Singularity is a video game developed by Raven Software and published by Activision. It was released for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Singularity is Raven Software's second title based on Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3, the first being X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The title was announced at Activision's E3 2008 press conference.
Singularity follows Nathaniel Renko through a variety of missions that must be completed to progress the story line. The Game-play is similar to Call of Duty and Bioshock type games. Renko starts off with nothing and is lead by James Devlin through a tutorial type mission. Renko can interact with a variety of items. Some are useful, e.g., Chests, notes, and recorders. Some are not, e.g., Telephones and typewriters. Eventually Renko finds weapons but can only carry two at any given time since there is no actual inventory. Finding the Sniper Rifle is the first interaction with time manipulation. While using the scope, time can be slowed. Head shots are instant kills for humans only. Mutated enemies take more to kill. It is possible to sever limbs, even torsos, without killing them, depending on the weapon used. Certain weapons can actually split enemies in half. E-99 tech is scattered throughout Katorga-12 and can be collected to buy Weapons, Upgrades , and Ammunition. Once found, the Time Manipulation Device or TMD is used for a variety of things and becomes a permanent part of Renkos equipment.
Other useful items found.
- Stim packs: Instantly recovers a portion of Renko's health
- Health Bars: Recovers a a portion of Renko's health. Unlike Stim packs these can be stored for later use, up to 5. The amount carried is displayed in the upper left corner of the screen next to the health meter.
The plot revolves around a mysterious island known only as "Katorga-12" where Russian experiments involving "E99" (Element 99, which appears to be an equivalent to the actual element Einsteinium, which has no special properties like those referenced in the game), took place during the height of the Cold War era. Sometime during 1950, a terrible catastrophe known as the "Singularity" occurred on the island. The player controls Nate Renko, an elite Special Forces soldier who is sent to investigate bizarre radiation emissions coming from the island, only to crash land there. After regaining consciousness, Nate finds the TMD (Time Manipulation Device) and discovers that the island is constantly shifting between the time periods of 1950 and 2010. Renko's goal is to find his co-pilot, escape the island and eventually prevent the Singularity from occurring. Besides having to deal with hostile Russian forces in both time periods, the player must also deal with hideously mutated flora, fauna and former residents of the island, some of which have developed time manipulation powers of their own.
During the '50s, at the very start of the Cold War, it seemed that the Americans would always be the dominating power, thanks to their knowledge of the atomic energy. So, the USSR leader Joseph Stalin ordered his scientific staff to begin experimenting in that field. Then on a small island near Kamchatka, named Katorga-12, the scientists found the mysterious "Element 99" or E-99 for short, which, despite its inherent instability, was an incredible power source. The studies continued until 1955, when the island was all but destroyed by a mysterious incident. The government erased Katorga-12 from the maps and hid every piece of news about E-99.
In 2010, a sudden electromagnetic surge from Katorga-12 damages an American spy satellite. A military black ops team is sent on the presumably uninhabited island, but a second surge causes their helicopter to crash. Captain Nathaniel Renko, one of the two survivors, enters the abandoned scientific complex; he's then exposed to a strange energy wave, only to find himself in 1955.
While in 1955, Renko saves a man from a deadly fall, carrying him out of the burning complex. On his way from the building, a man shouts at Renko to stop and let him die, before he is crushed by debris. This scene turns out to later have a big effect on the game. A group of survivors refers to the man as "Demichev", just before Renko is abruptly returned to the year 2010. Renko discovers that the island has somewhat changed and encounters strange and violent creatures. He is forced to fight through a school and regroups with Devlin, the second survivor. Both soldiers are captured by Russian troopers. The Russian commander starts to ask them for a "TMD"; when Devlin declares that their actions are not legal, the Russian shoots him in the head.
Renko is saved by a woman named Kathryn. It is revealed that she works for an organization called MIR-12. MIR-12 revealed that two scientists helped study E-99. They were Viktor Barisov and Nikolai Demichev. Barisov was claimed dead due to a accident in a lab so only Demichev was left to work on the new found element. Barisov had created a machine called the Time Manipulation Device or the TMD. It was also revealed that MIR-12 discovered a journal saying that only one can save time and that person was Renko. Kathryn tells Renko to find the TMD and use it to go back in time and save Barisov. Renko succeeds and returns back to 2010 with Barisov.
