Singularity is a first-person shooter developed by Raven Software, creators of Marvel Ultimate Alliance and co-creators of Quake 4, which is also published by Activison. The game takes place during both the past and present, hurling you back and forth between the 1950's and present day, with the main story being focused on the Cold War and some of the secrets that the Soviet Union had been hiding from the rest of the world. The biggest secret of all turns out to be time manipulation, the game's selling point, which was discovered on the remote Soviet island of Katorga-12. The game has many aspects of a first person shooter, including puzzles that you must use your abilities to solve, and aging and renewing items either organic or non-organic, while also bringing in "old-school" shooter elements such as non-regenerating health and med kits that the player has to pick up throughout the levels.
In the year 1950, the leader of the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin, is looking for a weapon to give him a military edge over the United States. Stalin finds what he hopes is that weapon, a mysterious new material named Element 99, found on a mysterious island named Katorga-12. Element 99 could produce an unprecedented amount of energy. The new element possessed a grave risk of contamination, but Stalin was willing to take those risks. Stalin orders that investigations and tests be conducted on the new power source. One of the scientists charged with investigating the element was a man named Barisov. On September 21, 1950, Barisov abandoned all safety protocols and
activated an Element 99 device which lead to some sort of catastrophic event that consumed the entire island. Information about the island is ordered to be buried and erased from memory by the Soviet leaders.
The island was all but lost for 50 years until 2010 when an American satellite scans and discovers massive radiation spikes originating from the island. With nothing but a suspicion and radiation readings Titan One sends Captains Devlin and Renko to the island on a reconnaissance mission. Flying into restricted airspace the recon chopper is hit by an E.M.P flinging Devlin into the ocean and crashing Captain Renko on the abandoned dock of Katorga-12
At the beginning of the story in Singularity, the player finds himself in the shoes of Nathaniel Renko, a U.S. black ops soldier who has been sent with his partner James Devlin to investigate the mysterious Katorga-12. The CIA have recently found strange signals coming from it. As the chopper circles the island, it crashes on the edge of the island after a mysterious release of energy. After Renko recovers from the crash, he quickly proceeds to regroup with Devlin in a nearby abandoned school.
However, as he travels through the island, Renko suddenly gets caught in a time paradox that sends him to a burning building on Katorga in the 1950s as a mysterious catastrophe shakes the island. As Renko proceeds through the building, he finds a man hanging on the brink of death in the fire, and quickly proceeds to rescue him. When Renko returns to the present, he realizes that something has changed, since the island becomes filled with statues and iconography of the man he rescued.
After reuniting with Devlin, Renko is ambushed by a huge force of modern Russian spetsnaz. With fire being opened upon them, Renko and Devlin try to escape, but nonetheless get captured and are confronted by a mysterious Russian general. After a short meeting with him, Devlin winds up dead, since the general personally shoots him, and Renko gets rescued by a woman named Kathryn Norvikova.
Katheryn sheds some light on what's going on, saying she works for a group named Mir 12, and explains to Renko that Russia gained a colossal military superiority over everyone else in the Cold War after discovering the mysterious mineral E99 on Katorga. Using E99 powered weapons on the battlefield, the Soviet Union quickly took over the world, led by Doctor Demichev, a key figure who operated on Katorga 12 in the 50s. Katherine informs you that he was helped by Doctor Barisov, a man with good intents who was the only one capable of stopping Demichev, but was shot by the latter during the fall of Katorga. In order to save Barisov from his death in the past, Katherine sends you to find the TMD, or the Time Manipulation Device, which is capable of rewinding time and is possibly the most fierce weapon ever invented.
Upon finding the TMD, Renko quickly proceeds to meet up with Barisov in the 50s, and rescue him from his death by Demichev's hands. Upon meeting Demichev, Renko recognizes that Demichev looks vaguely like the man he rescued in the burning building, but pays little attention to that fact. After rescuing Doctor Barisov, Renko then travels backwards and forwards through time under Barisov's and Katherine's instructions. Although Renko continues discovering more and more grizzly details of the catastrophe that took place on Katorga, his main objective is to find and arm the E99 bomb, a weapon of mass destruction that Barisov believes will wipe Katorga from existence before the utilization of E99 for Demichev's needs to take over the world.
After spending most of the game preparing the bomb, Renko then places it in the center of Katorga in the building that is producing the Singularity, the disruption of time that is responsible for all the anomalies on the island, as well as the catastrophe that took place in the 50s. However, upon placing the bomb, Renko finds that it simply disappears without causing any damage, at which point Demichev finally catches up to you and attempts to kill you and Barisov. He tells you that no matter how many times Renko and Barisov attempted to stop the Singularity, they failed every time, since Demichev has been rescued by Renko from death in a burning building in one of the time lines, allowing him to continue keeping the Singularity alive.
