When I finally completed Singularity and saw its three endings, I still couldn’t put my finger on what exactly made this game such a financial failure. If you look solely at the game’s single-player campaign, you have here a fairly entertaining shooter that offers plenty of cool situations and tough challenges. The game’s TMD device is a lot of fun and when used efficiently, can be a true lifesaver.
Yes, there are some issues with the game. I addressed a few of my worries in part-one. The story, while interesting, never really got me hooked as I was hoping it would. There are tons of notes and audio recordings to find but you can completely skip them and not really miss any extra information. Reading or listening to stories of people complaining about their neighbours, talking to friends or explaining how they eventually died didn’t really do it for me. On the other hand, the idea of Russians developing a weapon by two men who have seemingly different ideas on how to harness its capabilities was pretty cool.
One problem I did find with the game was the audio. There are numerous situations where people are talking to you but their voices are overshadowed by the ambient sounds of the various things going on around you. In multiple occasions, you will be in a firefight while someone is trying to radio-in with information. In no point was I able to hear what was being said. Thankfully though, because Singularity is a fairly linear game, you actually aren’t being told anything that can drastically change the course of the game.
But, it would have been nice if there was an option to turn on subtitles. It’s odd that games like this, where there is a lot of action at key points, not to have the ability to have text on the screen. Perhaps this is a gripe that I have since I tend to play all video games with subtitles in order not to actually miss any dialogue. This is especially necessary if I can’t have the volume too high or if too much action is happening to hear what is being said.
The only real explanation for Singularity’s failure commercially has to be attributed to its release date. When originally released, it came out at the end of June. It is highly viewed and proven that games released between June 1 and Aug 15 (or whenever EA releases Madden NFL) tend to not sell as well as other times of the year. We know this because when it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, most people are outside or away from their homes. It’s very rare for games to end up being successful at this time of year. Yes, it does happen, but new properties like this have it tougher since they really do need the right marketing push to aid them.
Another factor might be the multiplayer. Being this late after the game’s release, it’s impossible to really have a meaningful match so I don’t even bother trying to jump into a game or create one in the hopes of playing with others. I doubt multiplayer was a factor in the game’s poor reception from consumers but it is still something some analysts consider.
Singularity is a strictly single storyline. Yes, there are three endings, each of which is drastically different than the other. But, you can see all three endings one after the other if you have about 15 minutes to spare replaying the game’s last sequence. Each ending is pretty interesting since they drastically alter the course of civilization. The only real downside is that it appears that one ending was clearly meant to be correct one as it contains an actual CG cutscene, whereas the other two use the same narration set-up scene at the beginning of the game which highlights the original existence of Katorga-12.
All three endings also pretty much wrap up the story and prevent a follow-up game from taking place which which could have been directly connected to this story. Of course, had this game been more successful, there would have been a way a writer could work with what was available and create a second story.
Fans of the shooter genre, especially those who don’t necessarily need to play multiplayer and that haven’t played Singularity, should. The story last about 5 hours, which is normal for genre. While the pacing wasn’t too my liking, if you enjoy “what-if” games where they make modifications to history, then you’ll appreciate the main plot. The TMD works really well and there are a lot of cool weapons. Of the various weapons available, my favorite was the Seeker, a devastating gun where you see your bullets travel, can alter its course and causes incredible damage.
Singularity is pretty easy to find and can be bought anywhere between 20-30 dollars. For that price, you really won’t be disappointed.