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Most overrated game of 2010: Singularity

I’ve been reading a lot of gaming blogs this year and if there is one game that has gotten waaaaaay too much hype, it’s Singularity. Weirdly enough, it began as an under the radar game because Activision stripped it completely of promotion budget. Then as the year went on people started a word of mouth type of movement, saying that it’s the most underrated game of the year. It took on, in my opinion at least, gigantic proportions, leading to a hype campaign that made the game impossible to still be under the radar. It turned into sheer hype.

Since the game doesn’t deserve that hype, it has became overrated. Vastly so. And let me tell you why.

It’s just not that good. It’s not bad, but it’s definitely not very good. It’s mediocre in almost every way.

– The graphics are bland and dated. It’s gray spliced with some gray and then some more gray. You also have some brown in there. The geometry reminds me of ooooooold shooters and the character models are just… you get the picture.

– The sound didn’t do anything for me in my surround system and the voice actors are pitifully stereotypical.

– The writing is a joke because it’s all over the place. It’s like the game can’t decide if it’s going with a poignant and serious tone or if it’s a comedy. The narrative is also all over the place, because the audio diaries that are there try to emulate what’s been done several times before in the System Shock and BioShock games, but they fail horribly. Singularity doesn’t have any explorative freedom, which was what made the audio diaries so eerie in those games. It’s not used in the same smart way in Singularity.

– The weapons are, with one exception, incredibly boring. The Seeker was an interesting take on the sniper rifle, but the rest of them were so meh I don’t even know where to begin. The setting is a research paradise turned bad, so the potential for all sorts of interesting and creative weapons was definitely there, but Raven Software pissed that opportunity away.

– The enemies are annoying and, with one exception, don’t take advantage of the time travel aspect of the game. That makes the collection of enemies boring and bland.

– The Time Manipulation Device (TMD) is the selling point of the game and it’s woefully underused. You use it, alright, and you use it often, but that’s not what I mean. It’s just another weapon for you. You point at enemies and hyper-age them to death. People will say that “oh, but you use it for puzzles as well!” but fuck you all if you bring that up. Fixing a broken staircase doesn’t count. The idea of time manipulation isn’t used properly. It never wows me and it never really makes me think out of the box. That’s what it should do if it’s a goddamn selling point for the game. The TMD just becomes your fallback plan if you’re low on ammo or something. You shoot two or three enemies and there’s a bit of pressure on you, so instead of reloading the rifle, which would take some time, you resort to your make-enemies-older-by-pointing-at-them device so you get some breathing space. It’s just not used properly.

Bottom line, it’s merely an okay game, not the blow-your-socks-off game of 2010. I get that Activision and Bobby Kotick killed all the promotion for the game and that made it kind of come out of nowhere, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the best surprise of 2011. A game on the level of Army of Two doesn’t get that distinction. It’s full of broken promises and mediocrity. It had so much potential that it didn’t use, instead leaving it to be boring and bland. People compare it to BioShock all the time and the people who do that are all stupid, or they just have a very bleak memory of BioShock. BioShock was a narrative masterpiece, the weapons were creative, the plasmids were creative, Rapture was a masterfully created character in itself, you were actually scared of the big daddies and the twists and turns of the storyline were awesome. Singularity doesn’t have ANYTHING that comes to the level of BioShock. Nothing. In fact, Bioshock looks and plays better than Singularity and it’s a game that is several years older.

So stop promoting this game, saying that people should play it. It’s bland and boring and it’s a waste of time. The only reason I played it was because I wanted to get something for what I paid for it.

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