We’ve seen lots of games about robots, they’re easily one of the hottest topics in video games. Just mech suits in general, we’re all familiar with the concept, right? Disintegration really doesn’t deviate from the norm, and tries to be a lot of things, while reminding you that it’s the future and there are robots every ten seconds. While it is a novel concept with decent controls and nice visuals, it doesn’t do anything crazy new and fails to innovate on the cool idea it presents.
To explain further, Disintegration is a hybrid between FPS and RTS, which honestly sounds really cool in concept. The main draw of the game is the Gravcycle, a motorcycle that flies. The Gravcycle is equipped with guns and a healing mechanism that you use to heal your troops. In the tutorial, this seemed really fun! It controls well and is easy to use, and the enemies you fight drop like flies, and I was really into it at first. The Gravcycle is meant to give you an overview of the battlefield with enemy and object scanners as well as guns, and with this visual vantage point you can direct your crew to target enemies, break crates, heal up, etc. What is truthfully neglected in the tutorial is how crucial your units are, as when you get into actual gameplay, the Gravcycle will not cut it.
To digress for a bit, the story sees you playing as Romer, a famous Gravcycle pilot that has “integrated”; which means he uploaded his brain into a robot. This is the future and Romer is famous, and Disintegration MAKES SURE you will not forget this. The campaign starts off with his introduction, then reveals he’s being held captive on an enemy ship. These red robots start torturing him to join them, which he refuses. Luckily the ship is attacked and he manages to escape with other robots that haven’t joined the bad guys. They then travel in search of supplies, and stumble upon an old human man and his outpost. The ragtag group bands together in order to survive and fight back. This is fine and all, but it just feels uninspired. The Gravcycle is made up to be a huge reveal, but if you played the tutorial you knew you had to get one. The characters aren’t really touched upon much, and it really just boils down to underdog robots who miss being human fighting the bad guys. Sometimes simple is better, but it gets downright boring after a while.
The game’s visuals are fine. It looks like a standard triple A shooter, and that’s really it. The environments are alright, the first few missions are very same-y. The robots/integrated people remind me a lot of the Exo from Destiny. They look really similar, but that’s honestly beside the point. The environments are meant to look realistic, and they really nail that down. The issue with that is there isn’t much variety in what you’re doing. You fly around, let your units kill the enemies, rescue the other robots, and that’s it. It’s a gameplay loop that doesn’t really feel satisfying unfortunately, as fun as it seems at first.
To touch more on the gameplay, you’re pretty much a slightly helpful observer. You direct commands and sometimes heal your party, and that’s about it. The Gravcycle’s guns honestly hit like wet noodles. You can stare an enemy dead in the eye, at point blank range, and it’d take an entire clip to down them. Even then, chances are you’ll get downed first with how fragile you are. The thing is, if you die it’s just game over. Your units can die and you have 30 seconds to get them, and they respawn really fast. If you don’t get them in 30 seconds, it’s also game over. This seems to be because Disintegration really does not want the player to be a passive observer. You have to place yourself directly in the line of fire if you want to rescue your troops, or else you lose. Frankly, this was never really an issue with my playtime, since I had a decent grasp on controlling the Gravcycle. My main issue is how the game feels like you should be doing more but you’re just a liability when you enter the battle anywhere near your units. You certainly do not feel as impactful as any of your units, and it can seem downright frustrating to see one two shot an enemy robot while you’re emptying entire magazines on the one straggler that flanked you. If you don’t stay on top of healing everyone you’ll just get bombarded by voice lines any time someone is under half health. It’s less involved combat and more babysitting until the fight is over.
At the end of the day, Disintegration tried to make a novel concept work and just flopped the execution. The characters and world are just not memorable, and it generally just feels uninspired. The gameplay tried to take too many directions and couldn’t decide what it wanted to be, and this led to a lot of half executed ideas that didn’t make a cohesive gameplay experience. The controls and graphics are good, and the game looks cool; but everything just gets boring a little too fast. While I like the idea of an FPS mixed with an RTS game, Disintegration just splits the ball halfway down the middle and leaves you wanting to do something more interactive.
Score: 6 out of 10
Reviewed on Playstation 4