You’ve got a weird device on your hand. It looks sort of like a stubby TV antenna, but when you point it at things and activate it, the target ages or gets younger, depending on which way the dial is turned. In Singularity, it’s the standout gameplay mechanic. You use it to wither human foes into dust, or morph them into slavering monstrosities that puke bile and attack anything in sight. You can crumble bits of cover or tear down larger pieces of the environment by aging support beams until they crack. With barrels, you can fast-forward time so they flatten, or reverse it until they’re whole, and explosive, once again and toss them at your enemies.
It’s not just for use with combat, but also for puzzle solving. The environment is a desolated island that years ago a Russian outfit was using as a center for experimentation. They’d been dealing with E99, a temporally unstable element, and of course their efforts had blown up in all their faces. When the United States caught wind of strange readings in 2010, some 60 years after the incident, an investigation is launched and one plane is sent, which crashes. You play as the co-pilot, and around the E99 splashed environments it appears you’ll have some odd adventures.
For the puzzles, you’ll have to do things like age forward and back machinery to get it in working order, or use a detection light to see things from the past and pull them into the present. You’ll also get hit with rolling time waves that send you flying back to 1950, and the interplay between the two time periods will fuel the story and how you go about solving the whole mess.
Eventually you’ll also pick up an E99 gun. If you aim down the sights before firing, you’ll enter into a slow-motion mode that follows the bullets and allows you to control their path of flight to a degree. I got to try out a short section with this weapon and it was entertaining. The added layer of the time-warping abilities could be interesting depending on how the ideas are developed throughout the course of the game. And in case you’re curious, you can’t just spam time abilities. There’s a limiting power meter, so you’ll have to wait a bit before performing a second powerful time-bending technique.
Hopefully the game lives up to its potential when it’s released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms.