Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Yes Russian

I have never been a fan of multiple endings, especially in linear action games where the only choice the player is ever given is 'do I shoot them with this gun or that one'. I still think thank narrative and story are always important, but tacking on several what if resolutions smacks more of laziness than creativity. At least in a game like Singularity, that centers around time travel and fixing things that you inadvertently screwed up fifty years ago, there make a little more sense as it possible for them all to have happened. There is a good ending, a bad ending, and a 'fuck you all, I am taking over the world myself' ending that you get my shooting both your ally after he asks you to go back in time and kill yourself and the evil dictator after he asks you to be his toady for the rest of your life. This is also the ending that best sets up the sequel, with rumors of a time controlling hero slowly but surely taking over what used to be the United States. Raven was also nice enough to drop an auto save point about two minutes before the final choice is made, so jumping back and seeing them all (and sneaking out sixty extra achievement points) is very easy.

But enough of this touchy, feely stuff, how was the violence? As usual, and as my schedule nearly always demands, I played through Singularity on the normal difficulty. I wanted to see all there was to see, but I did not want it to be a walk in the park either. This was probably a mistake, as I was able to waltz through the game using nothing more than a souped up assault rifle and the occasional shotgun. There were many other weapons available, I just never needed them, as I had dumped all my weapon upgrades into one gun and it was clearly better than all the others. The same could be said of all the extra abilities. Sure, I could catch grenades and rockets as they came at me and throw them back, but why bother when the enemies have very poor aim and they generally don't do enough damage to worry about anyway? I am being terribly picky, as the game was certainly fun and I did enjoy it, but I feel like they gave me what looked like a very complicated project and all I needed to complete it was a screw driver and some Ikea instructions. There should have been enemy types that forced improvisation instead of just aiming at the glowing area or waiting for them to stick their head out from behind cover. There should also have been more than two different puzzles where moving back and forth between time periods was required. All the evidence of my jaunts through time were plot related; it would have been really cool to murder a bunch of Russians in the past and return the to a grotesque pile of skeletons in the present.

If you think that just might cross some sort of line, think back to the last Call of Duty. Remember No Russian?There is no line anymore, it comes down to how much you can stand before you start feeling guilty for enjoying it or are disgusted by what you are seeing. I am sure there is some sort of lesson here, but that is a discussion for another day.

I want to go home and play Amnesia so much it hurts.

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