Sunday 19 November 2017

Digital Life: Good old-fashioned freak-shootin' fun

Ronan Price

Ronan Price

Singularity

X360/PS3

Rating: 8/10

Who could forget the intense and creepy brilliance of Bioshock? The creators of Singularity certainly can't get it out of their heads -- producing what you might kindly call an homage to the steampunk shooter that mixed balletic violence with mind-bending superpowers.

With a forgettable back story featuring Cold War human experiments on a Russian island, Singularity dispenses with literary pretension in favour of some good old-fashioned freak-shooting.

What elevates it above a drearily linear corridor crawl is the belated introduction of time-shifting abilities. Who wouldn't want a gadget that can age or revert objects and people? Not to mention its gravity-gun powers (nicked from Half-Life 2).

Just when you when think Singularity has begun to repeat on you like last night's curry, out comes another wacky new weapon for your arsenal -- and you're hooked anew.

It won't win any prizes at the Originality Awards but Singularity picked the right shooter to shamelessly ape.

Shrek Forever After

Wii

Rating:7/10

Oh dear, not another kids' movie game, you may think. At least, unlike me, you don't have to play 'em all -- these frequently soul-destroying cheap cash-ins are designed to part parents from their cash as quickly as possible.

This Shrek companion, however, sits slightly above the usual stinking pile of crap. A simple action-adventure game, it makes a virtue of controlling the four main characters -- Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and Puss -- by assigning them varying powers.

Shrek's the muscle man able to shift heavy loads, Puss is the agile one who can climb to otherwise inaccessible areas, etc. Cue loads of elementary puzzles that require swapping between characters (even more fun in co-operative multiplayer).

Forever After won't set the world alight but it's a breath of fresh air in a stale genre.



Naughty Bear

X360/PS3

Rating: 5/10

Subverting expectations always makes for an excellent starting point. But once the makers of NB came up with the darkly funny gag of a teddy gone postal, they fell back, exhausted.

The brutal methods of dispatching your fellow bears may raise a grin the first 50 times but it rapidly becomes utterly repetitive 1,000 times later.

Irish Independent

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