Crossing genres can be difficult but very rewarding. Crossing genres can also try to be too many things at once but never doing anything particularly well. Disintegration tries to juggle a number of different things and does allow for some genuine fun and new gameplay. However, overly simple level design in the campaign and the chaotic and lack of depth in multiplayer drag this game down.
The single player campaign has an actually fairly interesting story and pretty good characters. Their personalities and the cutscenes can become engaging at times. But the level and mission design is, I am sad to say this, very boring. It is just continually wave after wave of small groups of enemies that I take down by shooting from a distance, healing my teammates and telling my teammates to use all their abilities. It doesn’t feel like there’s very much skill involved, and the higher difficulties don’t seem to test my abilities but instead challenge my patients in standing back and shooting at bigger bullet sponges over longer periods of time. Even though the missions do involve capturing certain points and destroying certain objects, it all feels very arbitrary and it isn’t that interesting. Side note, there are also very, very long compared to most FPS game’s campaign missions. There’s also an exceptional amount of backtracking, which is just unnecessary because all the environments and battles are fairly dull.
The multiplayer in this game has a lot of very good moments, but also some very bad moments. As much fun and chaotic as it is to have two teams ships with more than a dozen people on the ground shooting each other, there is much testing of my skills and strategy or the skills of my teammates. After playing multiple games, there’s also huge amounts of wait time to just get into a game, which often was also unbalanced in number of players on both sides. If the game were to continue and collect a really large community and after many many hours of skilled training and cooperation in strategy, I could see the game becoming more interesting. But mostly it is a chaotic fest to see who has more teammates nearby to team shoot others and who can see the other first. If players may want to hop online and play something fun and cool, this will entertain for awhile, but the depth of level design and how killing opponents works isn’t all that refined and doesn’t lend to a competitive nature.
Aside from all this negativity, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to control the ship and my little army of people. But the overall gameplay suffers as it tries to be a real time strategy game, a first person shooter and an aerial battle game. The problem is that these three different genres are inherently opposing each other and contradict each other at the core. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to make a good game while mixing genres, but Disintegration takes only the surface level parts of each of those genres and throws them together, hoping for something good. As a real time strategy game, you’re only commanding two or three people almost all the time, and the commands are either shoot, use ability or interact with something. I never felt that I had a really great command especially because they did a lot of things on their own. It was mostly necessary for me to actually tell them what to do and it didn’t seem to have a great impact on the actual gameplay when I did give them orders.
As for the flight battling, because the ship you are on is very slow and players can’t do flips and spins to dodge attacks, it feels very static and you feel like this giant dead metal body in the air pointing and shooting statically. Lastly, the first person shooter misses the mark because the weapon variety is very small and can only be switched out of levels. The enemies that you fight are never more interesting than being something lifeless to shoot at. And floating in the air shooting at something might seem OK on paper, but it doesn’t feel good to be in a first person shooter position while hovering in the air all the time.
Look, all my comments are pretty negative, but it is fun to pilot the ships for a while. The story campaign isn’t terrible, it is just sluggish and the multiplayer is fun, but lacks depth. I think if this game was a full fledged FPS that involved getting in the flying machine often to do insane amounts of damage, somewhat like Titanfall, then it would have been a better game overall. Let us know in the comment below what you thought of the game!
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