Disintegration is just around the corner – don’t worry, our review is on the way too – but before diving in we wanted to give some helpful pointers for what to expect when the sci-fi shooter launches on Xbox One, PS4 and PC come June 16th 2020.
One of the biggest reasons that Disintegration is receiving so much fanfare pre-launch is because it comes from the mind of Marcus Lehto, one of the co-creators of the Halo franchise. Halo is loved as a piece of science fiction and has had far-reaching forms of media away from videogames. Many are hoping that Disintegration is just the start of another epic sci-fi series.
Marcus Lehto has created a new studio for Disintegration – V1 Interactive. Originally starting with just himself and a few college seniors looking to make a name for themselves, it has since expanded to a team of 30, all in order to produce Disintegration. After my time with the game, the work and polish achieved looks like it has been produced by a team of hundreds.
This may seem like a strange entry for a sci-fi game set in the future, but to fully understand aspects of Disintegration we need to travel back in time to the 16th Century.
The main antagonist in Disintegration is a post-humanist that goes by the name of Black Shuck, who is a commander of the Rayonne forces (more on those later). Black Shuck is given this name due to his deeply uncomforting red eyes and black exoskeleton. But where does this name come from, I hear you ask?
A place in England known as East Anglia that covers Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire has had sightings of a ghostly black dog with piercing red eyes. Its name? Black Shuck: described in 1577 as “A strange, and terrible wunder” by poet and clergyman Abraham Fleming. Sometimes seen as an omen of death, it has also been reported that Black Shuck has been companionable to those that have encountered the apparition.
However, in Disintegration there is no companionship going on whatsoever with the Rayonne and this version of Black Shuck.
Integration and Disintegration
So, the Rayonne are the ‘baddies’ in Disintegration, but why? We first need a bit of backstory, to understand what the word integration means in this context.
As a result of climate change, the world has changed forever as resources are scarce. Scientists have developed a method to preserve humanity and let the world heal itself: Integration. This is a process that removes the brain from a human being – crudely referred to as a Natural in the game – and places it into a robotic armature temporarily.
At least, it was meant to be temporary…
Understandably, there are those that would argue that Integration is itself the future of mankind. And they call themselves the Rayonne.
However, they aren’t content with simply living in their robotic armatures, persecuting others that want to return to a human host. The Rayonne are forcibly killing off any remaining Naturals and imprisoning any Integrated folk that do not agree with their ideals. One of their prisons is the Iron Cloud, and it is here that many of the ragtag bunch of Outlaws that you will be playing as – and experiencing this future through – are residing.
That is until they break out…
Romer is one of those that manages to escape, and it is he who you will be controlling throughout Disintegration. A former celebrity and renowned Gravcycle pilot, he arrived on the Iron Cloud after smuggling and repossessing Gravcycles after they became outlawed.
He hasn’t lost his touch when it comes to piloting a Gravcycle, and hovering above the ground in one is where he feels most at home. It is also where he views the battlegrounds and gives out orders to the other Outlaws.
From his seat in his Gravcycle, Romer can survey all around him. By doing this – and also piloting a craft that has guns mounted – Disintegration manages to deliver a very unique gameplay loop.
In gaming terms, there are those that have played first-person shooters, and there are those that have played real-time strategy games. What Disintegration does is offer a game that is both these genres mashed into one. FPS players will feel right at home in the Gravcycle, raining bullets and missiles down on enemies below, while RTS fans will competently assign orders to a team of up to four Outlaws. It is a very unique experience but works so that players more versed in one or the other can still play the way they find more comfortable without feeling hamstrung.
Disintegration also features a hefty multiplayer component, featuring the same FPS and RTS hybrid gameplay, but this time across some tight 5v5 team-based multiplayer. As well as the standard multiplayer team objectives, it is the customisation of the various crews that offers true longevity.
We’ve had a play of the multiplayer during the beta; you can read our thoughts on the various modes here.
Each crew will also offer unique stats, and it is highly advisable that you try each one out in the multiplayer sandbox area to find your perfect fit. Some may have one or two extra units to order around the battlefield, or you may prefer a smaller number that deal heavier damage. Likewise, some Gravcycles are far quicker than others; it is entirely your choice how you would like to play.
There are nine crews available at launch, and all are very imaginative. Samurai, clowns, knights and Mad Max wannabes, all are included here.
So there we have it, and that’s just seven things to know before starting Disintegration. Hopefully it has whet your appetite for this new sci-fi shooter, and our review for the full game will not be far behind these words. If you have any further questions, feel free to hit us up in the comments and we will do our best to answer them!
Remember, you can grab Disintegration for yourself on Xbox One, PS4 and PC from the 16th June 2020. We’ll point you to the Xbox Store and let you make your own mind up to which format you purchase it on.