Singularity is a first-person shooter developed by Raven Software and released in 2010 for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PS3 and various other things that go 'bzzz', the game follows Captain Nathaniel Raincoat as he is dropped onto the mysterious island Katorga-12 to investigate after an electromagnetic surge emenating from the island blows the s**t out of an American satellite. Yawn-fest right?..... But wait, did I mention that the island is overrun with MONSTERS? AWWWW YEAH.
You see, Katorga-12 was once under the influence of the Soviet Union who stumbled upon an unknown element hiding behind a bush which they named E-99. This new element as it turns out, is one powerful son of a b**ch, not only is it a fantastic source of energy but it can also be used to control the very fabric of time! However, shortly after the discovery, a catastrophic explosion known as the 'Singularity' occurs in one of Katorga-12's labs turning the island's inhabitants into flesh eating mutants. That's where Raincoat comes in, it's up to him to discover the island's secrets and make sure the 'Singularity' never happens again.
The game itself is not too dissimilar to Bioshock; there are audio messages scattered throughout the levels, E-99 is just Adam but slightly less useful, and the game even has it's own 'Would You Kindly' moment, but that's not to say that Singularity doesn't bring one or two new ideas to the well-worn table.
For one the game allows you to manipulate the enviroment with the help of the Time Manipulation Device or TMD for short, which is aquired early on in the game. This can be as simple as reverting an old, collapsed staircase back to it's former ascending glory or breathing new life into an empty ammunition crate. However the TMD is quite limited as it only works on a few choice objects in the game world so don't expect to feel like Chronos himself, you're really just a very talented repairman. If I had a TMD I'd use it on Mickey Rourke's head, it's a shame that such a talented actor should only recieve roles in which his character has had a history of punches to the face.
One area in which Singularity definitely trumps Bioshock, is the combat. Singularity takes a very old school approach to it's shooting but it's all the more enjoyable because of it, I had forgotten the simple joy of shooting a mutant at point blank range with a shotgun. Later on in the game you will unlock extra powers for the TMD to aid you in combat like the awesome stasis bubble which will slow the movement of all objects and enemies within the bubble, there's nothing cooler than stopping an enemy in his tracks tossing an explosive barrel his way and watching the resulting carnage all in super sexy slo-mo.
Visually, Singularity is akin to the face of beloved actor Mickey Rourke, it looks fine from a distance but move a little closer and you begin to see the lumps and bumps. The game is full of muddy textures and thats only when they remember to load, the rest of the time it's like playing on a PC with the lowest settings and the monitor is made of bananas.
I was quite impressed with the sound design in the game, the enviromental sounds have a very realistic quality to them and some of the voice acting is quite enjoyable too, even old favourite Nolan North makes a welcome appearance. Unfortunately though, the game is seriously lacking in any memorable music, as I sit here typing I find myself struggling to remember even a single note from my eight hour playthrough, I can't even remember what instruments feature, but as it's quite a generic shooter, I'm going to guess strings, lots and lots of strings.
The game also has a multiplayer mode but I could only find one dude from Sweden playing and the lobby has to have a certain amount of players before a match begins, I waited like twenty five minutes but no one else joined,...so that was my experience with the Singularity multiplayer, not great for gaming but that Swedish guy is probably still on there waiting for a game if you feel like some company.
Singularity is certainly worth your time, it may lack originality but what it 'borrows' from others it puts to good use. If you liked Bioshock then you will probably like this too, I sure did.