Singularity

Developed by Raven Software
Published by Activision
Released in 2010 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC

Singularity threatens to be a clever interpretation of the modern shooter experience, an historical “What if?” where the Soviets get access to a radioactive, time-warping super-element.  And in the pursuit of correcting the mess of a timeline that you help to create, you’re introduced to standard military armaments, supernatural weapons, and some limited control of the time spectrum.  But while posing as a hybrid of punishing combat sequences and cool puzzle concepts, the realization will eventually dawn that your character is so slow, the pacing so carefully controlled, the engagements so basic.  In reality, Singularity is a suffocating single-player experience that sucks all the agency out of the flexible first-person shooter template.  In other words, “do things exactly this way”, “fight things exactly this way”, or die.  The mere novelty of the experience, a well-defined hybrid of action and puzzle mechanics with some very cool abilities, gives the game some limited appeal.  But if your first impression is a cynical gag reflex to an Activision shooter with no marketing and little press time, you ain’t wrong.

★★