Fight The Signs Of Ageing, With Singularity

By Jim Rossignol on April 28th, 2009 at 8:42 am.


A glove that can de-age things. Imagine what the Loreal face-scientists could do with that. Somehow, though, this is not a piece of cosmetics technology, but an item of military hardware in the hands of the protagonist of Raven’s forthcoming shooter, Singularity. In fact, de-ageing stuff is central to the hook of the game. We all thought it was about time travelling, but that’s not the whole story. The trailer beneath the cut shows our singular hero fixing decayed cover and bring a tree back to life. Not in that Okami way, but in very much an inevitable-physics-death-for-masked-enemies way. Go see for yourself.

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59 Comments »

  1. Gap Gen says:

    Bringing a Soviet-era military installation back to life: Because you’re worth it?

  2. espy says:

    It has a weapon that bends time, shoots plasma and is a gravity gun? It must be better than Half Life 2!

    Bit sceptical.

  3. Babs says:

    Looks pretty bland to me. And the de-aging in the trailer made it look like a completely pointless gimmick.

  4. Steve says:

    As long as they can keep throwing original puzzles at you and not fall back to the same ones time-and-time again then this has the potential to be a pretty interesting game.

  5. bansama says:

    Hate to say it, but I’m not impressed so far.

  6. Aubrey says:

    If you can’t turn back time on baddies, until they’re babies and then drop kick them into bins: no sale.

  7. Wedge says:

    Yeeeeah, can pretty much guarantee every use of this mechanic will be highly scripted and entirely telegraphed. Soooo, basically Time Shift 2? Which was not that bad a game actually, worth the $2.50 I paid for it at least.

  8. Mungrul says:

    Huh, I’ve just realised something. Singularity is being made by Raven, who traditionally have had strong ties to id, yet it’s an Unreal Engine 3 game.
    Go figure.

  9. DSX says:

    Gotta agree with Aubrey, an enemy suddenly 5 years old in floppy adult clothes clutching an MG would be priceless. And easy to shoot.

  10. Theoban says:

    I wonder if you could do this with your weapons

    “Oh no I’m out of ammo! I know, I’ll regress my gun to a time when it had bullets!”
    *SHAZAM*
    “Mmmmm lovely bullets.”

  11. MonkeyMonster says:

    Hmmm, from the trailer before I had thought it look interesting but as others have pointed out its now lookin a bit – oh look another broken gun blocking thing, I’l repair it and move forward another few metres…
    That and a bloke with an automatic rifle/sub machinegun from 2-3 metres away on full auto v you with a pistol and nowt in between you.
    I suspect it will be entertaining in bits – at least to try and do levels the “wrong” way in comedy stylee.

  12. Subject 706 says:

    A little bit too much of “me to” in this. Seems like they have tried to tack on all the stand out mechanics of recent years. FPS devs should concentrate more on making the actual gunplay feel god imho, instead of focusing on gimmicks.

  13. Optimaximal says:

    Based on the PCZone preview a few months back, yes, you can age or de-age bad guys, although they don’t turn into babies (because that would ire the censors)

  14. Gap Gen says:

    Dead Space allowed you to dropkick zombie babies across the room, though.

  15. Spliter says:

    Uh… I have to say that my expectations were a bit higher for the de-aging…
    oh, by the way:
    Oh look! it’s a gravity HAND! it’s so original! +_+
    It looks like they we trying to rip Half Life 2 and TimeShift but got distracted halfway through with jiggling key chain.
    I hate when a game mechanic is used so synthetically it has to be scripted and then repeated throughout the game to give it any value, even if it’s completely obsolete.

  16. Leman says:

    I’ve always kinda enjoyed the output of Raven. They make great shooters with really solid core mechanics, they might not be bright sparkling lights of originality but they are fun while they last.

    Im still kinda looking forward to this, it can’t be worse than Timeshift, mainly because its set on a Russian Island somewhere, which is always a plus point.

  17. A:\Big.bat says:

    I’m having trouble getting over how generic this looks.

  18. Dezro says:

    If you can kill a guy, bring him back to life, then kill him again, I’m sold.

