There are many things in this world that fascinate me, but it is the concept of time travel that captures my imagination the most. For many years I have been obsessed with the idea so when Singularity was announced I felt an excitement towards a game that I rarely feel these days. I couldn’t wait for the day it would arrive and when it did what I got was much more than I ever imagined I would. Whilst it may not be true for others, and my obsession has probably made me biased on this, for me Singularity is the best game on the PS3 to date. I expected something amazing, but I never expected that.
Being a game based on time travel the story is a hard one to describe since it twists and turns often, changing the entire course of history as it goes. During the Cold War era Russian scientists discover a new element called E99 on a remote island called Katorga-12. In the 1950’s a terrible catastrophe called a singularity occurs killing many and mutating others into hideous creatures. The project is abandoned and the Russian government covers up the existence of the island. In 2010 a US satellite flies over the island and a radiation spike makes it go dark. You are then sent in to investigate. You play as a US soldier named Nate Renko. As the helicopter closes in on the island a huge dome of energy pulses out over the island and you crash land. As you traverse the island to meet a companion at a rendezvous another of the strange pulses sends you back to the 1950’s as fire consumes the village you are exploring. You end up saving a man from the fire unknowingly changing the entire course of history. The man in question goes on to use the E99 technology to gain world domination and from that point it is your task to get history back on the right track.
Graphically, Singularity won’t blow you away but it is better than average. The environments constantly vary and there is a high level of detail placed into every area you visit. Were it not for the time travel aspect Singularity would probably have become slightly repetitive in the way it looks, but since you are jumping from 2010 to the 1950’s all the time the contrast constantly keeps things looking fresh. Everything looks brand new in the 50’s and in the present the whole island is decaying and falling apart. The sound also suits the game although disappointingly the main character is another of those that has no voice or personality of his own.
It is the gameplay where Singularity truly shines. The game is a FPS so there are a variety of guns available, all of which feel completely unique and very well balanced. Since you are on an island founded upon advanced technology there are a number of weapons that aren’t standard fare. You get access to a pistol, assault rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle and minigun, but also on offer are guns that let you take direct control over the ammo you fire. The real star of the show is the Time Manipulation Device (TMD). This gives you a lot of different powers over time, such as the ability to age enemies to dust, create a sphere that slows or stops anything within it, send a pulse of energy to throw enemies away from you, and pick up objects from afar and throw them. Most importantly the TMD allows you to age items in the environment, so while you make your way through the ruins of the island in 2010 you can revert decaying items to the original state they had in the 50’s and vice versa. This has many different inventive uses and features heavily in solving puzzles. It also looks incredibly impressive.