Singularity
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360

Everybody loves boxes. From Solid Snakes cardoard box, to Valve’s Orange Box, to the immature giggling that ordering a ‘junior box’ in a take away caused. Boxes are great. How would you carry things without a box? With your bare arms, like some kind of Peasant? Fuck that, what is this, the stone age? Everyone loves boxes. Singularity loves boxes. Singularity gets hard for boxes. Singularity has a single minded fixation with boxes.

So, Singularity then. It’s an FPS. It’s got a gimmick. It’s gimmick is time travel/time manipulation. FUCK YEAH, i hear you cry. Because as Back to the Future 1 – 3 taught us, time travel can be used in numerous sexy ways, everything from boning your own mother before she conceived you, to getting your very on fucking hoverboard.

There are no hoverboards in Singularity. There is no wincest. What there is, and there is a metric shit-ton of them, are  fucking boxes.
If i could give one massive plaudit to Singularity, it’s that before now, i have never played a game that flings as many broken boxes at you per-level as this game. I mean this game is just fucking overflowing with broken boxes. If you enjoy moving boxes, standing on boxes, and/or box repairing, then my friend, Singularity will make you lose your shit.

Here, we see a fully funtional box that doesn't need to be repaired..YET!!!

The story, revolves around the secret Soviet island of Katorga 12, where all manner of time travel/box manipulation experiments have been going down. You arrive on the island only to be shunted back in time to 1955 where you unwittingly save a man’s life who later goes on to be worse than Stalin. This is illustrated by Stalins statue morphing into a statue of this evil guy back in 2010. I’m only telling you this because for the rest of the game, youll be left wondering just what the hell going back in time actually did, because it sure as fuck doesnt affect the gameplay.

Raven are a talented developer. Last years Wolfenstein was among my favourite shooters of 2009. Sadly for Raven, their lack of imagination outside of  “shoot bullets out of guns to make things not alive” is apparent here. The time travel idea of Singularity is completely wasted. It’s fucking TIME TRAVEL. Time travel literally gives you carte blanche to come up with the most fucking ludicrous premises known to man. Want to kill a T-Rex with a bazooka? TIME TRAVEL. Want a hoverboard? TIME TRAVEL. Aliens? TIME TRAVEL. Literally any fucking crazy scenario you could picture can be explained with time travel. They couldve gone nuts, strapped a chair to a Stegosaurus and time travelled to the future to wage war on hoverboard riding aliens. Instead, we got boxes.

OOH PORTALS! dont worry, you dont get to use them in any real way that doesnt involve box repair.

So i’ve mentioned boxes a couple of times. Whats the deal with the boxes? Well, Singularity uses the AWESOME POTENTIAL OF TIME TRAVEL to have you either repair, or un-repair boxes. Literally every problem on the Island of Katorga 12 can be overcome by harnessing the awesome power of a broken box. For example, if you see a ledge you cant jump up to, look around. Chances are you’ll find a broken box nearby. Use TIME MANIPULATION to make the box young again and un-broken, and hey presto, you can stand on it to reach the ledge! HOLY FUCK MY BALLS! They literally just flew out the window in excitement.

But thats not all! Oh wait, it is, sorry. Oh no, wait, shit, you also get to repair a broken stairs from time to time. WOW!

Another massive shit stain in Singularitys underpants are the graphics. I’ve seen bad graphics in games this gen, even Raven’s last offering, Wolfenstein, was no belle of the ball. Singularity, is more like a tramp. A faeces encrusted tramp, offering blow jobs for a dime. It’s ugly. It’s Rik Waller naked on a treadmill ugly. It’s Cherie Blair giving Meatloaf a rusty trombone ugly. 
The unreal engine 3 is used to terrifying effect here, with shockingly low resolution texture work, frankly embarrasing character modelling, and texture pop-in so bad that sometimes the textures just dont bother popping in at all. It’s almost like they’re too embarrased to even show their low resolution faces in such an offensively unattractive game.

An oddly box-free screenshot

 So yes, i’ve spent this review mostly taking a massive shit all over Singularity’s party. Is there anything good to mention about Singularity? Well, the shotgun is fun to use, once you get it upgraded. And theres a big gun called the autocannon which is pretty great. Some fo the time manipulation powers are fun too, like freezing enemies and killing them. And the multiple endings are interesting. Thats really about the only good thing i have to say about Singularity. Oh, and its mercifully brief too.
In summation, It’s derivative, it’s uninspired, it’s unoriginal, it’s ugly, it’s unexciting, and everything it does has been done before, and done better by pretty much any game you care to mention (Bioshock, FEAR, Wolfenstein, Metro 2033,  all superior games, all games you can buy for half the price of Singularity). Honestly, this game was a fucking chore to complete. At times i felt like sobbing and clawing at my own face. It’s just so god damned dull. You wont care about the story, about the faceless automaton you control, about the evil guy you saved, about the bosses with giant weak spots, about anything. It’s the gaming equivalent of a wet weekend in Doncaster. You could emulate the excitement of an evening spent with Singularity by playing scrabble by yourself, in an empty room, in limbo, on a Sunday evening.

Avoid this one like a time travelling, dick sucking hobo from the future, unless you can find it for 10 quid or less and dont mind having a game shit on your face for 6 hours.

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