Singularity The Overend

Last week I did something that doesn’t happen very often – I completed a computer game that wasn’t Resident Evil.

I love gaming and have a ridiculously large computer game collection, but I also have a ‘buy-now-play-later’ attitude which is something I need to address. As a result, when I do finish a game, it is normally met with surprise and a round of applause!

The game I have just finished is ‘Singularity’ for the Xbox 360. I got it from CEX for £1.

It’s a first-person shooter (FPS) powered by the Unreal Engine 3 and designed by Raven and Activision (so you know it’s going to be semi-decent). It was released in 2010 but somehow passed me by. Wikipedia will tell you more about it.

“I reloaded and shot it again for good measure.”

The game itself isn’t anything new by any stretch of the imagination but I found it fun coupled with a satisfying story line. Without ruining it too much, the game revolves around some sneaky 1950s Russians and a time manipulation device (TMD). In an aim to devise a super weapon to control the world, something goes wrong (surprise surprise) and the whole island gets caught up in a temporal anomaly.

The Overend Singularity

You take on the role of an American soldier and you arrive on the island by having your helicopter crash on it (I am still waiting to play a FPS where your helicopter doesn’t crash land. When playing Black Ops, I was hoping that by the third chopper ride my character would have stopped being surprised that it was soon hurtling towards the ground not so long after take-off).

A lot of information is thrown at you in the first half an hour and I didn’t realise how significant those opening moments were to the plot until about half way through. At the start of the game there’s a bit of time hopping between the fifties and the present day and it’s a bit disorientating.

The Overend Singularity E99

The game creates a good sense of fear in the opening stages however, with flashbacks to an incident in the fifties and monsters aplenty. I jumped a few times, and this was normally followed by me spraying bullets until whatever had scared me stopped moving. With the first monster I met I reloaded and shot it again for good measure.

Singularity showcases a good variety of enemies and bosses, some annoying, some even more annoying and some are just plain old Russian soldiers. You have to get inventive when trying to dispose of some of them and thankfully, the game has some over-the-top weaponry to do such a thing! It isn’t an uncommon site after a fire-fight to wander through the room afterwards stepping over limbs and headless bodies. Bless those fly-by-wire exploding bullets!

“Bless those fly-by-wire exploding bullets!”

One of the game’s unique features is the TMD. For most of the game it could just be known as a ‘repairing device’; the TMD supposedly alters time around an object to either restore it to its former glory or age it rapidly but in reality, all it does is fix things or break things. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. It has some cool features like an Iron-Man pulse function and the ability to create a time bubble which slows down or ‘freezes’ anything that gets trapped in it (apart from yourself). What I couldn’t get over though was how much it looked like Sgt Cortez’s temporal up-link from the Time Splitters games. It even has some of the same functions!

The game finishes with you having to make a choice and each decision hands you a different ending. What’s nice is that the game saves it just before the end so if you wanted to see what would have happened if you had gone for options B or C, you just load up the last checkpoint and give it a go rather than having to sit through the whole game again to see what you could have done. None of the endings were what I was expecting.

The Overend The Singularity

If you want a game with a good pace, interesting science-y based story line shooting Russians, monsters and bigger monsters, go out and grab a copy. The friendly AI can even handle themselves in a gunfight which is a relief. The graphics are alright too for an eight-year-old game, although they do take a while to render sometimes.

I’m glad I stumbled across it. In fact, I enjoyed it that much that I have just finished it on ‘hard’ mode. I mopped up all of those pesky achievements I missed the first-time round and the story line made much more sense now that I knew how all the characters fitted into the plot. The dialogue between the characters on the second run will raise a smile too because what you brushed off as idle chit-chat and pointless observations the first-time round are actually subtle hints as to what is going on.

It’s also available on the PS3.

The Overend Singularity The Cooker

So, have you played Singularity? What were your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments starting with “Man, that bit where…”



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