Disintegration is a First Person Shooter with mechanics that players may not expect in this genre of game. Created by V1 Interactive, a small studio led by Marcus Lehto – who was formally a creative director at Bungie, Disintegration is a totally new experience. This team of 30 developers has created a mashup of a first-person shooter and real-time strategy game that will challenge gamers to free their minds from how they expect this type of game to play. V1 Interactive released a multiplayer demo earlier in 2020 that gave gamers a small peek into what the game has to offer. With the full game in our hands, there is definitely a lot more to unpack when it comes to Disintegration and it’s
A bit about the lore
In Disintegration, Earth is being hit hard by the effects of climate change. In order to reduce the impact of humans on Earth’s resources, scientists have developed a technique called “Integration” that transfers the human brain into robotic bodies. While this process is supposed to be temporary, a military group by the name of Ryonne is trying to force all humans into the integration process. You play as Romer Shoal, a former gravcycle pilot that is leading a small resistance with a mission of rebooting humanity. You and your rambunctious group of outlaws will work alongside humans to take down Ryonne and their forces.
The story of outbreaks and global warming hits very close to home, especially now. The idea of preserving the human mind is an idea that we have seen in many sci-fi movies and games. Even though many of the elements of this story have been told before, it doesn’t feel stale here. Much of the lore in Disintegration is delivered through cutscenes and conversations during campaign missions. There are times between missions where the player can interact with teammates and NPCs to get a feel of the various relationships between characters. You don’t want to skip these because you will get valuable information and side quests via the dialog that goes on.
An RTS-shooter, you say?
When getting into the game, you should know to leave most of what you know about traditional FPS games at the door. During the early stages of its development, the game was originally meant to be played as an RTS. As development continued, V1 Interactive implemented various ways for players to engage in combat; leading to what we have in front of us today.
For those that are more comfortable with traditional FPS games, the game can be played more with the gravcycle and its weapons. You will still need to take control of your troops from time to time to complete objectives but the majority of the damage can be dished out using your main weapons. In many missions, you will take control of various types of ground troops. With Disintegration’s RTS roots, certain missions can be completed without any fire from the main guns while commanding your troops to do most of the dirty work. Ground troops will attack automatically depending on proximity but the real damage is done when the player directs them. The different ground units have unique abilities that can be chained together. For instance, chaining a slow field with a concussion grenade will keep the enemies from attacking for a longer period of time.
When moving over to multiplayer side of things, your experience could vary largely depending on the team that you are partnered with. All the various weapons and troops that you utilize during the campaign are now assigned to different teams with different strengths and weaknesses, which also plays into the various maps available at launch. The mix of teams will vary depending on the game mode that is being played. At launch, players will have the choice of 3 familiar game modes. A zone control mode, the collector mode, and the retrieval mode. Combat can be a lot more fast-paced here since there are multiple gravcycles on the field. If you aren’t careful, you will find yourself respawning sooner than expected. Because of the speed of some gravcycles, it may feel like it takes time to get back into the action. We will have more information on the multiplayer mode when the game releases on June 16th.
A bit dull around the edges
The thing that will stick out the most during your time playing Disintegration is the character models. Each character you meet looks as if a certain amount of time and care was put into their creation. The models go well with their personalities which makes you feel more connected to the characters and their stories. While in missions, the different environments are filled with personality, yet some of the areas in between missions feel a little empty. It seems like the spaces were meant for a lot more things to be happening in the space. As you go through missions, more characters are added but it is still a little dull. A little bit of music may have been able to add more life even though that has nothing to do with visuals. We have played on both the PC and the Xbox One X and everything looks pretty good on both. There is some texture pop in here and there but it’s slight and doesn’t subtract from the experience. With so much going on, it is also easy to not pay attention to how good the destructible environments and explosions look. It will be interesting to see what the team will do in the future with a larger budget and a larger team.
Overall, Disintegration is a solid first game for V1 Interactive. This small team has brought something new to the first-person shooter genre and they’ve done it fairly well. The addition of real-time strategy elements to a shooter may seem like a lot to handle in the beginning but the way these mechanics were implemented makes things very intuitive. If you’re not real big on RTS games, this may be something to check out to get your feet wet – and if you are, you’d notice a lot of familiar mechanics. The game can seem a bit too easy early on which will lead you into a false sense of security, as the challenge ramps up as the story progresses. The characters are also relatable, which adds to the depth of the story that’s unraveling before you and brings the adventure to life. There is some room for improvement but there is also fun to be had with Disintegration. With limited customization during the campaign, we can’t guarantee the replayability of the single-player mode. The multiplayer modes are fun and have a lot of potential for expansion in the future.
If you are down to try something new, Disintegration is worth a shot. With a 10-15 hour campaign and a decent multiplayer offering, there is something here for many to enjoy. The game will be releasing on June 16th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for $49.99.