Hands-On With Disintegration’s Technical Beta

The Technical Beta for V1 Interactive’s Disintegration has come and gone, but it left quite the impression. The brief hands-on experience with the Tech Beta gave us a lot of interesting gameplay sessions that left us with the impression that Disintegration has a few kinks but a lot of potential. 

Disclaimer: It’s important to know that Betas are not the final product. Some gameplay may be altered and improved upon by release. This is about our experience with the game at its current stage, how it works, and what we liked and didn’t like. Now, to the Disintegration Beta review.

What is Disintegration?

Disintegration is being developed by V1 Interactive, an independent studio founded by the co-creators of Halo and SOCOM: US Navy SEALs. It takes place in the near future where most of humanity was forced to integrate with robot armatures to avoid extinction. This, of course, gave rise to a group of extremists that seek to turn every last human into robots and never reverse the process, i.e. dis-integrate.

How it Works

While the Technical Beta didn’t feature any story for Disintegration, it did deliver a lot of gameplay to get an idea for how unique this game is. In Disintegration, you operate a weaponized futuristic motorcycle, called a “Gravcycle”. On it, you hover above the field of play attacking enemy Gravcycles in limited aerial warfare. This brings the First-Person Shooter element that Disintegration is promoted as, but I was surprised to find out that there are some Real-Time Strategy elements in play, as well. 

As you shoot down Gravcycles, you also act as a general for a small team of ground troops. The three will target any enemy you direct them to and even have their own special abilities. In some cases, they can also pick up and move important items acquired on the battlefield. Using and protecting them in the heat of battle adds a challenging aspect to Disintegration.

What Works

Even though it was a very small sample size of what the finished game will be, I liked what I saw in Disintegration. The gameplay is unique and challenging. Your head needs to be on a swivel at all times, as action is coming at you from literally everywhere. I also enjoyed the two multiplayer modes shown, Zone and Retrieval. Zone is your standard capture and hold on to zones, but Retrieval is an interesting take on Capture the Flag. As attackers, you capture bombs from specific areas. Then, you carry those bombs to the enemy territory where three rockets are waiting. To score a point, you have to place the bomb in the rocket and watch it fly away. I hadn’t seen Capture the Flag like that, but I liked it.

You can see the fingerprints of Halo all over Disintegration. For example, it looks like there will be a lot of replayability, especially on the multiplayer side, which has been the bread and butter for the Halo series. Things like multiplayer challenges to access to customizable stuff like emotes, banners, and emblems give players something to strive for, but the ante will need to be upped by final release to keep players’ short attention spans. 

What Needs to Improve

What will keep player’s around, though, would be improved weapon damage for all classes. Disintegration’s multiplayer has players choose a class to play as. For now, there are seven classes to choose from: The Business, The Sideshow, WarHedz, Tech Noir, Neon Dreams, King’s Guard, and Last Ronin. Each have their own unique and special abilities in battle. The only issue is, none of the weapons, even the special weapons, felt all that powerful. I’m fine with a machine gun not melting enemies, but when I’m using a sniper type weapon and I don’t feel like I’m doing much damage, that’s an issue. Plus, specialty weapons should be able to severely damage enemies and I didn’t think that was the case, at all.

The gist

Honestly, the lack of power was my biggest issue with the beta. It’s hard to judge how a game will be when the finished product releases based on a beta, but for the most part Disintegration looks like it has a lot of promise. Time will tell if V1 Interactive has a hit, but if the story is captivating and they up the damage and make the game feel heavier, with more customization options, we could be in for something really cool. Just remember, though, that just because it was made by the creators of Halo doesn’t mean you should expect it to live up to Halo, because it isn’t and those are lofty expectations. 

Disintegration is slated for a 2020 release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.