  19. Bhazor says:

    Did I just see a barrel that explodes?
    Well I’m Sold!

    But seriously it looks like great dumb fun. I been wanting me some of that ever since I finsihed Painkiller. Bring it.

    Fuggin bring it.

  20. SirKicksalot says:

    Raven = instabuy

    Also, Timeshift is awesome.

  21. Darth says:

    Its the gravity gun with a gimic, then?

  22. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    So you just keep shooting until there is too much shooting you, then you look for something that looks like its dead or broken, you restore it to its original state, and continue shooting. fun…. >_>

  23. SirKicksalot says:

    Better than just shooting like in many other AAA titles.

  24. Malagate says:

    @Dezro, I agree with that sentiment. The best part, for me, of the first Soul Reaver was the ability to impale vampires so that they die, and then pulling out the weapon so that the vampire comes back to life! A detail that made me smile, there’s not many (if any) other vampire based games I can think of where you can do this, even Legacy of Kain sequals I don’t think you can do it.

  25. tekDragon says:

    Geez… didnt I do that exact same sniper sequence in HL2 multiple times?

  26. yutt says:

    New idea (Portal, Braid, Prototype) = gimmick
    Improving old ideas (Dead Space, Demigod) = rehash, stealing, rip-off

    I love gamers. It is like you’re programmed with canned negative responses.

  27. BooleanBob says:

    This comment thread is everything I read RPS for.

    <3

  28. Lack_26 says:

    I hope that there are some decent puzzles, but more so, I hope that everything can be ‘de-aged’, say, rusting paint on a wall becomes fresh again.

    Could make fights more interesting. You walk into a area, completely derelict, by the end of the fight it’s half ultra-new with pieces of crap bits still littering the area.

  29. Aubrey says:

    nice one yutt.

    There’s a difference between good innovation and under-explored/developed innovation, though. Prey had portals in, but it took Portal to genuinely revel in the mechanic, and exploring them fully.

    Will Singularity fully indulge in its own mechanics, or just dip its toes? Because so far, I’m just seeing a tool to change the states of objects in one-off (albeit gleeful) ways. Will that link into other systems properly? Will it create a dynamic range of possibilities? Or will every interaction just feel like a one-off solution to a combat puzzle?

    Knowing raven, it’ll be a decent shooter at its core. I suspect they won’t be able to fully explore the implications and affordances of their mechanics (for reasons exactly like the rewind-to-baby idea being way too censorable, or just because they may not have the resources to fully explore it freely).

  30. yutt says:

    That’s fair Aubrey, but the responses are basically knee-jerk reactions to a single out-of-context video. Half-Life 2′s gravity gun had the same gimmicky quality, but it had fun uses and didn’t tarnish the totality of the Half-Life 2 experience.

    I feel that gamers are far too ravenous to find minor quibbles from marketing movies and screenshots so they can criticize.

  31. l1ddl3monkey says:

    I’ve enjoyed most of Raven’s output over the years so am prepared to give this a try. Not sure about the magic hand gimmick but their shooters are normally solid enough that I’ll play them for the gunfights. If only they’d make another decent SOF game like SOFII – still some of my most favourite gunfights ever in a game.

  32. Jeremy says:

    I’m not sure you can condemn this game for having a “gimmick”. Every video game in the history of all video games has had a gimmick, either borrowed or created. I’m sure this will spawn all sorts of “but not this game” comments.

    For me, being able to revive a tree and have it fling a train car.. well, that ranks as a pretty awesome gimmick to me. Also, considering that this little vid was probably made with the goal of showing off that gimmick, I would say it is successful in its aim.

    Until then, I’ll do the unimaginable. Not make a snap judgment based on 1 minute and 9 seconds of video.

  33. Dave says:

    Looks like potentially a good time to me.

  34. Erlam says:

    I’m trying my best to not imagine what people will do to female characters via the ‘de-aging’ ability.

    The game itself looks pretty interesting. Yes, the abilities look somewhat scripted, but if you claim to like Half-Life 2 at all, you can’t bitch about that.