As a result, in the end, Renko has the choice to kill Demichev, travel back in time to the flaming building, and kill his other self that is rescuing Demichev in order to ensure the Singularity never happens. If the player chooses that course of action, he finds himself living in an idealistic Soviet society that still has taken over the world, but is instead led by the noble ideas of Doctor Barisov.
Another option is to shoot Barisov, and then be bestowed all the gifts promised to you by Demichev as a reward. This ending shows Renko leading Demichev's fearless troops across the world, with the TMD in your hand making you the most powerful soldier on the battlefield. However, as you continue getting power, a chasm develops between you and Demichev, and by the end, two Soviet factions appear on the verge on conflict: one in the United States led by Demichev, and another in Russia led by Renko. As a result, the world finds itself on the brink of another Cold War.
In the final ending option, you can kill both men, and leave, mysteriously disappearing. The deaths of both potential leaders for the Soviet empire cause it to collapse into hundreds of warring states, leading the world into anarchy as chaos ensues worldwide. The ending concludes with an implication that someone is trying to restore the American White House, and potentially trying to re-create the country.
Singularity is a linear first person shooter that has players traversing through a destroyed Katorga-12 in the year 2010, periodically traveling through time to a 1950s state of the island, specifically when everything began to fall apart. Players do battle against Soviet troops from the present and past as well as mutated creatures, the aftermath of the cataclysmic event. A variety of weapons are available, from the standard assault rifle and shotgun to more unique weaponry such as the Seeker, a semi automatic rifle that allows the player to guide each bullet to a target. Throughout the game the player can upgrade their weapons and TMD device.
The collapse of the Katorga-12 operation in the 1950s has led to random time warps and rifts that occur throughout the island. With these, the player will be forced into or voluntarily enter the 1950s and back respectively. After acquiring the hand-mounted TMD device, the player can manipulate objects, the environment, and enemies by aging or reverting them. For example, a broken staircase can be mended by warping it back to its 1950s state, enemies can be killed by aging them into dust, and more.
Similar to Bioshock, the player can learn more about what happened to Katorga-12 by listening to audio logs left behind by its inhabitants and researchers. However, these audio logs cannot be picked up, so the player must stand near them to hear it.
Six round revolver that does small damage despite shooting E99 slugs. To get the 20 kills achievement, it is recommended to rack up as many of them at the beginning on easy when fighting the mutants. Upgrading it is generally inadvisable, since there are far more powerful weapons that are worth upgrading.
The standard assault rifle found on Katorga 12, and carried by most of the enemy forces you encounter. Fits 30 bullets per magazine and has a useful red-dot sight. Generally recommended to upgrade, seeing as to it is easy to scavenge ammo for it, and it becomes absolutely deadly in the later stages of the game.
Automatic shotgun that is deadly on close ranges. While it is generally less useful against soldiers (since you have to come up to them before shooting), it is deadly against most of the mutants, who usually close in for a close combat attack. Since it brings down even the toughest enemies (excluding bosses) in 2-3 shots, it is generally inadvisable to upgrade it. Becomes even more useless after acquiring the autocannon.
The main sniper rifle in the game that is also capable of slowing down time. It can be noted that the rifle does more damage when time is slowed down. Generally, while the sniper rifle is not particularly useful in most shootouts, it is worth considering upgrading because of the high amounts of damage it causes, which can be useful against the more powerful enemies.
If bluntly described, it is in essence a minigun. Found towards the middle of the game, it is advised to exploit it as much as possible for the rest of the trip, since it is similar in behavior to the Valkyrie, but has a much larger magazine and does far more damage upon upgrade. Highly advised to prioritize when distributing tech points.
Generally, very powerful railgun that deals large amounts of damage. Particularly useful, since it highlights the heat signatures of all enemies in dark areas, but has a large disadvantage in the fact that it
takes a small amount of time to charge upon before shooting. Generally, similarly to the Kasimov, it is not generally advised to upgrade the Spikshot before some other guns, seeing as to the fact that is has a very specific use. However, the one hit kill for most enemies could be a strong bargain.
Special purpose explosive/grenade launcher. It can either act as a typical grenade launcher with a large magazine, it also deploys a bomb that could be controlled manually. Generally inadvisable to upgrade, since it is very hard to find ammo for it, and because the special guided bomb ability is rarely used due to intensity of the combat.
