Singularity Updated Impressions

You can't turn enemies into babies, but your time-bending powers in Raven's upcoming sci-fi shooter are impressive nonetheless.

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Wouldn't the process of time reversal, when used as a weapon against an enemy, simply revert him or her back to an infant? It's a question that Raven Soft, the developers behind the upcoming sci-fi first-person shooter Singularity, might have considered at one point in the game's production. As it stands, using the time manipulation device (TMD) against an enemy will simply cause him to revert and eventually evaporate into dust. As we found out during our most recent look at Singularity at Activision's recent pre-E3 press briefing, your control over the time stream will result in encounters that are unlike most FPS fights.

The level on display during the demo featured the downed USAF pilot Nate Renko--the hero of the story--exploring the mysterious Russian island that has been infected by the element E-99, which is the source of the time-twisting narrative. Your goal is to find your crashed plane and obtain the black box; to help you along, you're being guided through the island's dangers by Yuri, an old Russian soldier.

The TMD is the game's chrono-twisting heart, and as you explore the area, you'll need it as a weapon, as a means to solve puzzles, and simply to stock up on ammo. For instance, you might reverse-age a barrel, restoring it to its former explosive self, and then toss it at an enemy. Or you might reverse-age an empty ammo case so it ends up filled with a stockpile of ammo to replenish your supplies.

The TMD isn't just useful on objects; it's also a deadly weapon. You can use it directly on enemies, as mentioned above. Furthermore, you can use it to catch rockets or grenades in midair and fire them back at opponents. You'll also earn new gadgets as you go, such as a chronolight, which lets you easily find objects that can be manipulated with the TMD.

The highlight of the Singularity demo featured a chaotic firefight in which you have to use every TMD trick in the book to defeat enemies, including creating temporary time-stasis bubbles that can protect you from bullets. Enemies come in several varieties, and in addition to standard gun-toting baddies, you'll periodically run into Zecks, which are monstrosities that have a degree of temporal control themselves. Zecks can teleport from one spot to the next, which makes them tough to spot, and they can even briefly phase out of time, essentially making them impervious to harm for a brief moment.

Between echo events--ghostly replays of traumatic events that occurred on the island during the 1950s--and using your TMD to completely restore the facade of a ruined building (with the help of a handy electrical boost), the game's notion of flexible time seems to be a central theme that will hopefully keep its first-person shooter mechanics feeling fresh. We'll have more on Singularity throughout the rest of the year, and be sure to check out the game during GameSpot's complete coverage of E3 2009.

Discussion

26 comments
sithwarrior2003
sithwarrior2003

Actually guys, I bet you all it's rated M. Blood gushes out of enemies, their heads actually detach from their bodies. This game is literally a mix of Half-Life and F.E.A.R. Why (or how), you ask? Simple, that device you see is more like a gravity gun. You can move many objects (like in Half Life). The portals you see aren't as common as you think, and you cannot create them (like you can in Portal). You can stop time, but only in certain objects, or in bubbles. This game is also like F.E.A.R. in that there are sections that you have combat (which might be a bit scary, but not really) and then you have the scary parts, which don't have you do anything but be freaked out (like in FEAR). I give this game an easy 9 out of 10 and I assume Gamespot will likely rate this at LEAST a 8.5 (if not higher). This game is beautiful and a fun play with a good plot.

Conduras
Conduras

@ thunderhorse55 actually you can blow their heads off :)

SplahhMonkey
SplahhMonkey

I love any game based in a Russian area :D lol i loved the stalker series

SplahhMonkey
SplahhMonkey

@SSBFan12 Why pass on this game? It looks spectacular! Why not get this and the other games?

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

Looks good! I love Raven, Wolfenstein gave me thrills :3

Wannie_The_Sane
Wannie_The_Sane

@Lswgamer: They kinda reminded me of the portals from Prey.

5a1nt_j0k3r
5a1nt_j0k3r

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

thunderhorse55
thunderhorse55

wow. this sounds really interesting and unique. i hope its rated T, and not M. i cant imagine there would be any blood, its not like your gonna be impaling enemies and shooting things

SSBFan12
SSBFan12

I might pass on this game cause there are alot of other games that I am going to get.

Lswgamer
Lswgamer

those time bubbles, seem strangely familiar... maybe from portal? anyway it looks awesome, though it seems easy. just target an enemy and vaporize him.I hope they tough up things a little before lauching, but overall seems cool.

PSFreak1
PSFreak1

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

pakhair
pakhair

Still Confused about this game...............

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

Could turn out good, I'll check back.

dual_barrel
dual_barrel

What's this? Timeshift meets Doom meets Raven Soft?

gmax
gmax moderator

Might be a disorienting mechanic at first.

foojam
foojam

It reminds me of Timeshift. I trust Raven, so this is going to rock.

WizengamotX
WizengamotX

Singularity seems to use Valve's idea with Portal, except for large time gaps. My question is this: if you reverse n number of barrels, would not one of them not be an explosive barrel--rather full of peppers or salt?

Bucketoffish
Bucketoffish

Nah wouldnt be a mod, should be an upgrade you purchase. I envision "Baby Killer Rank 1" Rank 2 for specific babies like Gerber or Pelosi or baby Elmo.

damaster101
damaster101

Sounds pretty cool i wonder how they would get multiplayer too work?

dark_being
dark_being

Sounds good, and I like the TMD idea. Hope there is a little more to it than just a gimmick.

Novemberfreeze
Novemberfreeze

sounds good. hopefully they use the time-bending abilities to their fullest.

Naruto
Naruto

"You can't turn enemies into babies, but your time-bending powers in Raven's upcoming sci-fi shooter are impressive nonetheless." Someone should definetly make a mod for that! :D

Gamer4Iife
Gamer4Iife

"As it stands, using the time manipulation device (TMD) against an enemy will simply cause him to revert and eventually evaporate into dust." Seriously? That's badass. :D