  35. army of none says:

    Feh… could be cool, but looks pretty generic.If they put in a crapton of the turning back time and let me use it on whatever I want instead of just using it to trigger some set pieces, I’ll consider it.

  36. Nick says:

    I pretty much never used the gravity gun in HL2 unless I was forced too.. I didn’t like it. Shun me.

  37. Hulk Hogan says:

    A game about ageing things would of interested me allot more, like causing a baddie to age until all that’s left is a pile of dust (THAT WAS ONCE A MAN! OH YEAH! HULKSTERS GOT IT!)

    You make money to buy more guns and ammo by making and ageing wine.
    Bonus mini game: Stalk Michael Jackson and instantly age children as he begins to make his move on them. Watch his angry reaction while safely hidden in a mailbox.

    HULK HOGAN JUST HULKED THIS GAME UP FOR YOU!!!

  38. Cingulairity says:

    What’s with the screenshot in the post? Is that some guy that exploded when thrown into a wall, guts all hanging out?

  39. JonFitt says:

    @Lack_26 “I hope that there are some decent puzzles, but more so, I hope that everything can be ‘de-aged’, say, rusting paint on a wall becomes fresh again.”

    That’s exactly what I thought. All I saw in the trailer was it used as a glorified switch to turn two identical broken walls into identical fixed walls, and trigger a lift/catapult contraption.
    It looks more like Prey’s fixed portals than Portal’s portal-mechanic.

  40. SirKicksalot says:

    I find it annoying how so many people mention Portal instead of Narbacular Drop when talking about this particular gimmick.

    It’s a bit of shame that Prey didn’t implement the original portals idea.

  41. Dr. Nerfball says:

    @ Sirkicksalot: I find it annoying that no-one mentions Timesplitters 3′s gravity hand when they think of gravity controlling gimmicks, seeing as it came before the gravity gun (or “the claw”) =P

  42. yutt says:

    The thing many gamers refuse to understand is, game design is based on iteration. Without Prey’s portals we might have never had Portal. Without Catacomb 3D, maybe we’d have never had Wolfenstein 3D and DOOM.

    Instead of criticizing new ideas, we should celebrate that new ideas have been made. They won’t be fully fleshed out in the first implementation, even in the best situation, but they are still worth having.

    Maybe I have too abstract of a view, but I see every game “gimmick” as an idea available for a talented future designer to fully flesh out.

  43. Hmm-hmm. says:

    I think what bothers many (me, at any rate) is not that it doesn’t look passably okay, but that it appears to be just that and nothing more. An ageing device could do a huge amount of things. As such, the suspicion that it’ll probably be a generic shooter with an ageing gimmick is somewhat.. downputting to me.

  44. Starky says:

    @ SirKicks, and Doc. Nerf
    There’s a good reason for that, both of those games sucked. N-Drop for good reason it was a low budget student thing to simply get the concept across – and thankfully it did; having gotten them all hired then going on to make the stunning game that is portal.
    Narbacular Drop (aside from having a stupid name) may have had the idea, but it was roughly hewn in clay. Portal was that concept done in marble and polished to a mirror.

    Timesplitters wasn’t a real gravity gun anyway, there were no real physics involved.

    @Yutt,
    Not just videogame design, but every kind of art medium, be it music, film, painting or even something as simple as dance.
    Someone has a small but good idea, someone else takes that expands it, stretches it, twists it, another then adds to it, another refines it, someone else splits it into 3 and combines it with something brand new.
    It’s how genres, styles, movements and era’s are born.

  45. Adventurous Putty says:

    POWER GLOVE!!!

  46. Lord_Mordja says:

    Well. You certainly know it’s in Russia because the Rs and Ns are backward.

  47. Ashbery76 says:

    Gimmick.

  48. Tei says:

    This looks like a BAD half-life2 mod. I hope the game is nothing like that. This video: Hype -100 points.

  49. Serondal says:

    This had so many typos ect that I just totally removed it. I’ve had 3 hours of sleep in the last 3 days so I’m just going to withdraw my comment.

  50. Tei says:

    Gravity Gun + Exploding barrels Doom