Preview | Disintegration
During our trip to New York Comic-Con 2019, we made a quick stop at Take-Two Interactive HQ. When we were there, Private Division kindly offered to let us check out V1 Interactive’s first-person shooter and strategy hybrid, Disintegration. V1 Interactive is made up of co-creators of the Halo franchise as well as SOCOM: US Navy Seals, making them perfect for a game in this genre. While it may look like a normal first-person shooter at first, playing it will quickly change your perception. We dive right into one of the multiplayer modes for the game.
The concept of Disintegration is that in the future, people separate their minds and put them into robotic bodies. This concept is called “integration”, creating a bond with the robotic vessel. These vessels pilot vehicles called Gravcycles, hovering transports with mounted weaponry. While we didn’t get a chance to dive into the story, we do know a bit about it. Players will take on the role of Romer Shoal as they pilot their Gravcycle through combat.
Getting to the multiplayer, we were allowed to play a ten-player mode with two teams. The mode has two rounds, each team having a chance to defend or attack. There are two cores in play, and the attacking team must pick them up and drop them off on the defending team’s base. Over time, the core can go critical and explode, making time of the essence. It really becomes a strategic mode as five players have to split up or go together toward the objective. It’s a really fun mode, but the gameplay of Disintegration is what sets it apart.
During multiplayer, players will pick a crew, consisting of a pilot and a handful of crew members. While they pilot their Gravcycle, they’ll be able to command their crew members like a real-time strategy game. These crew members are essential to success, as they have special abilities and help turn the tide in a war zone. That doesn’t mean the pilot is powerless though. Some of the most powerful weapons can come from the pilot, though if they go in without a crew, they can easily fall.
Players will hover up or down, shoot, and boost their way along the map. They can command their units to specific points, but they’ll follow automatically. During this mode, the crew members have to pick up the cores and deliver them. This makes it almost like Pikmin, having the smaller units pick up the objective and deliver it. The Gravcycle pilot must defend them, allowing them to make it to the drop point safely. It’s really a cool fusion of genres, but this is still a team game, and your team composition is still important.
Different crews have different specialties. Each pilot has unique weapons and crews, and they deliver a lot of different ways to help in the fight. The demo we played had six crews: Neon Dreams, Warhedz, Tech Noir, Lost Ronin, King’s Guard, and The Sideshow. Only two of each crew can be on a team at a time, so players can’t build a full team of Warhedz. Good thing too, because Warhedz has a powerful explosive warhead that can decimate crews. I once used it on a battlefield and it wiped out a whole field of units. It was easily my highlight during the match.
Even though I had a lot of fun as Warhedz, I mixed things up a bit. My first choice was Neon Dreams, though I wasn’t used to playing the Disintegration just yet. I was gaining familiarity with the controls, and once I figured out skills and changing weapons, I was a lot more comfortable. Neon Dreams has a nice disruptor weapon that boosts damage against an enemy. Tech Noir has the ability to heal ally Gravcycles and crew members. The Sideshow has sticky grenades and a mixed crew. King’s Guard is essentially a tank with the ability to use a repair field. Lost Ronin feels like the average balanced crew to use for beginners.
Using crew abilities, players can do a lot for the outcome of firefights. Maybe placing down a slow field to make it difficult for enemies to escape? Missile launches or rush attacks can also be devastating. Though the crew members can use powerful skills, players still have to manage them. It may be best to take a tactical retreat when things get too dangerous, and diving in head first may be foolish. If a crew member falls, they respawn, but picking up their remains decreases the respawn time. Luckily, they come back at your position, so the key is for the Gravcycle pilot to stay alive.
We played a few matches and won most of them, and we had a lot of fun. Disintegration isn’t your typical first-person shooter, but the added strategy elements make it unique in a good way. Though we didn’t see any of the single player content, the concept sounds intriguing. We can easily see this becoming the next big eSports game of 2020. Keep your eyes on this one when it releases next year on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.