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Hands-On Decomposition View – Is This The Next Great Online Shooter?

Disintegration – the fight is re-emerging

GameCentral is playing the new game from co-creator Halo and unveiling the most original online scorer of the year.

Over the years, we have read so many press releases claiming that their game is from the Halo and / or Bungi veterans that the praise has lost its appeal. As such, we didn't pay much attention to Disintegration when it was first released by the new interactive label Take-Two Private Division, though it was co-created by Halo, Marcus Summer. To be fair to us, the attractive trailer gave absolutely nothing and only at Gamescom this week it was revealed to be a first person shooter that looks a lot like Fate … but plays like nothing else we've seen so far.

Much of the basic elements of "Disintegration" are pretty standard for the genre. The art style will be very familiar to every Destiny fan, and the game mode we played had two teams of five alternating between defending and trying to steal the MacGuffins. Nothing too original about it, except instead of playing the typical protagonist of a first person shooter, ride one of several different counter-attacking vehicles that look and work more like an accelerator faster than the War of the Stars (or really Destiny).

On top of that, you have a team of two to five robots that follow you around the country, acting autonomously, but you can also go to certain locations, such as a simpler manned shooter. This is an unusual mix of elements, but based on our half hour, it has the potential to be one of the most exciting new multiplayer games for a long time.

Apart from the overall layout, the most surprising thing about Decay is that none of the eight different "gravicycles" have a typical first-person shooter load. One of them has a lightweight machine, but even with a tank like Gunhead, you get nothing like a turret or minibus, but instead, a launcher that shoots grenades and nukes, which takes a long time to power and recharge.

Each cycle has different speed and armor statistics, so some are best for direct attacks and others for support, but very few of the loads are as simple as just pointing and shooting. The King's Guard has a high-tech crossbow, it's more powerful if you fill it in and also slows everything down; while our initial favorite was a support team called Tech Noir that has a sniper rifle that sets fire enemies and a health grenade that can repair both the grenades and the robots.

But if you worry that the game sounds like a step-by-step learning curve, it's not like it came to us. In a room full of international magazines everyone cheered for their victories and surprised their defeats as part of the opening match. And when we were all asked if we wanted to go before the next group came along, there was nothing but cheers of encouragement – much to the obvious delight of the initial team who seemed nervous.

Although the weapons of motor bodies require a considerable amount of experimentation, even to understand how they work there, it seemed to be very nuanced to the robots as well. Their exact nature varies from group to group – with teams made up of snipers, tanks and other familiar types of classes – but we had a lot of initial success targeting them manually, including a match where we all went around the map periphery and managed to steal a core when everyone others fought in the middle.

We suspect that our love of real-time strategy games has given us a slight edge, but since all you do is point out where you want your team to go and press a button, it's more likely you will remember to keep giving them orders. than anything else. Each robot has its own special charge move, from artillery barrels to buffaloes and healing abilities, but we admit we forgot to use them. But that's good, since they are clearly intended for more experienced players and can easily be ignored while teaching rope.

Disintegration – Destiny meets Halo Wars

Before playing the multiplayer, we were given a brief overview of the game as a whole and promised to have a proper, meaningful campaign and it was not just a multiplayer. The story revolves around humanity being forced to install its brains into robotic bodies that some are unhappy with and rebel against. I hope the storytelling will be more of a Halo than a Fate, but we can't guarantee it at the moment.

If we have a problem with the game, we'll have to say we're not entirely sure why the V1 Interactive investor actually went through anti-gravity cycles, because it means it's less visual in nature than it might otherwise be. And although the controls are very intuitive, floating around in the middle feels far less tactful than being an army boot.

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The previous experience of playing experimental shooters at the likes of E3 and Gamescom also makes us a little cautious, with Evolve being the most obvious example of a game that looked like a classic in the making, but proved to lack longevity once released.

Something tells us that disintegration will not be the case. Whether that will have an impact or a success on Halo, we wouldn't want to say, but it's the most interesting new shooter we've played in a long time. It's always better to try something new than just rely on copying what already works, and refusing to play by the normal rules. Disintegration could be Halo: Fighting has evolved again.

Formats: Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC
Publisher: Private Division
Developer: V1 Interactive
Publication date: 2020

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