(Activision for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
If you’re gonna borrow, borrow from the best. Singularity, an atmospheric first-person shooter from Raven Software, isn’t too subtle with its nods to BioShock and Half-Life 2, with a gravity gun, hip female sidekick, and omnipresent audio logs among its many cribs. There are no better games to emulate if you seek to create a true sense of place and dread, though, so while it may feel a little familiar at times, Singularity does a great job of putting the player in the shoes of the protagonist, who must manipulate time on a remote island to stop evil Russians from triggering a catastrophic event. Where it improves on its predecessors is its gunplay, which builds on the complex, satisfying combat of Raven’s reboot of Wolfenstein last year. In addition to your standard weapons, you have a creative arsenal of guns with manually guided bullets and grenades as well as time-manipulation powers that allow you to freeze time or rapidly age enemies into dust and bones. The game feels much more assured with these layered battle scenarios and boss battles than it does with its storytelling, so play through at a brisk pace and don’t worry if you miss a note or expository film along the way – the next firefight is right around the corner.