To be fair, this isn’t Modern Warfare, or Gears of War, or any other huge title with budgets in the tens of millions of dollars, and I want to point out that I am really looking forward to what Raven Software comes up with next, because the storytelling and the basic execution of the game was excellent. All of that being said, Singularity’s greatest weakness are graphics that are, at best, average. Some textures are noticeably grainy, like something out of an N64 game, and while this is rare it certainly happened enough to be distracting. The character model for Kathryn has eyes so big as to resemble Katy Perry on methamphetamine and articulation so poor as to be, well, noticeably bad. As a gamer, wondering whether or not someone’s head and neck could really move that way really takes me out of the experience and bursts my gaming bubble. That’s such a shame because so much of Singularity is about building that atmosphere and submerging you in that experience, and on those notes they do a great job, but all it takes is one poorly textured wall or one strange contortionist move, and all that world-building just comes tumbling down.
Textures on multiplayer, and the multiplayer itself, were extremely disappointing. Playing as a large green spider creature, it took nearly three minutes for the texture on my creature to load; that wasn’t typical, but it’s another example of a lack of visual polish that runs throughout the game. There are only two modes, one a variation on team deathmatch and another essentially a control point battle, that utilize humans vs. monsters teams, each with five different classes. I had some problems finding games and some texture issues, and generally had an underwhelming multiplayer experience.
That being said, Singularity isn’t about multiplayer. It’s about delivering a white-knuckle sci-fi experience peppered with some time-bending puzzles, and it delivers. Were there texture issues? Absolutely, but that didn’t stop me from being startled and thrilled and excited by this game in a way that I haven’t been since the original F.E.A.R. or Half-Life 2. Singularity is a rich experience in a poor game’s clothes, and if you’re the kind of gamer that only cares about graphics, you’re not going to be terribly impressed. If you’re the kind of gamer who’s looking for a game with an interesting plot with a theatrical flair, play Singularity.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Singularity is a great game, with good ideas, wrapped in mediocre visuals. Raven Software is a studio to watch, and hopefully we'll watch them get a bigger budget.
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