Disintegration Has Reignited My Love for Competitive Multiplayer
At a time of uninspired multiplayer shooters, Disintegration has the key ingredients to stand out on its own.
As I have gotten older, I refrain from playing competitive multiplayer games. Part of the reason is that I don’t have a lot of time while another is that everything feels the same to me. I enjoy playing Overwatch, but even then I haven’t jumped into a match since sometime last year. Originally unveiled at Gamescom, Disintegration is the first title from V1 interactive and an original sci-fi first-person shooter with the implementation of real-time strategy mechanics.
Normally, I am not a fan of RTS games, but after getting hands-on at PAX West I am impressed by the way V1 can execute both genres into one game. In return, it feels like a fresh of breath air to the point where I can see myself pouring countless hours into its multiplayer. Disintegration may even have the potential to put itself on my personal pedestal for other multiplayer titles like Overwatch, Halo, or Call of Duty.
In Disintegration, players control a “crew.” This crew is has a leader that the player directly controls who rides a gravcycle with a primary weapon and at times a secondary. Along with the leader are two to four ground units that each have an ability to use. Each unit’s ability is designated to a direction on the D-pad. Their abilities are determined based on what crew you choose to play. Crews also have gravcycles with different stats including durability, handling, and speed. It is also worth noting that if all your units die, that doesn’t mean your whole crew is dead. If a unit dies the leader can wait until they respawn as well as moving by them causing them to come back faster. The only way a crew dies as a whole is if the leader dies
Pressing right bumper will position a player’s units based on where the leader is targeting with their crosshairs. There is also an action wheel where you can emote with a thumbs up or ping enemies. V1’s main message that they are trying to get across is that the RTS elements are on the left side of the controller while the FPS elements are on the right. While that doesn’t completely apply at all time, the layout should be approachable to Disintegration’s potential audience.
During my playtime, I played Retrieval, a six-on-six objective-based mode where the offensive team tries to obtain a core from one of two neutral locations on the map. Once the core is retrieved, the team tries to get it to the enemy team’s launchpad to score a point. What makes the mode more interesting is that the core is also an explosive with the ability to exterminate anyone around it if destroyed. If it takes too much damage it will blow up and reset back at its original point of origin. Teams get one attempt to both score and defend.
There were six different crews I was able to choose from. I went with Tech Noir, equipping my gravcycle with a rifle cannon and a healing gun. When it came to my units abilities I had seeker rockets that rained down upon enemies, slow field, an area of effect slowing enemies inside, and a disrupt droid which seemed to stop certain abilities from happening.
As the game started it took me a minute to get a hang of the controls, but once I did I immediately became infatuated. My favorite thing to do was placing a stop field around enemies followed by with seeker rockets that would drop on top of them, leading to their obliteration. I still continue to think about the possibilities Disintegration can reach in multiplayer. The teamwork, the big plays and pushes to complete objectives. It has the potential to become the next big esports title. I already want to pour hours and hours into the game already, which is a feeling I haven’t gotten with any upcoming multiplayer game in years.
When I was playing, I had Lead Creative Director Marcus Lehto to talk to me more about the game. My only critique is that the ping mechanic isn’t mapped to a specific button. With the abilities mapped to the D-pad, I suggested to Lehto to map ping to up on the pad. I know that some crews have four units, but if there is a way V1 can work around that and make the ping system mapped to a button I think it will be more beneficial than anything. That way, those who will play on controllers won’t have any additional steps to point out where an enemy is to teammates.
For those that aren’t about multiplayer, that is perfectly fine because there is going to be a campaign as well. While I didn’t get to play anything from it, I know a little about what to expect. The singleplayer campaign stars Romer Shoal, a gravcycle expert who is “integrated,” a process where the human brain is transferred to a robotic host. In Disintegration, humans are on the verge of extinction due to catastrophes like climate change and overpopulation. This lead to a temporary solution known as integration. Once humans are able to change back, a group known as the Rayonne fight against it causing war around the world and killing anyone who is against them. As Shoal you will try to rebel against the Rayonne forces.
With all the different games I got to try out at PAX West, Disintegration is one of the few that I continuously think about. I find it to be an ambitious new IP that has a team that seems extremely passionate about the project they have been building for years now. Everything that I have seen is shaping up to be great and I cannot wait to jump in when it launches next year. Disintegration releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in 2020.