Singularity Freighter Level Impressions

Activision showed off the new Freighter level at GamesCom in Cologne, and we were on hand to check it out.

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Singularity is developer Raven Software's first original title in nearly 10 years. It's a labour of love for the studio's founders, who have long dreamed of doing a Cold War-style science fiction shooter. The headline feature of the game is the Time Manipulation Device (TMD), which uses something called substance E99 to allow time control. For more on the game's features, be sure to check out our previous coverage of the game, as our Cologne preview focuses on the new Freighter level in the game.

The level we saw takes place about two-thirds of the way through the game. Activision senior producer Brian Pass took us through the demo, with the objective of raising a sunken ship using the TMD and then scavenging it while it disintegrated around us. It's an impressive set piece and one that shows off the combat and the puzzle-solving required in the game. The mix of shooting and thinking is supposed to be quite even, so you'll often have to think about how you can utilise the TMD in order to progress.

Halfway through the demo, a time rift causes you to move from the present day back to the 1950s. You can also control these temporal anomalies yourself, so you can age objects and people or return them to their original state. The level we saw featured plenty of objects that could be degraded or fixed in this way, such as a shipping crate that you can drop on an enemy or old barrels that can be restored to their previous explosive state. You can also change the state of your enemies, aging them until they become a "reverted human" who will attack other enemies.

While the TMD forms a large part of the gameplay, this is still a Raven game, so the shooting looks like it will be incredibly satisfying. Some weapons can use E99, such as the E99 revolver, which fires bullets that can be manipulated in midair. You can fire bullets at enemies in cover or bend them to hit explosive barrels, but the gun has relatively limited ammo and takes a while to reload.

The final part of our demo was the raising of a sunken ship. You have to go underwater and use your time manipulation powers to raise the sunken vessel and then explore it. Sadly, we didn't get chance to see the developers going onto the ship, but they promised it would literally "fall apart around you." They also wanted to highlight that the Freighter level shows off more of the outdoor environments from the game, which takes place on an island so big that it has its own train system. That naturally led us to ask the question--will you be able to ride the train? "Potentially, yes" was the answer from Brian Pass.

Singularity sadly isn't playable at this stage--there's still quite a bit of time between now and the 2010 release date, so there'll be plenty of time to see it again before it comes out. It's arriving on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, so check out our previous coverage and the E3 show demo to find out more about the game.

Discussion

24 comments
k_oldsoul
k_oldsoul

reminds me of timeshift.
except there is monsters

khrodino
khrodino

Reminds me of some games like Bioshock, Metro 2033 and F.E.A.R. (and Stalker, but just for the speech...). Not very original but still pretty interesting. I like how there's less action and more thinking. Tomorrow we will see.

Crimsader
Crimsader

It will be something like Bioshock in Soviet Russia, no?

Conduras
Conduras

the game is interesting , just don't put your hopes in some high end graphics .Game play is pretty good , upgrades even some boss fights .

devilrogers
devilrogers

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

whitejackel
whitejackel

still a little unshure about it... iv been watchen this game for 2 years now...

slowhand461
slowhand461

its released looks good, will report back when i played a bit, 30mins to go! :D

dppilcher
dppilcher

Why does it seem this came fell off the map of coverage??? - I just wrote an article on the game @ buzzbinmagazine.com - check it out and share it with a friend. This game should be really good.

The_Frozen_Soul
The_Frozen_Soul

Oh c'mon... release it .... I've been waiting for this game for a long time.... can't wait to play this game anymore....

Brennios
Brennios

..the cover looks interesting

hero513
hero513

Raven software is going to make this awesome.

kvan33
kvan33

Aging enemies until they become "reverted humans"? Besides being a dumb idea, the word reverted means to go back, not forward.

Alex_09
Alex_09

@Adziboy God damn man, you're almost as bad as a girl I know who gets angry at people she knows if they treat her badly in a dream.

konradak
konradak

Looking forward to this.

pidow
pidow

Another game I must play.

SauerKraus13
SauerKraus13

@ Gelugon_baat The E99 pistol in this game and the bullet bending in Wanted are completely different. Watch the gameplay movie. In Singularity you are guiding the bullet yourself after you shoot the bullet (yes this has been done before even in a tanks game on the 64, but it's still cool). In wanted it showed the path of where the bullet could go and then it would follow that path but you didnt guide it after it was shot.

Adziboy
Adziboy

Ahh... I must've dreamt this coming out. I swear to god I saw it on the shelf and was like 5 mins away from buying but checked review scores and it got like, 3.5. Ever since then I've thought it's been out and haven't checked anything to do with the game since yonks ago because of the 3.5 score. DAYUM. I feel so stupid. Like, really, really stupid.

IncipitOmega
IncipitOmega

Raven,I'm not buying or playing your games until you make a new Hexen title... TC

nicklech16
nicklech16

I'm really curious if all this works out in the final game. Sounds like a pretty ambitious project!

RealMaverickOne
RealMaverickOne

There is a similar control of a weapon in Dark Sector,though that does not make the game Dark Sector or Weapons of Fate.This are different genre.In Weapons of Fate there was a camera angle behind the bullet which allowed you to follow it until it hits it's target,the control of the bullet was not possible during that sequence.

CyberAltair5
CyberAltair5

I have got my eyes on this ever since that trailer came out.

RobertBowen
RobertBowen

I like everything I've seen regarding this game so far. Hopefully Raven will deliver a great shooter with some interesting environmental puzzles based around the time manipulation mechanism.

Pyroninja42
Pyroninja42

This looks incredibly sexy. I need it leik NAO.