June isn’t the busiest month for games releases which makes V1 Interactive’s Disintegration stand out all the more. Releasing on June 16th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, it’s part first person shooter and party strategy game set in near future Earth. What are some of the things you should know before buying? Let’s break them down here.
Story and Setting
Disintegration takes place on a near future Earth. A good chunk of humanity has opted to place their brains inside robotic bodies via a process called Integration. This is all well and good, especially since it helped people survive against the literal collapse of society via climate changes, overpopulation, etc. However, many Integrated humans have decided to permanently stay Integrated and have formed the Rayonne. They seek to hunt down any humans still left and forcing them to integrate while also eliminating those opposed to their views.
The protagonist is Romer Shoal, an Integrated who fights against the Rayonne with his band of Outlaws. Their ultimate goal is to return to being human. Along the way, we’ll learn about Romer’s past and what led him to this point.
FPS Meets RTS
Despite Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto at the helm, the gameplay is actually a lot more akin to Battlezone (it in fact began life as a real-time strategy game, as per Lehto). As Romer, you control a Gravcycle that flies in the air and can rain down down fire on foes while utilizing different abilities. You can also issue commands to the Outlaws, AI units who will fight on the ground against enemies. Along with enemy troops, you’ll also face opposing Gravcycles throughout the campaign.
Designed With Controller in Mind
Perhaps one of the bigger concerns about Disintegration is the controls, especially on consoles. It’s something that many strategy titles have to worry about when catering to PC and console players. But Disintegration was actually built with controllers in mind. According to Marcus Lehto when speaking to VG247, this meant streamlining things “down to the core essentials”. There’s no band-selecting for units or micromanagement to be had. You fire a command pulse which guides units to that location and use the D-Pad for different unit abilities. As Lehto states, “You always feel like you’re throwing a punch with your own weapons or an off-hand punch with your unit weapons. It’s a really cool kind of symbiotic relationship between you and your units.”
Different Biomes and Objectives
The setting in Disintegration makes for a variety of different locations, from farmlands with dilapidated barns to sprawling cities. There are several different biomes to explore overall, which further ups the variety. Contrary to initial belief, there are different objectives to complete during missions and you won’t just be plowing through enemy soldiers en route to the next waypoint.
Pinging is used to lead units around, pick up items and so on. However, one nice little touch about is the ability to ping things in the campaign and bring up lore. This provides more context on the areas you’re exploring, their current state and so on. It’s a small thing but helps to familiarize you with the setting more while keeping the pace moving.
Despite there being three different Gravcycles – Heavy, Medium and Light – the campaign doesn’t give you a choice between them. Instead, you’re given a preset Gravcycle in each mission. It may seem restrictive but there are other paths to upgrading. It is possible to customize your Gravcycles in multiplayer though, and each will have their own benefits. You can even make use of some pretty cool weapons, like sticky grenades that can be remotely detonated. Fire them into a narrow chokepoint and then detonate them as enemies get too close for maximum effectiveness.
Your squad in the camapign, the Outlaws, is composed of different units each with their own class. The Mech is good for launching high-damaging mortars and serves as the default “heavy” on the field; the Sniper picks foes off from a distance but can also deploy a field that slows enemy units; Warriors function more like your standard foot soldiers and utilize stun grenades; and more. Once again, it seems that full squad customization is properly opened up in multiplayer, allowing you to deploy multiple types of the same unit and specialize in different tactics.
Salvage and Upgrading
While the development team hasn’t gone too deep into the upgrade trees for the campaign, it is possible to salvage resources during missions. You command units to gather these resources and then use them to upgrade both Romer and your squad. The obvious assumption is that new abilities, improvements and other enhancements can be had. But how Romer’s long-term progression is affected in the campaign remains to be fully revealed.
Varying mission objectives, numerous biomes to explore, lore to collect and units to upgrade aside, Disintegration‘s campaign is about 12 to 15 hours long. How replayable it will be and whether we can expect other difficulty options is yet to be showcased. Regardless, after the campaign, there’s the multiplayer to keep players going.
Three different multiplayer modes will be available at launch pitting teams of five players against each other across six maps. The modes in question include Retrieval, Team Deathmatch and Zone Control. Retrieval functions like Capture the Flag; Team Deathmatch is about wiping out the enemy team; and then there’s a Zone Capture mode where you occupy areas on the map and hold them against enemies. Post-launch support for multiplayer is confirmed, which will likely mean new maps and modes. However, you should also expect customization items for the crews.
Unlike the single-player campaign, there are nine different squads to choose from in multiplayer. They’re referred to as Crews and each posses their own unique identities and cosmetics (including banners, badges, emotes and so on). Each Crew will have access to roughly the same kinds of abilities and units but it’s their distinctive looks that will draw you in. Will you go for the killer clowns in The Sideshow or opt for the medieval-esque King’s Guard? The choice is yours.
Disintegration will ship with microtransactions but these are for cosmetics only. There are no loot boxes. You’ll still be able to earn other cosmetics by completing various in-game achievements. Whether players will be able to earn in-game currency to unlock premium cosmetics is yet to be confirmed.
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