Yet another new game is on the way from a team with former Halo developers on the roster. The upcoming video game Disintegration is a new take on the first-person shooter genre, with a few unique twists. Here are my impressions from the recent Disintegration Closed Technical Beta.
The story as we know it
Disintegration takes place in a dystopian future-world setting. Nations are collapsing under the strain of overpopulation and climate change. To ensure the survival of our species, scientists develop “Integration”. The process preserves our human brains in robotic armatures.
However, what was intended to be a temporary solution has now become a war for survival. The “Integrated” see themselves as a superior form of evolution. Soon humanity finds itself in a struggle to defy the Integration or elimination of the entire species.
In Disintegration you’ll play as a rebel. You are a part of the Integration, but one of many who have broken away and switched sides in an attempt to defy those whose goal is to annihilate the rest of humanity. In this manner, you’ll be playing for the good guys—but with all the fun toys.
The game is set to include both a single player campaign and a suite of three multiplayer modes. The Disintegration Closed Technical Beta introduces two of the latter. We’ll take a closer look at them shortly.
The Disintegration Closed Technical Beta begins with a modest tutorial on the core tenets of the game. First off, we learn that players control a flying mech-style vehicle known as a GravCycle. Much as you may expect, GravCycles feature familiar mech controls, movements, and weapons.
Where Disintegration starts to strive for something unique is with the additional mechanics of commandable soldiers. While in charge of your GravCycle, you’ll have additional fighters at your disposal. These foot soldiers will attack enemies automatically, but also respond to your direct commands.
Thus, the game becomes a balancing act of managing your own combat actions whilst simultaneously directing your obedient compliment of weaponized pawns. You may direct them to focus on specific targets, interact with environmental objects, or use special abilities for extra damage and support.
Completing the tutorial leads straight to the first taste of competitive multiplayer madness. When jumping into a match, players are able to choose between seven unique GravCycle factions. Each has their own style, and a corresponding GravCycle with its own movement and weapons.
Each faction is a suitably cliche take on a familiar pop culture trope. The Neon Dreams are a pure 80’s techno crew with a sleek cycle that uses a quickfire burst for its primary weapon. Conversely, the King’s Guard are a crew straight out of high fantasy. Naturally they fire high damage lance ammunition, albeit at a slow rate of fire.
“Zone Capture” is the first of two modes to come up in queue for me during the Disintegration Closed Technical Beta. As the name suggests, it’s a straightforward hold-the-checkpoint competition that is a vanilla staple of nearly every competitive shooter. The map we play on is an old junkyard comprising narrow paths that lead to open areas containing capture points.
Next up is “Retrieval”, another low-risk, familiar style of match. This time an (empty?) urban city sets the stage as teams take turns defending and attacking in an attempt to steal orbs. The games are interesting, but match-making is slow. It’s taking anywhere from 5-15 minutes between matches, so I’m finding it hard to get any real rhythm.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a “casual” when it comes to competitive shooters. As such, many of my impressions come from the perspective of the average player. I’m not looking for something with elite difficulty. Rather I enjoy multiplayer games that give players like myself a fair shake.
I think this is really important when considering my thoughts on the Disintegration Closed Technical Beta. Somehow I find the game both a bit slow and clunky, yet a bit frantically busy to manage all at once. Let me explain!
GravCycles move with inertia, so they can be a bit tough to control at first and involve a lot of drift. This is the “slow” part I’m talking about. I find that a lot of the head-to-head fighting is what I call “hide and peek”, where players hover back and forth between cover trying to get the ideal movement to shoot opponents on the fly whilst floating back to cover in a hypnotic motion.
Conversely, I’m constantly forgetting to properly manage my soldiers. Competitive shooters are stressful enough worrying about myself. Having to divide my thoughts to also remember my minions as well is where the game becomes tougher for me. Truthfully, I bet competitive vets will love this, but for newer players it’s going to be a lot to juggle.
Final thoughts on the Disintegration Closed Technical Beta
Overall I think the Disintegration Closed Technical Beta shows a lot of promise. I look forward to some better matchmaking times to be sure, but even so the game is beginning to grow on me. I’m surprisingly apt at the “hide and peek” method. However I suspect some of the clunkiness the game seems to have from the onset will disappear as player’s get their GravCycle legs.
The secondary mechanic of soldier command is where the game may make or break itself. While for myself it seems a bit cumbersome at first, it may just be a matter of practice. I also suspect that shooter pros will adapt much more quickly to the additional set of responsibilities.
Either way, the developer team at V1 Interactive has a strong pedigree. As such, Disintegration is a video game that is certainly on many players’ radar. It will be interesting to see how things shake out as a result of the recent beta testing.