Essential? Singularity Videos Appear

By John Walker on February 13th, 2009 at 10:47 am.

Visit them before the FSB do.

We haven’t heard much of Raven’s new shooter, Singularity, since E3 last year when the first trailer appeared. Now a blaze of virally teasers are appearing, and while it’s not showing us any game footage, it’s making the thing seem damned interesting. We’ve got the latest stuff below, and they’re really good.

What’s known is that it’s a temporal shooter, set on a mysterious Russian island/scientific project called Katorga 12. It seems to move back and forth through time, between the 1950s and the present day. The Russians deny the island is anything other than an abandoned weather research facility, but a shadowy organisation called MIR-12 disagrees. Apparently you’ll have a device called the TMD (Time Manipulation Device) that will let you send enemies, objects, etc back and forth through time – a feature that’s planned for both combat and puzzle solving. But what’s perhaps most interesting at this point is how Raven appears to be trying to get itself killed.

The two faux-documentary video clips below, sourced from MIR-12 (whose blog is here, with many more hints and details, going so far as to create Flickr pages for characters), suggest that Russia is covering up terrible secrets, while including clips of Putin and other real-world elements. Guys, did you not hear about Litvinenko. What are you doing?!


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While Activision/Raven are being mysterious, this unofficial site, In Singularity is keeping track of all the news about the game. And inevitably there’s a Twitter feed for MIR-12.

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35 Comments »

  1. jamsarnie says:

    Hmmmm…On a secret island, moving through time. I wonder if there are any polar bears on this one?

  2. MeestaNob! says:

    Will this game have FMV sequences? I only ask because I’m getting some fun Red Alert vibes off of it from the whole soviet and time travel storyline thing. FMV would be icing on the cake.

  3. Nervous Little Tit says:

    Chocolate coloured pavement icing…

  4. Ian says:

    Liked them. :)

  5. QuantumGravitas says:

    Hmm, I hope the real Russians have a sense of humour about this…yeah, yeah, that whole zany sense of humour they’re famous for – erk!

    This looks great. In fact, the game itself looks totally awesome; I’d never heard about it until now and I have to say I’m pretty stoked. I’m a huge sucker for the russian dialect – Stalker was brilliant – and these vids do a great job of building the world behind it, despite the slightly gruyere-y, C&C vibe of the live action filming.

    My only concern is that Raven are making the game. Don’t get me wrong, they’re a good development house capable of making some good games, but have they ever released a true pedigree AAA title? My own personal feeling is that of all the games of theirs I played there has never been a truly great title from them. Then again if early impressions bear out hopefully this will be the first.

  6. RealHorrorshow says:

    Anything with Soviets is automatic win. They’re the Galactic Empire of real life, inoffensive baddies you can kinda root for.

  7. Down Rodeo says:

    I like it when companies do this… shows a bit of effort :)

  8. Punjab says:

    Has potential.

  9. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Apparently you’ll have a device called the TMD (Time Manipulation Device) that will let you send enemies, objects, etc back and forth through time – a feature that’s planned for both combat and puzzle solving.

    Cute, but I’m betting it’s not going to be a mind shattering experience. I’ll be (happilly) surprised it becomes anything more than an offshoot of Zelda puzzle mechanics – ie., sometimes so obvious as to become trivial.

    Probably the thing I would most expect was to have the past influence the future in a more organic way. What are the odds that a present day special forces unit – let alone several of them – won’t alter the past significantly by virtue of their presence alone? Yet, I’m betting this won’t be something they’ll consider.

  10. Tworak says:

    Let me guess, health regen and/or shield regen? WOW CANNOT WAIT.

    Maybe Russia can solve our consoliation problems.

  11. l1ddl3monkey says:

    In soviet Russia shooter first persons you.

  12. CrashT says:

    I seem to have been hear little bits about this game from everywhere. I’ve always felt there’s a lot of great potential for time travel mechanics in a straight action game, I just hope this pulls it off better than TimeShift.

  13. Dan Harris says:

    Colour me excited.

  14. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i’d consider Soldier of Fortune and Elite Forces to be AAA

  15. Flint says:

    I’d consider Heretic 2 as AAA, personally.

    (I wish Raven would continue the Hexen series)

  16. Hentzau says:

    This is going to be one of those things where the advertising campaign turns out more interesting than the actual game, isn’t it.

  17. Xercies says:

    @Hentzau

    Probably, though these videos are very well done.

    @jamsarnie

    ha that’s what I was thinking as well.

    But yeah this game sounds interesting though the time travel could go a few ways, it could just be a plot device where you go into the island at one time go back and forward in time for the story and don’t have control over it. It could just be used for puzzles(door doesn’t open because locked, you go back in time to unlock the door by getting a key from the guard there and then go forward in time and find the door unlocked) or it could be like Timeshits time thing.

