Developed by V1 Interactive,Disintegrationtakes place in a futuristic sci-fi world where humans forego the need of their body parts and instead preserve their brains in robotic suits through a process called integration.
The story follows our main hero Romer Shoal, a former celebrity pilot as he joins a group of outlaws on a mission to take down the central villain, Rayonne. A militant leader who forcibly integrates people in order to recruit them into his army and destroy their human bodies. The first scene sees Romer escaping Rayonne with a group of other escapees who becomes part of his crew.
The world design is interesting enough to keep players interested as it did for me, and the gameplay manages to be fun and in-depth at the start.
Disintegration is a satisfying merge of a first-person shooter and a real-time strategy game. As a pilot, you control a gravcycle. These vehicles are mainly what you’ll use to conduct the real-time strategy parts of the game where you’ll fly around and control things with an aerial view. You’ll mostly be controlling your NPC teammates by giving them commands and even healing them when necessary.
What’s good about these teammates is that they’ll need very little babysitting. The AI is competent enough to take out enemies and complete objectives without giving you a headache.
While you’re at the forefront of the battlefield controlling your troops, you’ll also be able to move about and shoot enemies on your own. The main challenge is trying to balance out these two elements and keeping the enemy forces at bay.
The controls work surprisingly well and add enough variety which includes a ping system and other types of controls. The game also introduces players to multiple kinds of gravcycles and weapons as they progress through the story.
Some Minor Tidbits
Sadly, the fun of being a gravcyclist begins to fade as the mechanics and gameplay start to get repetitive. In each of the 12 campaign missions available, at some point, the objectives and overall formula of the game start to feel same-y.
You get to the start point and defeat enemies until you progress to the next point and defeat some more enemies move on to the next objective, hold a point, rinse, and repeat. It doesn’t help that most of these missions take quite a bit of time to complete too ranging from 20-40 minutes.
Aside from that, I also encountered some gameplay issues here and there from frame rate issues to enemies and teammates lagging in the battlefield. Though we did receive warning of this beforehand, as this isn’t the final build. Luckily, they weren’t too prominent, but the issues are still noteworthy.
An Imperfect Plot
Then we have the campaign which, as I’ve said earlier, brings enough intrigue and world-building to keep the player at the very least interested, but unfortunately, the story begins to lose its appeal as it goes on.
For one, many things aren’t explained adequately in the game. We Know our main character is famous, but we don’t know what he’s famous for. Nor do we know the motivations for the villain.
Another issue is how underwhelming it is that the lore isn’t expressed as much as I’d want it to. The start of Disintegration gives off the vibe of a totally unexplored world and the story behind it, but I fail to see any groundbreaking details on the lore.
Disintegration lacks a strong story and is instead supported by its gameplay. Though the characters at the very least are interesting, especially with their witty and sassy commentary. While these characters lack any sort of depth, they’re all quite likable.
You’ll also be able to converse with them between missions in the hub world. While it isn’t as effective as the conversations you’ll see in say Mass Effect, it still does its job well of being a break between completing missions. You can also pick up challenges for when you’re out on the field from robots in the hub world.
Now while missions in the story mode can be a bit repetitive, the multiplayer modes are generally fun as dealing with a team can be rewarding, especially working with a good team.
The team-based combat from the story mode makes a return in multiplayer. This time; however, the combat is of a larger scale and feels more tactical.
In the multiplayer, players will have the option to choose between nine crews as their ground troops, which are all heavily stylized and thematic robots. Some of them include the King’s Guard, which are basically robotic knights, Lost Ronin (samurai robots) the punk-heavy Warhedz, and my favorite the Sideshows which are manic robotic clowns.
Players will also have three modes to choose from namely Zone Control, which is your typical capture the point mode, this time however, only ground troops can capture the points and as a grav pilot, your goal is to defend it from being taken over by the enemy.
Then we have the Collector mode where two teams battle it out and collect Brain Cans from their fallen enemies. Players can collect them from enemy Grav cycles, enemy units, and spawn points. Players can also collect friendly Cans to prevent the enemy from acquiring them.
Finally, the Retrieval mode splits teams up into attackers and defenders. Attackers retrieve cores from their spawn points and drop them in a designated area within a time limit. If the time limit is reached before dropping the cores, they’ll explode. Then after each round, the positions of attackers and defenders are switched. Whichever team that has the most points at the end wins.
All these modes were fun to play but can easily get tedious, especially trying to keep track of all the ground troops and other players flying around in grav cycles.
When not blasting robots in the face, you can also customize your gravcycles with the many skins available in the game, including the premium skins, which cost a lot for not looking all that unique.
All in all, I’d say the multiplayer was fun and adds more unique gameplay elements the campaign was lacking. The only thing that holds Disintegration back is the lackluster story and repetitive combat. The game promises free and paid DLC content in the future, and hopefully that will improve the experience overall.