Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

BR27- You Broke It You Reckoned It

Everybody loves busted Lust. All of the hugability, less of the angry smiting. And yelling. And pointyness. But less hair... Okay, maybe drunk Lust is more fun then.
Another phrase I'm rather fond of. There needs to be more “reckonings” of things. A reckoning of unholy plagues. A reckoning of asteroids. A reckoning of March savings at the mattress store.

There's also a new TWC voting image to start the week off right. Click the Greed voting link to improve your learnification! And notice we didn't say how close you could be so we're legally not culpable if you're an idiot and put it to the test. Seriously, don't do that.

Long, Gotta go back in time Review: Singularity- The time travel aspect of the story is really neat but like with just about anything time travel, the team got kind of lazy with wrapping it all up. The game never does anything with the parallel worlds you create. You have regular history, history B from saving a certain character, and then history C from killing a character, but every time you time jump, you always return to history B even though C totally negates B. The endings even completely ignore the most obvious solution to fixing things. So maybe that's the affect of creating parallel universes and divergent timelines: everybody gets dumb. But since the game tells most of the backstory through the thoroughly cliched and boring audio diaries and notes and you have scientists recording the same kind of fears and exposition the little kids are recording, maybe everybody in the game is already stupid. Singularity isn't really a complete game, it's more a mish-mash of moments from other, better games. You go from cliched boring military helicopter opening to extreeeeme Bioshock rip-off (seriously, everything from the font to sound-effects to the cartoony characters in film reels to the totally-not-ADAM item you collect to power up at the totally-not Gatherer's Gardens and the weapon upgrades that work exactly like they did in Bioshock) to FEAR rip-off to Wolfenstein rip-off to, of course, having a gravity gun. Outside of the severely under-utilized time devices, there's nothing new or interesting about the game. The guns are all the by-the-books standard pistol/machine gun/shotgun/heavy variants, you'll be able to pick out enemies that appeared in other games, set pieces are recycled, and objectives will be quite familiar. One minute you're fighting the teleporting ninjas from Wolfenstein and the next you're on an escort mission with in no way resembling a wannabe Alyx from Half-Life. It's probably one of the most in-your-face-scripted FPSs I've ever played. Everything from sending infinite swarms of enemies at you if you don't go where the game wants you to when it says so, to laughably bad enemy actions if you don't keep on the set path, to boring set pieces that you can call out what's going to happen just by how the room is set up. Everything is measured and doled out at exact times so you never have a sense of discovery or feel like you're doing it on your own. You can only use your time device on specific objects when the game says so, so there are only limited areas where you can take full advantage of the game's sole gimmick. The combat is horrible. The game just throws waves of enemies at you that soak up bullets but you die in two or three hits. The hit detection is awful as well. You can sidestep and jump away from a melee attack but still somehow be hit by it. Partly because enemies can change direction in mid-air, partly just crappy hit detection. And you have the tick rooms. Extremely small, extremely fast creatures that explode when they get near you, attack in swarms, and three are enough to kill you since they explode faster than you can use a med pack. For completely unexplained reasons, the “trick” to beating them is to your own time device to “age” one which causes it to swell and attack the others around it. Why? No part of that makes sense. Sadly, once you get to the game's last hour, it becomes super fun. You upgrade your device to no longer require energy so you can just go nuts with your time powers. You can create frozen time bubbles, hop in to shield yourself from attacks, fire your own bullets inside the bubble lined up with enemies, collapse the bubble, and then watch everybody drop dead and your bullets fly out. Combing melee and gun attacks and hopping in and out of frozen time lets you do some crazy things that could have set it apart from the scads of other shooters. During regular gameplay, you're so constrained by how little energy you have that having fun is wasteful. If they had given you free reign earlier, it would have been a much, much, much better game. Thanks to terrible design, what had a neat premise and could have been a lot of fun falls into the "just another FPS" category. If you're interested in the story, the game is super short so you can easily knock it out with a weekend rental.
Sins Committed: Bad controls, Bad action, Fake difficulty, Heavily scripted, Shameless rip-offs, Short
Virtues Acted: Fun gimmick, Good story, Dr. B totally looks like the Medic from Team Fortress 2 in the "good" ending and I want to see that crossover