Review: Disintegration has great ideas but lacks proper execution

Disintegration is V1 Interactive’s latest game that combines the first-person shooter genre with real-time strategy elements. Your playground is a near-future Earth where the only way that humans were able to continue to survive was through Integration. This process took the brains of humans and integrated them into robots. You get to play as Romar Shoal, a former celebrity Gravcyle pilot, who controls his own crew to help him take down the baddies. The Rayonne forces want to destroy what is left of human society, but your mission is to stop them.

Disintegration features 12 missions, all varying in length. I completed the game in around 9 hours, which is a little lackluster. Another bland point in the game is the graphics.  For the price you are paying, the graphics are just downright bad. I understand that the team that created the game only consisted of 30 employees, but I still expected more for the price. I played on maxed-out graphics and everything just seemed styleless.

The textures were lacking and that’s instantly apparent by looking at the ground. The ground looked almost flat, disregarding the rocks and some plants. Everything blended together and looked unpolished. The many explosions didn’t look close to real, and the Cloud, which is a major Rayonne ship, looks unfinished. On top of that, the water animations weren’t good whatsoever. 

Disintegration

The game starts off with a tutorial that shows you the basics of how to control your crew, along with how to operate your Gravcycle and interact with the environment around you.  When you begin your missions you slowly realize that the game isn’t much more exhilarating than the tutorial. Sure, as the game progresses it gets increasingly more challenging, but the first couple missions are painfully boring to playthrough. Once new types of enemies are introduced however, the game begins to pick up.

The enemies you fight aren’t anything special. You start with basic Rayonne troops that take no more than a second each to kill. You later see enemies that have a little more health and a different type of weapon. This is a major point where the game lacks. You have to sit through the tedious job of killing enemies you have killed a million times before. You are introduced to bigger enemies and eventually Rayonne troops that fly there own Gravcycle, which are admittedly fairly hard to kill.  

Disintegration also does one of the most annoying things that a video game can possibly do. Once the game is done feeding you all the different types of enemies you will be introduced to (which is early on), the way that they increase the difficulty of levels is by throwing more and more of the same enemy on you. This doesn’t add to the enjoyment, it only leads to a frustrating time of killing the same enemies over and over again.  

Disintegration

Disintegration also isn’t a very challenging game at all. I played on the recruit difficulty (which was the default) and I could count how many times I died on both hands. This was because of the classic trope that the game fell for earlier. By throwing the same enemies over and over, this doesn’t add a challenge to the missions, it only adds frustration.

Where the game does succeed is in the gunplay. Throughout the missions, you are given various weapons to use on your Gravcycle, and they are admittedly fun to use. The once that is the most enjoyable would be the shotgun attachment, but the other ones still have some fun to them. Some of them definitely lack the satisfaction of the others, which is a shame, because you don’t get to choose the weapon you use in each mission.

Disintegration also has a pretty basic level up system in the game. The more salvage points you get, the more upgrades you can unlock. The three universal upgrades for you and your crew are durability, weapon damage, and regeneration. After those three, you and your crew have varying unique upgrades that can be used. The upgrades are noticeable, and allow you to kill the enemies much quicker. However, without spoiling anything, you will find yourself very upset with spending your upgrade points (which take time to gather) on certain characters in the game. I will leave it at that.  

Disintegration

The crew that you control is easy to utilize and they do help destroy the enemies. It isn’t like many games where your team stands there and does nothing. Your crew actually plays a substantial role in helping you defeat enemies. The prioritization system works great and their individual abilities are very useful. This is very important since your entire experience (besides for cutscenes and in between missions) takes place in your Gravcycle.  

One thing that sticks out is the oddly unsatisfying ending to the game. The story builds up a standard “hero and their team must complete and objective/save the day” story, but ends in a way that seems like the end to all of the other missions. At the end of each mission that you complete, there is a cinematic, but because the game didn’t do a great job structuring the story, you could be led to believe that the game ends 1 or 2 missions back.  The bigger problem, however, is that the final mission’s gameplay feels like it could be any other mission’s gameplay. There is nothing about it that stands out, showing the player that this is the last mission. A more immersive experience with maybe a final boss or at least a new enemy would have made the experience memorable.

The final point I would like to make is something that is quite disappointing about the game. On top of the bad graphics, there are a few noticeable bugs that, while nitpicky, but do take you out of the game a bit.

Disintegration

Characters will walk backward sometimes, shoot at enemies that are too far away and don’t do any damage to them, and many animations seemed to move through other objects.  On top of the bugs, another thing that was a bit confusing was that some enemies seemed to just come from nowhere. Even though some enemies noticeably came down from flying machines in the sky or from other areas of the map, it would have been nice to see all of the enemies come from somewhere instead of just spawning in.  

The Verdict

Even though Disintegration has very enjoyable gunplay and the crew is very easy and useful to utilize, this doesn’t give a pass to the inadequate graphics, the lack of unique enemies, the bugs, an unsatisfying ending, and many other elements of this game that with more time, could have been improved drastically. The game has a very cool concept of combining the first-person shooter genre with a real-time strategy game, but unfortunately lacks the necessity of an entertaining game to back the concept.