A highly powerful gun that shoots one bullet at a time, but it is a one hit kill for all enemies other than bosses. Due to the fact that the bullet is explosive, it deals massive damage to everyone. What makes it even more devastating on the battlefield, is the fact that you can control the trajectory of every bullet from third person view, assuring you can kill enemies hiding behind cover. Due to the amount of damage it does, it cannot be upgraded, and can only be used in certain parts of the game.
All The RLS-7 can only be picked up from fallen enemies, and then be used only for a couple shots. Acting as a typical rocket launcher, it does colossal amounts of damage, but has very scarce ammunition and takes a long time to re-load. Cannot be upgraded. weapons except the Seeker and the Rocket Launcher may be upgraded through the player's weapon locker using found weapon tech. It should also be noted that the Seeker and the Rocket Launcher are not available in the player's weapon locker.
- Age/Renew - Probably the most necessary mechanic in the game, at least for the puzzles. This gives the player the ability to age/crush/destroy certain objects in the environment, or bring them back to a pristine state. The player can also age enemies to dust with this ability.
- Impulse - As soon as the player obtains the TMD, this ability replaces the player's knife as melee. Knocks back enemies and instantly kills weaker enemies.
- Grav Manipulation - Allows the player to catch/pickup/throw/put-down certain objects in the environment. One can also steal shields for enemies using this ability. Essentially this game's version of the Gravity Gun
- Deadlock - Creates a bubble in which time practically stops. While the bubble expires in a fairly short amount of time, this ability can break the game if used too often.
- Reversion - Turns late-game enemies into blind, vomiting, vicious monsters who attack anything that makes noise. Age them once more to turn them into walking bombs.
All of these powers use E99 energy, although some (Age on an enemy, Reversion, Impulse) consume far more resources than others.
The game features two multiplayer game types: Extermination and Monsters vs. Soldiers. Multiplayer is class-based. Two rounds make up a match.
Extermination features a team of soldiers who must renew beacons and defend them for 20 seconds. The other team, the monsters, must stop them. There is a time limit of five minutes per beacon. 3 beacons make the match.
Monsters vs. Soldiers is essentially team death match which features a team of soldiers vs. a team of monster.
- Blitzer - The Blitzer has the ability to teleport short distances at cost of E99 energy. Not only does this allow for use of shortcuts and passages that would otherwise be unusable, but it can also be a powerful weapon as teleporting into an enemy usually results in an instant kill.
- Bruiser - The Bruiser is able to use the Impulse ability. Great for those pesky Phase Ticks!
- Healer - The Healer has the ability to heal others (and thusly, heal himself). A great support character.
- Lurker - The Lurker has access to the shield ability. The shield ability absorbs a percentage of damage and, if the player stands still while the ability is active, they will be granted temporary "invisibility".
All soldiers also have access to the Centurion and one other weapon of the player's choice that is chosen through the loadout screen.
- Revert - A slow monster, but a powerhouse. Melee strength is high. Has the ability to vomit on enemies to damage them and slow them down (or vomit on friendlies to heal them), lay down 2 bile mines at a time.
- Zek - A quick, sneaky monster. Has the ability to spawn explosive barrels to throw at enemies, temporarily go invisible/invulnerable, execute a powerful ground stomp.
- Radion - Tank of the monster team. An arachnid-like creature with heavy armor on the front of its body. Can fire powerful fire balls and bouncing spikes.
- Phase Tick - A weak monster with great potential. Can hop onto enemies and possess them. Also can detonate torso to kill enemies (without necessarily killing oneself).
PC System Requirements
- Operating System: Windows® XP/Vista/Windows 7 (Does not support Windows 2000)
- Processor: Intel Dual Core 2.8 GHz or AMD Ahtlon 64 x2 Dual-Core 4800 or better
- RAM Memory: 1 GB for XP, 2 GB for Vista/Win7
- Graphics Card: 3D hardware accelerator card required - 100% DirectX® 9.0c-compliant 256 MB video card and drivers*
- DirectX®: DirectX® 9.0c (Included)
- Hard Drive: 8GB of uncompressed hard disk space (plus 400 MB for the Windows® swap file and 12 KB free for saved games)
- Sound Card: 100% DirectX® 9.0c-compliant true 16-bit sound card and drivers
- Other Requirements: A 100% Windows® XP/Vista/Windows 7-compatible computer system
- Keyboard/Mouse:100% Windows® XP/Vista/Windows 7-compatible mouse, keyboard and drivers
*Supported Chipsets for Windows® XP/Vista/Windows 7
- All NVIDIA® GeForce® 8800 GT 256 MB RAM and better chipsets (excluding 9400 cards)
- All ATI Radeon™ X1800 256 MB RAM and better (excludes X1800 GTO, HD2400, HD2600, and HD3450)
- Motherboard integrated video chipsets not supported