Halo was first conceived as a real-time technique sport, however it developed right into a first-person shooter over the course of growth. I’ve usually puzzled what may need occurred if Bungie had caught to these technique roots. Developer V1 Interactive – which is helmed by one in every of Halo’s co-creators – has given us a window right into a potential alternate actuality with Disintegration, a sci-fi shooter that blends first-person fight with real-time technique. But, if Disintegration is any indication of what may need been, then I’m glad the unique Halo switched genres in growth.
Conceptually, I like Disintegration. You spend the whole sport aboard a gravcycle, which is principally a floating tank that offers you a birds-eye view of the motion, permitting you to difficulty orders to a small squad of grunts whereas participating in fight your self. That thought is strong, and I recognize how your fight hovercar provides a vertical ingredient to first-person fight. However, Disintegration’s gravcycle additionally makes you are feeling faraway from the motion, since you are actually floating above it.
Spending the whole sport within the sky has a couple of surprising penalties, like hampering your sense of velocity. The gravcycle has a good base velocity for a floor car, however because you hover overhead, you are feeling such as you’re puttering throughout the battlefield in a golf cart. What’s extra, because you float a narrative or two over your enemies’ heads, you usually don’t have choices for taking cowl when issues warmth up. The motion hardly ever will get that chaotic, and once you’re faraway from the middle of the battle, it feels such as you’re taking pictures tiny fish in a giant barrel.
Another downside is the dearth of evolution in Disintegration’s moment-to-moment motion. Your gravcycle’s loadout for every mission is predetermined, which limits your choices in fight; you’re sometimes outfitted with one offensive gun and one defensive software, like one thing to heal the squad. This fastened loadout implies that you spend lengthy stretches going via the identical motions, which makes encounters mix collectively.
Issuing orders to your squad presents a enjoyable twist to fight, however does not repair Disintegration’s bigger points. At any level, you possibly can direct your crew throughout the sphere, spotlight targets for them to deal with, or deploy their particular strikes, that are set to cooldowns. These talents vary from easy grenades to disruption fields that briefly incapacitate enemies, however they’re virtually at all times helpful. I had enjoyable firing talents off one another for combos, like after I dropped a sluggish discipline on a gaggle of enemies earlier than hitting them with a mortar barrage. While Disintegration’s strategic parts are a spotlight, they don’t really feel essential sufficient to show the tides. Your squad members do a superb job of caring for themselves, they usually don’t grasp round the place you direct them for lengthy, so you may have little cause to micromanage their actions.
Some of the most important flaws in Disintegration’s motion are curtailed in multiplayer, the place you encounter foes that maneuver across the surroundings such as you, which gives a extra participating problem. Disintegration’s multiplayer maps are smaller than the single-player marketing campaign ranges, which reduces the phantasm of sluggish motion. These maps additionally provide locations to cover and make use of your verticality. I bought a thrill out of hiding in some neglected nook of a map after which descending on a foe from above. Even so, Disintegrations first-person taking pictures stays barebones given your restricted loadout. I additionally had a tougher time corralling my troops in multiplayer; they usually appeared desperate to run into the fray and immediately die in bigger firefights.
At launch, multiplayer solely options three modes: crew deathmatch, king of the hill, and seize the flag. That sparse providing hurts Disintegration’s endurance, and I shortly felt like I had seen every part multiplayer needed to provide. At the start of a match, you possibly can select from one in every of a number of groups, such because the shotgun-wielding Militia or the clown-themed Sideshows who hearth sticky bombs, however these are simply variations on the single-player loadouts, so the one actual distinction is the weapon you are utilizing. Even Disintegration’s development system is missing. You earn cash as you play, however the one factor to spend them on are new beauty choices. These aren’t even new costumes – they’re easy coloration variants of the present character fashions.
Disintegration’s core thought of mixing a first-person shooter with a technique sport is neat, however it takes so many missteps that the promising idea will get misplaced. The motion is repetitive, and the fundamental mission design is drained – you possibly can’t even save the sport mid-mission, which is especially baffling. Amid the tedium, I had an occasional moments of enjoyable in Disintegration, however these moments had been fleeting.