 and the latest Wolfenstein.
You know how you may have said to yourself one time or another: "this is the LAST time im spending money on over-hyped shit packed into a DVD box"? Well, lets just say this game did it for me.

Now, on to the review.

At first glance, Singularity seems like a pretty interesting, fun, yet standard FPS. They dont waste too much time trying to develop a deep story and characters and they cut off anything that detracts from the shooting. Plot was uninteresting, characters are 1-dimensional (the bad guy is a power hungry maniac who takes over the world), story is riddled with loopholes, time paradoxes, and even time loophole paradoxes etc. but that's excusable. This is, after all, an FPS.

My real beef with this game is that there are so many minute gameplay flaws that work collectively to strip this game of any replayability whatsoever.

1. Erratic difficulty graph
Heres a quick timeline of how the game's difficulty felt to me:
Start (easy) - Get TMD, learn to use powers (moderate) - Face Zeks until first boss (easy) - First boss (super easy) - random levels in between (moderate) - Get Deadlock ability (easy) - Pimp out Hero/TMD perks with horded E99 (mega easy) - second boss (easy) - Rest of the filler levels (ultra easy) - Final level (Monster easy)

Btw, i played through once on normal and a second time on hard.

2. TMD powers more of a bonus than a necessity
You dont need the TMD powers in 80% of enemy encounters, you also wouldnt need the fancy seeker gun or dethex launcher. You can breeze through most of the human enemies by shooting them in the head with an un-upgraded valkyrie (the basic rifle). Im not saying the TMD isnt fun to use or poorly intergrated, im just wishing the enemies could have been made more challenging. Unfortunately, the AI just stands there, or takes cover (fruitlessly) begging to be shot between the eyes. Same applies for most mutants, except you use the shotgun or autocannon.

3. Linearity
The game felt linear in every sense of the word. Even at the first stage it was invisible walls galore with the occasional not-so-secret area at every corner. Most of the combat areas are corridors or claustrophobic rooms, even the 'open areas' are given a smallish cramp feel because its dotted with cover for you to hide behind and pick away at enemies funneling in. This is not helped by the occasional 'combat puzzle scenario' which presents you with a few enemies in water, then directs your attention to a brightly sparking but aged electrical device.
Personally, i would have preferred larger battle grounds with more types of enemies coming at you at once. At least this way, you would need a strategy instead of 'hide somewhere and shoot head, rinse and repeat'. On that note, the TMD power cells should be done away with, but regeneration rate should be increased. This would encourage me the player to use the power points more carefully.

4. Weak narrative
I have said that i do not care much for story in an FPS, but a good narration goes a long way in complementing the singleplayer gameplay. Its obvious that Singularity borrows a bit from Bioshock, but there is a huge Portal-inspired feature that aids the narration. The scribbles on the wall. They accompany you almost everywhere and build up suspense like they did for me in Portal. The problem here is that at the end of the game, you realise a lot of it is nonsense, and the flat storyline layed out in front of you takes precedence over whatever was scribbled.

[Rant] Powers dont have specific key bindings
I know this is a little bit of a trivial rant, but i have a keyboard, so why must i double tap 'age' to 'revert' or hold 'gravity' to 'deadlock'?! DO NOT WANT.[/rant]

In conclusion, Singularity is fun but painfully short (4 hours for 1st playthrough) and nothing terribly special. I wish I didnt spend $70 on this game, but that money has long passed the event horizon of this singularity, so I highly advise anyone wanting to try this game to either rent it or wait for a discount.

QUOTE (Jarett @ Feb 17 2008, 08:41 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think console shooters suck balls.


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Since no one else has, cheers for the review man. icon_razz.gif


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