In the future, man has discovered a way to transplant a human brain, into armatures or a fancy word of saying robotic bodies. This is referred to as “Integration”. What should have been a discovery to further the advancement of mankind, ultimately ends up the complete opposite. Now an oppressive regime, Rayonne, forcibly requires humans to undergo the Integration process and become slaves, or die. In Disintegration, you play as Romer Shoal, an armature who turned against the Rayonne and is about to meet his end until he gets caught up in a rebellion that turns into an unexpected adventure.
Platform(s): PC (reviewed), PS4, Xbox One
Publisher(s): Private Division
Developer(s): V1 Interactive
Release Date: June 16, 2020
*Review Code Provided by V1Interactive and Private Division*
The story of Integration is both familiar, yet still interesting enough to keep me vested at the same time. I appreciated how the story is presented, focusing on not just the struggle but also allow me to interact and get to know both Romer and his rag-tag team of misfits. It’s enjoying enough to make you want to find out what happens next. I’ll admit that it does stumble along the way, and at times even taking a backseat to the action.
What’s interesting about Disintegration is its take on the first-person shooter genre, as there are RTS elements tossed into to create an interesting mix of gameplay. Instead of packing the main character with tons of abilities and letting you loose to do everything yourself, you command a group of 2-3 allies at any given time. While you’re dodging and firing at the enemy, you’re also instructing your squad on where to position, who to target, when and where to use thier abilities, as well as healing them.
As Romer, you control a multi-purpose vehicle called the Gravcycle and you’ll use this for the entirety of the game. With it, you’ll toss out commands to your team, navigate the battlefield, and dish out damage. It also allows you to traverse on both the X and Y axis, giving you an advantage as you can use this to peek around and over the environments and sometimes get the jump on enemies. Sadly, it’s also limited as there’s zero customization for the Gravcycle. You’re at the mercy of whatever the developers intended you to use for each level. This sometimes introduces a severe disadvantage and that’s frustrating.
You aren’t alone in your journey, as you’ll have a squad that will vary depending on how far you are in the story. Along the way, you’ll order them around and you’ll do your bidding…. mostly. In an attempt to make handling Your AI buddies easier, they follow you everywhere, unless they’re engaged in combat. I could use my allies’ abilities to set up some nasty attacks with a crowd control with an ability that slows down enemies, tossing a concussion grenade afterward, or lighting them up with a mortar strike. All benefits, yet at times, I found myself ignoring the RTS element and just blasting as if I was playing an FPS title. Which defeats the entire purpose in my opinion. There needs to be more of a focus of having a squad, instead of just using them sparingly.
While I appreciated my AI-controlled pals, they tend to be a source of frustration at times. Sure, they can point a weapon at the enemy, but they don’t seem to care about their well-being very much. If there’s danger ahead of them, like mines on the ground or if the enemy is winding up for a big attack, they’ll blindly walk in them. All while crying out for help. Or asking me to heal them. While they’re heading right smack towards the danger, despite me telling them to go the other way. Pointing them into battle was not as accurate as I’d like as sometimes when hovering of the enemy I wanted them to attack, they’d move near the enemy and just sit there, yet again as they’re crying out “HEAL ME!”. When they aren’t being silly, they do a bang-up job and unlike other games where you have an AI-controller squad, they actually do some damage.
While Disintegration does feature a multiplayer mode, I was unable to try it out while reviewing the title. Sadly, there was a limited amount of multiplayer sessions and I simply wasn’t able to attend any of those. I’ll be giving this mode a try once the game is officially released, but until then this review has been conducted without considering multiplayer.
This all leaves Disintegration in a weird spot. It’s not entirely an FPS, or RTS, as the game suffers from a bit of identity crisis. There’s a lot of good ideas that have been incorporated into the game, some that aren’t implemented well. Not having the ability to select my squad or the lack of being able to customize the Gravcycle made the game feel limited at times. Being able to outfit it with any number of available options would have gone a long way, especially when the weapon layout seems to be the complete opposite of what I needed in a level.
While it may seem like I’m being hard on the game, it’s quite the opposite. I enjoyed it, I just wished it was more fleshed out. The lack of customization is the glaring flaw in Disintegration, but it’s not a deal-breaker. The game has potential, there’s no doubt about that. Here’s to hoping that some or all of the sore spots will be addressed in some form patch, DLC, or the eventual Disintegration follow-up.
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Disintegration is the effort of combing a First Person Shooter and an RTS together, something that has been tried in the base with moderate success. Here, V1 Interactive takes the concept one step further with several new ideas, yet ultimately aren’t all fleshed out. I’m looking forward to seeing if and how the developer will correct these concerns in either a DLC or the follow-up to the game.
- An interesting mashup of first-person and RTS elements
- The Gravcycle
- Large playing areas that make for some interesting encounters
- RTS elements need to be utilized more
- Unable to customize Gravcycle
- Unable to select teammates
- AI-controlled teammates