If ever there was a genre that has stuck to its guns, it has to be the field of first-person shooters. Decades after the likes of Doom, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and DOOM again reinvigorated the idea of visceral third-person action, not much has been done to truly move that idea of giving you a front-row seat to the carnage unfolding from your viewpoint.
It’s a double-edged sword when you think about it: Stray too far from the path and you risk alienating your audience, whereas taking the slightest of detours will result in just enough creativity generating a new path off the beaten track that stands out from the pack. Disintegration then, is that bold new foray into a field that is currently stagnant save for a few select titles.
Developed by a small team headed up by Halo: Reach’s Marcus Lehto, Disintegration’s prime hook is one of commanding and conquering: You’ve got the firepower to take the fight directly to an enemy, but you can’t do it alone. That’s where a squad of dedicated troopers comes into play, valiant troopers who’ll follow your every command as you watch from your lofty gunship perch.
Piloting your way through a battle makes for an interesting departure from the norm. In an age where speed and mobility seem to be the trend of the day, Disintegration dials back the agility so it can properly emphasise that the arsenal you’re piloting makes you move like a whale with an eating disorder. You’re still able to make use of an advanced selection of weapons to clear the field, but the real flexibility you’re afforded is in the commands issued to your small squad of specialised troops.
They’re able to dash to a marked point, focus fire on highlighted targets, carry out objectives and unleash special abilities that allow you to swoop in and finish off a target with your own heavy firepower. That Disintegration can do all this with only a few modest input taps, is nothing short of phenomenal given how smooth the transition between action and strategy is.
There’s a symbiosis between your gravcycle and your troops, highlighted by the loadout you bring into battle. Some gravcycles offer more mobility at the expense of fighting ability, others serve as mobile beachheads that require multiple player coordination to take down and every pilot has a dedicated squad of soldiers to make the most of in the thick of battle, playing like a first-person MOBA as you control chokepoints and zones that offer a tactical advantage.
That’s where Disintegration truly shines, as this is a game designed to appeal to those people who can still function when placed under immense pressure. When you’re juggling objectives, troops, your own gravcycle’s overall wellbeing and how to fluidly combine all of them into a sound strategy as the crap hits the fan around you, that’s when Disintegration makes its mark as something that feels truly unique as it blurs the line between genres.
There’s a lot more depth to the game that its recent tech test has yet to divulge, but Disintegration is shaping up nicely so far. It has the potential to be the next big thing in competitive gaming thanks to the intelligent execution of its ideas, with the passion behind the project bleeding through to the current product.
Last Updated: January 31, 2020