Singularity's multiplayer aims to be different

The common FPS rules don't apply

As everybody knows how Singularity%26rsquo;s single-player is going to work (turn enemies into dust, fix collapsed staircases, send busted crates back in time and break them open for ammo) we%26rsquo;re not going to recap everything we%26rsquo;ve said in previews past. Multiplayer, however, is an entirely different beast, and one that up until now has been a complete mystery. Wondering how Raven intends to set their game apart from bandwidth-guzzling Activision stablemate Call of Duty? Step forward Lead Game Designer Dan Vondrak.

The premise, he assures us, is simple. It%26rsquo;s an asymmetrical adversarial mode, where one side takes control of Russian soldiers armed with guns and Time Manipulation Devices and the other is in charge of Creatures. (We%26rsquo;d be shocked if Dead Space%26rsquo;s multiplayer concept ends up a million miles away from this %26ndash; Singularity%26rsquo;s Creatures are even controlled, we%26rsquo;re informed, through a third-person camera.) %26ldquo;We wanted to provide something fresh with multiplayer,%26rdquo; Vondrak wisely justifies, knowing a regular offering would get swallowed up in the Halo/CoD crowd. %26ldquo;To go beyond the basic FPS multiplayer experience.%26rdquo;

Each Creature is unique: some are brutish tanks, while others can climb on walls or possess the bodies of the opposing team. The obvious comparison would be to say the mode is L4D%26rsquo;s Versus all over again, but that lazy reference would also be misleading. Singularity%26rsquo;s offering seems to retain features synonymous with more traditional player versus player modes, skipping a (much) more complex A-to-B story of survival in favour of familiar deathmatch territory.

Fittingly for a game all about playing with time, Raven has been looking at what the future might hold. %26ldquo;The Universe we%26rsquo;ve created is really diverse,%26rdquo; muses Vondrak, suggesting protagonist Nate Renko%26rsquo;s tale is but a fraction of the full Singularity story. %26ldquo;So many stories could be told and it would be great to get a chance to explore some of the pieces we only touched on in this first Singularity.%26rdquo;

And it seems Raven founder Steve Raffel was the catalyst. %26ldquo;The idea of exploring an abandoned place where a mysterious accident has happened %26ndash; and then discovering that story through time manipulation %26ndash; came from Steve. The mechanics started out with a small set of core features and they started to explode as you combined them.%26rdquo;

You should by now be more than familiar with the flux capacitor-powered time glove wielded by hero Nate Renko. But the mitt wasn%26rsquo;t always going to be a gauntlet. %26ldquo;The original Time Manipulation Device was a gun and we had no other weapons,%26rdquo; reveals Lead Designer Dan Vondrak. %26ldquo;While play-testing during the first part of development we really missed having the real world guns to fire, ammo to find, more guns to discover %26ndash; and it was crucial to us to allow a quick mix of TMD and gunplay %26ndash; so that%26rsquo;s why the glove was chosen.%26rdquo;

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