Review: Activision's Singularity

Ever since the release of the landmark DOOM in 1993, first person shooters have grown to be an ever popular genre in the gaming industry. Over time it has been proven that FPS’s need to bring more than your standard running and gunning to table in order to deliver a great game. Some first person shooters have succeeded with engrossing storylines, and amazing attention to detail while others have fallen completely short of even amusing your most casual gamer. Activision’s newest entry Singularity (Activision) falls right in the middle of this spectrum.Singularity primarily takes place in present day Russia. As American soldier Nate Renko, you’re sent there find out the source of its high radiation levels. In true video game fashion, things aren’t this simple. Come to find out the Russians experimented with a powerful substance called Element 99 in the 1950’s which could manipulate time. After your plane crashes, you wake up trying to survive as you flip flop between 2010 and 1955.The storyline is unique, but some of the gameplay elements are not. Throughout your adventure you’ll pi ck up scattered audio recordings and film clips that will help you get a better idea of what transpired ala Bioshock. You can also grab selected items and throw them at the enemy which is very reminiscent of Half Life. As you progress through the game, Singularity shows some individuality with great pacing throughout the time glitches and bigger battles.As a soldier, you have several weapons at your disposal. Standard automatics aside, we get some cool twists to the guns in the game. The sniper rifle slows down time as you shoot down your foes. Another notable mention is a rifle that grants you the ability to steer bullets right into your target. The marquee weapon throughout the game is the Time Manipulation Device. With this particular gadget, you can do a number of things including slow down attackers, age enemies into dust, send shockwaves and more. As the game progresses, the TMD becomes even more useful with solving puzzles and maneuvering through dead ends.While the action presents some great moments, the presentation doesn’t add any style points. The graphics are not bad but are not great either. The animation is simple and the textures are low resolution. Furthermore you do come across some quirky bugs like supporting characters talking to with their mouth completely shut.In regards to multiplayer, Singularity has a great twist to the standard online warfare. Regardless of the match set up, it’s always soldiers versus creatures. As a creature you have different attacks you can utilize like ripping someone’s head off and take over their body. You can choose different classes of aliens and soldiers as well. While the multiplayer component is quite fun here, the online community on this game is still growing.Overall Singularity will appeal to those looking for a good shooter. This title won’t dazzle you with a thorough presentation or a story worth a movie adaption, but will suck you in with some great action. No time machine needed.