Barisov and Renko plans to fix history by reversing the singularity with an E-99 bomb at an earlier time before the accident transformed most of the residents into mutants. Renko used the TMD to raise a ship called The Pearl for it had a E-99 bomb in its cargo bay. Renko recovers the bomb and returns to Barisov, who informs him that Kathryn was shot and killed while providing a distraction.
The bomb was missing its most important element (the E-99 core), so Renko has to carry it to the Cooker: the giant structure where in the past isotopes of E-99 were created. The 2010 Cooker is destroyed, so Renko had to travel to an earlier time to charge the bomb. Renko charged the bomb in 1955, overloading the Cooker systems: he returns to 2010 seconds before the Cooker exploded. He and Barisov fought into the heart of Katorga-12. Renko traveled back in time and destroyed the facility with the fully charged E-99 bomb. It is implied that this explosion triggered the destruction of the Singularity and mutated the island's population.
When Renko returned to 2010, he finds the facility still the same as if nothing happened. He finds Demichev holding Barisov hostage behind him. Demichev revealed that he rebuilt the facility after the bomb was detonated (presumably at another location). Renko shoots Demichev with a nonlethal shot, freeing Barisov in the process. Barisov figured out what was wrong, believing that the facility wasn't the problem. The real problem was Demichev. When Renko saved Demichev at the beginning of the game, he rewrote history. Demichev also revealed that while Renko was saving him from the fire, another Renko was there trying to prevent himself from saving Demichev's life. This was the man who yelled at Renko to let Demichev die before being crushed by debris. Demichev gave an offer to grant Renko unlimited power if he gives him the TMD. Barisov protests and tells Renko to go back in time using the Singularity to power the TMD, and kill himself to turn history back to normal. The player is left with a choice resulting in 3 endings:
- If player chooses to shoot Barisov and join Demichev, then he quickly becomes the most powerful general in the Soviet Army. Utilizing the power of the TMD, Renko trains the island's zek population to become soldiers and using them as first wave attackers in all of his battles, personally leading them in battle and wiping out those who stand in his way. Operatives of MIR-12 are hunted down and executed, with the organization soon ceasing to exist. But with his control of the TMD, Demichev feels Renko is even more powerful than he is and takes precautionary measures against him by starting a weapons research program in the former United States. This settles the world into another Cold War with Renko on one side and Demichev on the other.
- If the player shoots both Demichev and Barisov, Renko leaves Katorga-12 and allows the world to fall into chaos. The public believes his very existence to be a myth as he disappears with the TMD in his possession. The Singularity explodes some years later and destroys the eastern coast of Russia and the Western coast of Alaska. Katorga-12 mutants escape onto mainland Russia and wreak havoc. A new leader rises in the former United States and is reported to be very aggressive and tyrannical as he leads the entire world with an iron fist. The in-game cutscenes and narration heavily imply the leader to be Renko himself.
- If the player chooses to kill Demichev, Barisov urges Renko to go back in time and kill himself as he is saving Demichev earlier (the player can also do this by just going back without shooting either men). The player then assumes the position of the man who shouted at Renko to let Demichev die in the fire, only instead of being crushed by debris, he shoots the past Renko. Shooting the past version of Renko sends the narrative back to Devlin and Renko's arrival at Katorga-12. The game's intro credits are shown written in Russian, the helicopters bear the hammer and sickle on the side, and Devlin, armed with a Russian weapon, comments that nothing ever happens on these missions and that Katorga-12 is a waste of time to be watching. The helicopter moves past the statue area seen in the intro credits, revealed to now be a massive monument to Barisov wearing the TMD. Renko seems to have retained his memories from the rest of the game as he checks his hands when he sees the monument. Renko and Devlin's mission is called off and Devlin refers to Renko as "comrade", implying that Barisov survived the Katorga-12 cataclysm and united the world under Soviet rule using the TMD as his tool.
A post-credit scene shows Kathryn emerging in 1955 from the Pearl wreckage. Mortally injured and quickly losing blood, she uses the confusion amongst the station's personnel during Demichev's seizure of power to seclude herself in one of the station's offices and write out the messages that are found in the MIR-12 journal, messages that had set in motion her original meeting with Renko in 2010.