When I first heard that another action title was going to be published by Private Division, the gears of intrigue were already shifting. The company published a few known titles already, only to add more to their arsenal with the development of Disintegration. Led by a former Halo co-creator Marcus Lehto with a team of 30 developers, they aim to bring something fresh to the sci-fi first-person shooter genre.
The game is going to be released with both a single player campaign and a multiplayer component. For the campaign and the setting, it takes place in the distant future where human brains are being preserved in robotic armatures for the sake of the human existence. You play as an Integrated being named Romer Shoal, a part-human/almost full machine that goes against the deadly opposing Rayonne forces, who are hellbent on wiping out the remains of human society. Armed with a flying combat machine and a team of Outlaws to fight by your side, it’s up to you to lead them into victory and hopefully have the chance to reboot humanity.
Upon initial glance at Disintegration, there’s a wide spectrum of inspired mechanics that any experienced player can recognize. During the single player showcase and the multiplayer closed beta, I jotted down all the familiar mechanics that came blending in together to create a different experience. You can choose to upgrade your Gravcycle (the “Gravity Cycle” is the primary combative aircraft in the game) and fellow Outlaws with customizable weaponry and attire whilst scavenging the land for supplies – these fall into the RPG category. The FPS aspect goes without question since you’re essentially an aerial mech gunning down enemies from the comfort of your cockpit. Commanding your fellow Outlaws on the ground brings a solid mixture of real-time strategy gameplay from just about any RTS experience with the Delta Squad point-and-go teamwork and dialogue from Star Wars: Republic Commando.
It’s a nice blend of simulator combat and real-time strategy where you pilot a Gravcycle and hover over the battlefield with a few loyal Outlaws to assist you on the battlefield. The cockpit reminds me of one of those bigger characters from Overwatch but with that mech aesthetic that we’ve grown accustomed to. The way the arms and cannons wave and adjust when you’re flying over destroyed territory hasn’t gotten old for me yet and knowing that I can select a different faction to play as only adds more to the replay value.
Along with the different factions to select from, the map creation is quite a sight to gaze and stop and look at because of what has happened to humanity within this universe. Buildings are decaying but the sun still shines on the tress and mountains with decent lighting effects; colorful explosions occur amid dead grass and rust-infested shipping containers and salvaged structures; the long stretches of field and tight corners can really shift the battle into a different direction.
The real action is, of course, when you matchmake with other online players and face each other off in three different game modes across a spread of distinctive maps. Zone Control – where you take control of zones and defend them – seemed to be the big one I was always going back into when I got on my PC for the beta. The destruction with the beautiful terrains and human decay were always a joy to watch and oftentimes trigger, and I would barely run into any bugs when tensions became intense. It feels good to pilot a Gravcycle due to the habitual controls that I picked up from previous simulator titles. I enjoyed the madness with the shoot-and-loot mode of Collector and the multi-round carnage of Retrieval, but Zone Control might be the go-to playground for those interested in V1 Interactive’s kickoff project.
While some of the gameplay can get a little stale after a while when you’re in the cockpit for the entirety of the game, I sincerely thought it was splendiferous to fight off against enemy Gravcycles, only to create more mayhem and joy to the pixelated warzone. The entire concept of humanity being preserved inside robots seems like a common sci-fi notion, but there’s the pursuit to “reboot humanity” with the help of powerful grunts and a trustworthy machine-killing ride that can make it into a narrative we might not have seen before. And thanks to the solid sound system and effects, it’s sure to be something to check out when Disintegration launches later this year.
This game was previewed on the PC.