With mankind on the brink of extinction after climate change, overpopulation, food shortages and even pandemics, the “near future” world of Disintegration is as 2020s bleak as it comes. Still, it provides the backdrop to an intriguing looking genre hybrid that’s hoping to take the gaming world by storm this year.
Coming from V1 Interactive, which was founded by co-creators of Halo and SOCOM: US Navy SEALs, the studio’s got the credentials to lend some weight to their vision, as they step outside the gaming norms and create something that’s a blend of first person shooter, real time strategy, MOBA, and cool looking Gravcycles.
The game’s open multiplayer technical beta kicks off today at 6PM UK time across PS4, Xbox One and PC, running until 7:59AM on Sunday 2nd February. We were able to check in on the game with a closed beta a little earlier this week though. So is this the hottest new thing since sliced toast? Let’s ask the team.
Disintegration seems confused about what it is trying to be. It’s a mix of FPS, RTS, and MOBA, but without much of the excitement of any of those genres at the moment. The FPS portion puts players in a gravcycles to shoot at characters on the ground and other vehicles in the air, but every vehicle feels like a lumbering hunk of metal, giving the impression that it would actually be faster to get off and walk. It just doesn’t feel exciting.
Speaking of the ground, each player has a squad of NPCs that carry out orders. This is where the RTS/MOBA elements come in. You instruct these AI characters to carry out objectives like collecting a core to return to a collection point, target an enemy, or use a special move. They’re always near you so you can have direct control, which goes someway to explaining why the gravcycles move so slowly.
The maps seem very uninspired and very generic, everyone is a bullet sponge, and weapon differences having little impact. The idea is commendable, but the execution needs work because at the moment I’m feeling particularly disinterested in Disintegration.
I remain quietly excited for Disintegration, but in a lot of ways it’s probably been good for them to have a beta test so people aren’t just expecting it to be Halo. Ultimately it references a bunch of genres, from hybrid tower defence games like Toy Soldiers, to MOBAs while wearing a Titanfall-esque FPS skin, and thanks to that it’s actually the perfect blend of games for me. I love flying around an arena, shoring up weak spots by taking matters into my own hands and then sending my troops elsewhere to finish someone off.
I can’t wait to find out more about the world too – I’m a sucker for sci-fi at the moment – and there’s a really interesting set-up here that begs to be explored. With questions about the nature of humanity and a sinister regime to take down, there should be plenty of opportunity for storytelling and action, and the game’s unique setup should support that.
I guess the big question is whether they’re aiming for the multiplayer to be the mode they really hang their hat on, or if its the single player campaign that will be seen as the bigger deal. Either way I’m onboard.
The Disintegration beta trailer made it look like a fast paced action game, full of explosions and jump cuts, but upon firing up the game it quickly dawns on you that it’s not that game at all. What the trailer fails to convey is that the ground units running around in the battle are not players, they are AI units controlled by you from your hover ship; it’s an RTS of sorts.
It’s also not fast paced. Your hover ship moves very slowly and is limited to a certain height, so you can’t have dogfights, you just travel down narrow passages to an open area and engage the enemy. You can attack from your hover ship, but since every enemy is a bullet sponge, you need to empty a good few clips in to them to kill them.
I think there’s a good game in here somewhere, and hopefully the beta feedback will help the devs to find it.
Maybe that’s just us though? Are you going to hop into the open technical test when it gets going this evening? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.