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This review was submitted by Nathan Zeppel. If you’ve played Singularity, or just want to ask Nathan more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Its the 1950s, at the height of the Cold War. The Soviet Union discoverers an element, dubbed E99, on a small island they now call Katorga-12. Being an incredible power source, Stalin orders its limitless experimentation. In 1955, a catastrophe strikes and the entire island is wiped from the map in a mammoth cover up.
In 2010, a US spy satellite flies over the island and is knocked out by a huge radiation spike. Fearing another Chernobyl, a black ops team is sent in to investigate, only to have their chopper downed by a huge radiation surge. The player, Nate Renko, re-gains consciousness next to the burning chopper on the piers of Katorga-12, where the game begins.
The Look: The game is stunning, shifting between the overgrown, mutated state post-disaster and its pristine condition in the 1950s as you try and work out what happened that caused so much death and destruction. The Unreal 3 engine is certainly put to good use, as the environment is an amazing sight.
The Weapons: You start off with the basic weapons, and pick up more advanced ones as you go. Every weapon can be upgraded, and the weapon upgrade points are scarce around the levels, so you don’t feel invincible. It’s very well-balanced and every weapon is unique.
The Plot: As you play through the game, you may choose to explore and see flashbacks of previous times, and listen to audio logs of the citizens reaction to the cataclysmic destruction happening on the island. For those people that love a good thinking plot, this is definitely for you. As you go between the past and the future, you can notice your changes affecting the destroyed world in the future as you try to get to the bottom of what happened.
The Mix: After playing the game for a few hours, you have a nostalgic feeling of many games past. You run around picking stuff up like the gravity gun of Half Life 2, the audio recordings of Bioshock, the monsters of Dead Space, and the abilities of TimeShift. If you play the game for its face value, and try not to pick out the game for its parts, it is good fun. But if you move around constantly analysing its individual components, you will get bored quite quick.
The Firefights: Each time you confront an enemy, not much thought goes into the process of killing them. Sure, you could pop a time bubble if there is a few mutants, pull out your shotgun and be done with them, but most encounters are similar, get behind cover and wait for them to peek out and move on. There are a few small boss fights on your way, but they seem to get easier as you go further as you learn their weaknesses rather quickly.
I started playing Singularity after reading no reviews, with no idea with what the game was about, and was addicted before I was even given player control. The intro video itself draws you in to the story so quick and easily. The game starts off slowly, letting you get used to the different mechanics, but speeds up steadily and gives you a great game to play. I would definately suggest people who love a good first-person shooter to give it a shot.
Reviewed by: Nathan Zeppel
You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 500 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.