Being unemployed at the moment, and addicted to Goozex trading, I haven't spent a dime on a retail purchase in months. I bit the bullet a week or two ago and went to the local K-Mart after reading several positive reviews about the game SINGULARITY from Raven Software. I am cerainly glad I did! The game is really worth the money in my opinion, and will certainly crawl it's way into my top 10 favorite games.
I'm a few hours into the game as we speak, but have been on gaming hiatus for the past week as my eleven year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Poor guy. We spent a week in Wisconsin, mostly at the hospital learning to deal with his condition and then spent some time relaxing at the in-laws summer house. Now back home, I plan to make a mad run at this sucker within the next couple of nights in order to complete it and form a solid verdict. So far, as you can imagine, it has been nothing but a pleasure to play.
One of the main reasons I picked the game up was the constant reference by others that had played the game to one of my favorite franchises, Bioshock. In only a matter of minutes into the game, anyone with a set of decent eyes and a bit of blood pumping into the brain knows where the similarities arise. From the audio recordings to the 1950's theme, this title doesn't necessarily rip Bioshock off, but more or less uses it's proven formula for success to create another great setting and story while introducing a few twists to the gameplay that broaden the gap between the two.
It's scarier than Resident Evil 5, with several shit your pants moments sprinkled throughout exploring the location where the story takes place, a secluded island named Katorga 12 that was once home to a Russian expirament and it's society of scientists and their families. There must have been one hell of a team working on this project as there is an entire community complete with housing, schools, shops and of course secret underground labs. In this case the island to me seems to suggest that it's even larger than Rapture was in Bioshock, yet the linearity of that game doesn't allow the player to really get that feeling since they are thrown in one direction all the time which is one thing I like about the Shock moreso.
Bioshock, however, isn't the only game I see similarity with. I also noticed early on that some well aimed shots at the creatures that reside on Katorga 12 results in Dead Space like dismemberment. Take out a leg and the enemy will fall to the ground and crawl at you determined to take you down.
The game reminds me of PREY as well, another of my favorites. There's Stimpaks like in Fallout 3. It has the Time Manipulation Device (TMD) which allows you to slow down time as well as put objects and enemies into a different state of time. For example, discover a crushed trash can, fire the TMD at it and watch it renew itself to a condition from a previous time. Fire the TMD at a human enemy and watch the poor bastard age into dust in mere seconds. Although not the same, Time Shift comes to mind here, but SINGULARITY stands head and shoulders above that game.
There's Akrid-like enemies too, those huge bugs from Lost Planet. Complete with glowing orange "shoot here" weak spots! Thus far I have only fought one gigantic one, but it seems to have dropped tons of mini me's all over the underground tunnels on the island, and those little fucks are some of the most frustrating encounters in the game! The best part is the Half-Life like puzzles that crop up now and then, blocking the players progress. I can't get enough of any game that presents these little mind benders, and I wish more games incorperated them.
As far a a challenge is concerned, I did start on Hard difficulty which I normally reserve for my military shooters but since reading up on this I noted many comments that it was not that hard. Much of the reason I feel it the TMD itself gives the player so many options to fight the enemies whether they are the creatures on the island or the military like mercs that are there to take you out. It seems that once you are armed well enough and have fully upgraded the TMD and know how to use it properly, each scenerio has a definitive way of conquering it. I like that. Each battle presents almost a puzzle like feel as the player tries to search out the best means of advancing.
I don't know how long the game is and honestly I am not a good resource for that kind of info as I tend to take alot of breaks while playing with the game running so any in-game timers would be irrelevant though this title doesn't have one that I am aware of. Maybe once complete it will show the total play time but like I said, that info is not reliable. Many have said it is your typical FPS 10 hour game, but I really find that hard to buy as I swear anytime people say that shit I am way past that timeframe and the end usually isn't in sight. I have over ten hours invested already, and another ten would be most welcomed! Either way, I am a happy gamer with a new release that came from out of nowhere and landed in my top 10.
(Blogger spell check missing? What the fuck I need that you know!)