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The Opinionator: Insert Convenient Plot Device Here!

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And yes that is the best title I could come up with today. So my one question I have now is why does everything have to be about time manipulation. Very few games/movies can do it right. Timeshift, and the back to the future trilogy are a few examples (the BTTF games we will get to another time I promise.) of good games/movies that did it well but in most cases the mechanic in games turns out to be bullet time which sucked when Max Payne did it and still sucks now.

No wait I’m sorry. I actually liked Singularity, to a certain degree anyway. The time manipulation does not actually manifest as much of time manipulation actually. At certain fixed moments in the game you travel back in time before the events of the game to change things, whether for better or for worse.

So at the start of the game you travel in with your support character on your way to an island that was controlled by Russia during the cold war. You crash land and eventually make a big whoopsy daises and save a scientist who was supposed to die in a fire. Sorry I forgot to mention you saved him when you suddenly travel back in time because of some kind of radiation caused by the element that the Russians were doing experiments with during the cold war.

This actually turned out to be the big plot twist that I thought might be explained at the end but it was then explained 5 minutes later. History was changed because we saved that guy. One of the interesting bits was that as you are saving him some asshole yells to you saying: “Renko DONT” (Renko being the player character) which gets explained later.

Oh also the element they were experimenting with was called Element 99 (aka convienium) and throughout the game you find pieced of E99 tech which can be used to upgrade your weapons and abilities. This turns the game play into what I like to call “Stop-and-Start” game play where you have to kill everything and then scrupulously search the entire area for tech and shit.

By the end of the game the plot has so many holes in it that it resembles Swiss cheese that has been shot multiple times.

The biggest shit bit of this game is when it introduces the cross between the Half-Life Headcrabs and the Halo Flood enemies. They take down your health so easily and there are always so many of them when you encounter them. One part of a level maybe midway through the game took me no less than 25 tries to get through alive. I even had to go watch a Let’s Play of the game for help.

This game really is trying to be 3 different games in one. Half-Life with its Headcrab monsters and mutants, Timeshift (which we will review later) with the time manipulation, and Bioshock with its ghost/time fragment situations. Now let me explain that last part. In Bioshock there were these ghost/ hallucination parts that you saw when looking around certain areas in the game. Singularity does the same and has the same bad design with them that Bioshock did except this time they may be happening because of the time rift caused by the E99 experiments. So these things require you to be looking at a certain place at a certain time but often times you won’t be because you have to search the area for loot.

Now in the game people always seem to know that history was changed but we really shouldn’t when thinking logically (something game designers don’t do well at). Oh but this is explained, when you are travelling through time you have this bitch of an NPC with you and at one point near the end she gets injured and left behind and then she writes all about everything that happens in a book so the good guys find this. Yeah, like I said Swiss cheese with bullet holes.

There are also some funny hidden clues hidden throughout the game that are known as chronomessages or something. These have to be reverted by your time powers that you receive later and say things like “Find Barisov,” or “Don’t Trust Them” and these hint at what is to come next in the game.

Now I didn’t really use the time powers much in the game except when the game made me but Shane also played the game and found he loved the one that crates a blue energy dome that slows down time in that area.

Okay so I am almost done here but first I want to spoil the ending. So everyone who hasn’t played it yet FUCK OFF MATE. Okay so the game autosaves right before the ending which is good because there are 3 different endings with 3 achievements tied to them and you can reload the save and get all 3 without replaying the game 2 more times. So there are 2 main people you are in contact with in the game, Barisov and Demichev. Barisov wants you to shoot Demichev and Demichev wants you to shoot Barisov. Barisov is the supposed “good guy” and Demichev is the Antagonist of the game.

So if you choose to shoot Barisov the ending tells you that you and Demichev take over the world together and section it off into two halves for each to rule over. But then a cold war erupts over the time powers. That’s it, that’s how it ends.

If you instead shoot Demichev then you travel back in time and stop yourself from rescuing the scientist (who turned out to be Demichev) by killing yourself (the game never explains how a fucking paradox wasn’t created because of this) after which Barisov takes the time powers and becomes the world dictator. So much for being the good guy.

The last ending is where you shoot both of them. In this ending Renko (you) disappears and allows the world to fall into chaos and later you rise as the new world leader by using the time powers.

Lastly before I go I wish to talk about how this game tries to be a survival horror game too. I wouldn’t say it is survival horror but I would say it has survival horror elements and some scary moments when shit jumps out at you or you don’t know what is going to happen. The game was more creepy than scary really. That can be much scarier than horror elements if implemented properly which this game does fairly well at.

Shit sorry I lied. This is the last bit. So because of the autosave at the end this game has no real replay value. If you don’t like going for achievements there really aren’t many reasons to play this game multiple times as there aren’t any collectables (except the chronomessages which you will most likely find them all in your first run).


~The Opinionator


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