  18. hydra9 says:

    I’m also hoping (though doubting) that they’ll really make use of some interesting and challenging puzzle mechanics. Too often, games have the potential for great puzzles but squander that potential by making them almost embarrassingly easy (Prey). Hopefully the success of Portal has shown that puzzle elements that require a bit of brainwork aren’t going to turn the player off.

    What else? The videos and website are very well done and entertaining. Less good is a ‘behind the scenes’ clip of a developer showing cutscene storyboards. Oh look, the same old soldiers having to fight the same little bug enemies – that crawl towards you and explode!

  19. cyrenic says:

    I agree this ad campaign will probably be like Red Alert 3′s, better than the actual game. But, hey, at least we get to enjoy it without having to pay for anything :P.

  20. wyrmsine says:

    I wish Raven would continue the Hexen series

    Seconded. I remember Raven as the company who would make SP games out of the latest iD engines by adding, y’know, a story. I’m very curious about this.

  21. Rei Onryou says:

    Hmmmm…On a secret island, moving through time. I wonder if there are any polar bears on this one?

    Second video, last view moments. E99 or bear silhouette? *dramatic music*

  22. Pete says:

    All very cool if you ask me, they’re doing a great job on this backstory/viral stuff. Call me intrigued. Hope there’s gameplay to match.

  23. dhex says:

    for what it’s worth, timeshift is interesting as a pastiche of every fps from the last ten years or so.

  24. D says:

    Quite the elaborate viral here. I like the fact that a flickr picture of that yummy actress has been nominated for an award. TV network had a website shutdown: http://www.gbnc.tv/ Mir-12.com links to this russian gov. site: http://rncsa.ru and provides the username 12-X27739

    I’ve done some digging and this rncsa.ru server is not locally hosted at Raven, but at a proxy webhost (by http://www.rwgusa.com), otherwise I would have tried cracking it a bit to get its /host/auth (which contains the password).

    Now, I guess finding something else to do is probably the smart career move.

  25. John Walker says:

    “Let me guess, health regen and/or shield regen? WOW CANNOT WAIT.”

    I’ve never quite understood the point of making a prediction, not checking it out, and then being angry about the thing you just made up.

    The game is going to have a traditional health bar, and no shield regen.

  26. MadTinkerer says:

    Did anyone else immediately think of the Space Robots (“We are the Space Robots. We are here to protect you. We are here to protect you from the Terrible Secret of Space.”) When “We are Mir 12. We are here to reveal the truth.” was said?

  27. El Stevo says:

    Oooh, I really liked those.

  28. John Walker says:

    Is NO ONE going to appreciate my math nerd headline?

    I read stuff on Wikipedia that might as well have been in another language to make that joke. Man!

  29. Doc says:

    Read about this game in GameInformer here in the ‘States.

    The tools at your disposal sound interesting. Apparently you
    can use the TMD to rebuild what was once destroyed. This applies to broken boxes that you once used as cover, broken staircases… even retrieve data that was once on a chalkboard and then erased.

    You can do the same thing to your enemies, too. Placental reverts sound quite gruesome. :\

    Oh, and nice math joke, John. We appreciate you making such efforts.

  30. Pags says:

    I’ve never quite understood the point of making a prediction, not checking it out, and then being angry about the thing you just made up.

    Pfft, you’re probably gonna end up going back on this. I would read your future articles to make sure, but I’m just so angry with you I can’t bring myself to even read your words.

  31. Jeremy says:

    “Is NO ONE going to appreciate my math nerd headline?”

    We appreciate you, John. We just do it behind your back.

  32. DigitalSignalX says:

    Another game where we explore an island occupied by hostile socialist soldiers and physics altering events… hopefully climaxing in a boss-fight on the deck of an air craft carrier.

    Meanwhile, get your viral fix: http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=27450

  33. Slade05 says:

    I`m russian and I`m fine with this “empire of evil” trend since it grows from western inability to do anything but cry over Motherland`s forays lol.
    What really concerns me is that new raven game is made on bland UE3 instead of Carmack™ technology which is total automatic win and game just looks damn boring. Time puzzles were URRRRGH long before Timeshift; my guess is they slept through all that.

    Oh, and katorga means labour camp where one is thrown for crimes or dissident activity in pre-soviet Russia.

  34. Entropic says:

    ‘Placental reverts’? =/ What a lame cop-out. Turning enemies into helpless infants would’ve been cooler.

  35. Turtler says:

    Obviously, you have never been to Eastern Europe or Siberia.

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