Published on June 26th, 2020 | by John Werner
Disintegration Xbox One Review
Summary: Combining FPS and RTS elements in a unique fashion, “Disintegration” is the latest title from independent developer V1 Interactive.
Combining FPS and RTS elements in a unique fashion, “Disintegration” is the latest title from independent developer V1 Interactive. Set in a dystopian future, scientists have developed a method called “Integration” that allows them to place the human brain into a robotic body. Now a military superpower has taken to enslaving all integrated humans and it is up to a small group of rebels to strike back before it’s too late.
Every now and then, a new game comes along hoping to push the boundaries between genres and create something new. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Yet, regardless of the outcome, the experience itself is always an interesting one. Disintegration brings together two distinctively unique and popular gaming genres and merges them into a single entity that works surprisingly well. Combining the Real-Time Strategy elements of unit/squad management with a First-Person Shooter is no easy feat. But developer V1 Interactive has found a clever solution to making the unlikely duo work thanks to creative storytelling.
As an integrated human, Romer Shoal came to fame as an ace Gravcycle pilot, inspiring countless others to undergo the integration process. However, as fate would have it, Romer was soon targeted by the military superpower known as Rayonne, in hopes that he would convince more integrated souls to join their ranks. Resistant to Rayonne’s advances, Romer quickly joined a small group of rebels with the hope that they would one day regain their human bodies. Putting his expert Gravcycle skills to use, Romer provides tactical support for his fellow rebels, acting as their aerial support and leader during missions to stop the advance of the Rayonne forces.
Unlike traditional RTS games where the player is nothing more than an invisible “eye in the sky”, “Disintegration” gives players the role of playing as the squads Gravcycle Pilot, Romer. In this role, the player can move freely around the battlefield, directing the actions of the ground forces, whilst still being armed to the teeth with various weaponry ranging from guns, high powered cannons, and air to ground rockets. The one key difference between “Disintegration” and traditional RTS games is that the player can be shot down and killed in battle, resulting in mission failed.
Whilst the concept of the game is quite clever and unique, I personally feel that it still needs some work. Both the FPS and RTS elements play big parts within this game but neither have enough focus to be considered stand out features. During my playthrough of the game, I felt as if I was merely a drone hovering around the battlefield, doing nothing more than barking orders and dealing minimal damage with the pre-assigned weapons chosen for this mission. I couldn’t tell if I was meant to just sit back and let my undying troops do all of the work or if I was supposed to be doing more. I wanted to do more but my weapons hardly did any damage, and the cooldown time for my squad’s special abilities took way too long to recharge. At first, I thought that this was just the tutorial levels and that things would improve on a mission, but even after a handful of missions later, I still couldn’t quite understand my role within the squad and the game. In later missions, the player starts to take on more solo roles, where they are unaccompanied by any ground troops and need to survive on their own. These levels can be fun but the lack of customization and loadout options for the Gravcycle put a real dampener on combat. I found my only real strategy was doing hit and run attacks due to the pre-assigned weapons not dealing enough damage or just been unsuited for the situation I was in.
Overall, “Disintegration” does play well despite the issues I have regarding my role within the game. Each level is very story driven and adds to what drives these characters. Missions offer a degree of difficulty, challenging players to think quickly by managing their squad during combat as well as fending off incoming attacks. “Disintegration” offers a wide variety of enemy types, each with their own attack methods and patterns. Learning and identifying the different enemy units is critical for any player, especially during boss fights where players need to priorities particular units or risk been shot down very quickly. The one issue I do have with combat is that the player does not have an “ace in the hole” for getting out of tough situations. Perhaps this is done on purpose by the developer to strengthen the point that you and your squad are simply rebels fighting back with limited resources, further developing the lore of the game.
“Disintegration” has so much potential but due to being such a radical approach to combining two very different gaming genres, I believe that more work needs to be done in order to balance and strengthen the core mechanics. However, in saying that, I have found myself quite intrigued by the developing story and wanting to know what happens next. I wouldn’t call “Disintegration” a bad game, but I would like to see what the developers do with possible future titles. I also believe that “Disintegration” would have made a brilliant VR game but perhaps that is something we might be able to experience at a later date.