Good idea, implementation worthy of improvement

Disintegration Review: an exciting genre mix with some weak points

Gaming
Disintegration wants to score as an exciting genre mix of shooter and strategy

An exciting mix of shooter and strategy,which doesn't work out that well: disintegration. (Image credit: V1 Interactive)

Disintegration blends shooter and strategy elements into a unique mix - an exciting concept, Check out why it doesn’t work in our Disintegration Review.

Disintegration is a difficult undertaking. With the debut title, the new developer studio V1 Interactive proves that they have the courage to take a leap, because we have never played something similar before. The exciting genre mix of a shooter and a strategy game doesn't really work that well though.

Quick Facts about Disintegration:

  • Developer: V1 Interactive
  • Publisher: Private Division
  • Genre: First-Person-Shooter
  • Release: June 16, 2020
  • Players: 1-10
  • Playtime: 8 hours (singleplayer)

Video credit: V1 Interactive via YouTube

The story: wasted potential

Disintegration tells the story of Romer Shoal. A resistance fighter who, with his team, fights against the so-called "integration". Black Shuck and his overpowering Rayonne plan to transplant the human brain into a robot body. After escaping from a rayon ship, Romer joins forces with some other resistance fighters to go into battle against Black Shuck and his henchmen. There is not much more to say about the eight to ten-hour plot.

Here Disintegration throws away a lot of potential as the title fails to capitalize on what could've been a great story. This starts with the well dubbed but almost completely irrelevant dialogues and culminates in the uninspired missions.

In between missions we are busy in the singleplayer campaign, running back and forth between different robot NPCs in a hangar with little detail, listening to their yada yada, and taking on new challenges. Too bad, there could have been a lot more to it.

The story of disintegration offers few highlights worth mentioning

One Sci-Fi Story, please. (Source: V1 Interactive)

Gameplay: a man and his gravcycle

The gameplay of Disintegration should be exciting. After we have familiarized ourselves with the game mechanics in an extensive tutorial, we get behind the wheel of our gravycycle - the vehicle that makes the game so special. It is basically a mixture of a motorcycle and a mini spaceship, with which we float over the ground from the first-person-perspective and fire powerful weapon systems. Let's call it a gravity bike.

The whole thing is exciting and unique because we can command AI-controlled ground forces at the same time. Depending on the mission, we control one to four AI companions with different weapons and abilities. Each of the companions has a special ability which is put on cooldown once you use it. However, besides that, there's not much more than a few simple movement or attack commands. Too bad, we had hoped that the strategy elements of disintegration would be much more complex.

After all, the troop movements work perfectly, especially since the AI acts intelligently and takes enemies independently. If our ground team does not have enough time - which happens quite often due to the rather crisp level of difficulty - we can simply pick them up, whereupon they respawn a short time later. Don't get us wrong we like the concept of disintegration very much. We like the idea of having a hovering bike as commander, monitoring the tactical battles, and deciding the best course of action. Especially in the genre of first-person shooters, this additional pinch of tactics and verticality provides a fresh feel to the game.

Bit by bit we unlock new weapons and upgrades for the gravcycle or our troops, so variety should be provided, shouldn't it? It's just a pity that Disintegration didn't do a better job with its core gameplay.

Disintegration gameplay

The gameplay of Disintergration is quite appealing. (Source: V1 Interactive)

Multiplayer saves the day

One of the biggest problems of the title is the extremely sluggish controls and the incredibly slow playing tempo, even for the strategy genre. We feel like gliding through the air at 10 km/h and piloting a tank. Even in the most heated battles, there's hardly any real tension.

This weird mix can't really set any significant accents in any of the two genres it was made of. Besides the story mode, the title also has a multiplayer. In it, each player drives a gravcycle while supporting a ground squad. A total of nine of them are available to choose from, all of them with their personal strengths and weaknesses.

The game is played in 5 on 5 in three modes, in which additional bonus goals attract players with upgrades. An exciting idea, because disintegration in multiplayer is actually much more fun than in the dull solo campaign.

Due to the much smaller maps, the gameplay doesn't feel quite so slow, but at the start, the title lacks playful variety. Very fast you'll get the feeling that you've seen all maps and modes. Although new content is supposed to follow in the course of time, long-term motivation is currently missing. That can still change though. With a bit of fine-tuning Disintegration could become an exciting online title.

Video credit: Private Division via YouTube

Conclusion

The idea of mixing first-person shooter and strategy is extremely exciting. Unfortunately, Disintegration has one too many missteps that'll make you forget the successful concept. Apart from the sluggish controls and the slow gameplay, the story campaign doesn't offer anything worth mentioning. The repetitive action and boring mission design do the rest.

Particularly in multiplayer the potential of the title flashes up but the lack of content brings the gravcycle back down to earth. What remains at the end is an ok game with an exciting idea, which however falls far behind its possibilities. That's for the moment as one of the upcoming updates can easily take care of the controls, add more to the story or more.

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Tasho Tashev

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