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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  1. negativedge says:

    This is more or less everything wrong with modern game design.

  2. MonkeyMonster says:

    So basically its changing rooms/worlds with a gun… You gotta get in quick – upgrade the decor and run out without being killed :)

  3. Optimaximal says:

    I was originally under the impression that you only had your time hand and possibly a pistol, thereby requiring clever use of the mechanic.

    In the middle of the film, he stood toe-to-toe with a bad guy and emptied a clip into it – I lost interest.

  4. DMJ says:

    Interest level – Hmm. Nah.

    There’s a lot of discussion about gimmicks in this comment thread, so here’s my take. A gimmick is something added to be a bullet point on the back of the box. Generally it is useful once or twice, and either disappointingly irrelevant, or annoyingly and artificially repetitive. I think if the game could be rewritten omitting the feature without losing its heart, it’s a gimmick. Take out the time-warping “stasis” feature from Dead Space, and it doesn’t lose much. Take “bullet time” out of Max Payne and you amputate the game’s soul.

  5. PC Monster says:

    …Aaaaand that’s my fears about another Raven shooter all realised with one short video. Raven, bless ‘em, simply cannot produce quality above ‘good’. Id are the geniuses and innovators: Raven were always the lucky lapdogs who got to play with Id tech, were competent in their own right and were skilled enough to not make a bad game but consistently failed to reach Id’s level. SOFII was perhaps their finest hour but I predicted in an earlier thread – and now see – that despite the clever theme and interesting premise, this shooter looks to be Just Another FPS with an interesting, but ultimately hollow, twist.

    But let’s not judge too harshly until release: perhaps later previews will demonstrate a little more imagination and fundamental gaming opportunities than the copy/paste scripted events we saw here.

  6. Jacques says:

    Half Life 2 was filled with scripted events and repetitive puzzles (see-saws by the sea shore anyone?) and yet it is one of the most highly praised games. The AI was static, the guns were generic, the environments felt drab, but it was still a good game, hell, a great game. We got short bits of story and dialog (which were much better done than most today and of its time) fed between firefights and explorations to lead to firefights. The gravity gun was interesting, but wasn’t totally original, or completely un gimmicky. I could have done most of the things the gravity gun could do in Deus Ex with the muscle aug, albiet physics was lacking and you could stack boxes on their corners and they never fell over.

    The Singularity device will of course only affect certain objects, creating age states for every bit of scenery in the game world would fill several blue ray disks and require a lot of resources (see: Crysis, but even more demanding). It’s disappointing, yes, but its also disappointing in HL2 that I can chuck giant saw blades, conveintly placed around me, at zombies, and they only ever dismember at the torso, no matter where I shoot them. Also, the gravity guns inconsitency in being able to life objects. A person weighs between 110-250 lbs, a collection of short “I” beams weighs about 100lbs or more, so why can I lift the latter all I want and not the former at all? There are no degrees of lifting, only can and cannot. Also it can’t affect a good majority of the game world, like the singularity device.

    This is a trailer meant to show off a feature, what do you want? We saw the same thing with an early super gravity gun trailer for HL2: Episode 1, but I didn’t hear any crap about how gimmicky it was.

    Portal is probably the most open device, because it doesn’t alter the environment, it adds a doorway to another place within it. Theoretically you could remove its limitations on relfective objects and be able to use it on anything short of a moving surface/ person/ small object, all of which have problems being projected upon by a portal which shows an instance of the world at the other end.

    Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
    best star wars game to date
    made by Raven

    counterpoint
    Jedi Knight III: Jedi Academy
    not the best star wars game to date
    also made by Raven

    you win some, you loose some, ball keeps spinning

    Note:
    Portal was drawn from narbacular drop

  7. PC Monster says:

    “Half Life 2 was filled with scripted events and repetitive puzzles (see-saws by the sea shore anyone?) and yet it is one of the most highly praised games.”

    Not by me. It’s also ‘good’ rather than ‘great’. Valve’s second outing has failings galore, the gravity gun being one of them, as you’ve explained. Being forced to lob explosive balls at Striders in the second expansion and then having to whip out a pistol and shoot at them to make them asplode was also really infuriating and made little sense to me: it was just a pale excuse to bring the awkward gravity gun to the fore again and felt like one more instance where the workings of the game were laid bare, shattering the illusion of Gordon’s world.

    I’ll take your point about Jedi Outcast though – I’d forgotten that one was theirs. Perhaps I was a touch harsh.

  8. Jacques says:

    My post isn’t soley directed at you, but at the many people sighting “GIMMICK!” “GIMMICK!” You appear to simply not like new game mechanics unless their perfect. In which case, good luck on your search.

    Albeit, I’ll hand it to you that the strider busters didn’t make much sense, but neither did a military grade SMG being inaccurate enough to miss a human target at 10 feet shooting distance. However it did play alot better than the SMG (M something in HL2) and the end fight came out better for it. Gordon’s imaginary world was broken for me as soon as I looked down and saw no feet, no legs, no torso, and when I stare into the water, an antlion’s reflection splashing next to me, I can’t see anything but the water and the environment it reflects. And the shotgun was far more effective at detonating the strider busters, it takes so little damage to set one off… but I get what you’re saying.

    Despite the gravity gun not working up to spec, it was fun for me, particularly setting zombies on fire. Sure it had flaws, but it still functioned.

  9. Jetsetlemming says:

    That trailer did nothing for me.