Noob Reviews: Disintegration's Multiplayer
This review will be based on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gameplay. Although I have attempted to avoid spoilers, there may be some included to help explain specific points.
What is Disintegration?
Released earlier this year, Disintegration is a first-person-shooter (FPS) with real-time strategy (RTS) elements that sees you take to a variety of battlefields for both a solo campaign and various multiplayer modes - atop a Gravcycle. From which you can call in a variety of support attacks from NPCs as well as engage the enemy yourself directly.
With regards to the Gravcycles mentioned above, these are an anti gravitation land speeder that comes equipped with a basic attack and heavy attack. For example, you may have miniguns as your primary attack and a multi-missile launcher as your secondary.
For the multiplayer, when joining, you take up the mantle as a pilot for one of a number of Gravcycle teams - each with their own unique design, load-outs and NPC tactical options. Whether it be proximity mines and EMP pulses or mortar strikes and concussion grenades, there is something for all play styles.
What formats is the game available on?
Why are we just reviewing the multiplayer?
I managed to get a hands-on last weekend with the Xbox/PlayStation free to play days for Disintegration (but it was free to play on all platforms, and came with a 40% off if you decided to buy before August 03rd). However, I spent a lot of time playing just the multiplayer, so I thought it best not to judge other elements of the game as I had not tried them all.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official launch trailer linked from PlayStation’s YouTube channel -
When was it released?
Disintegration was released in June 2020.
Who created Disintegration?
The game was created by a small development team called V1 Interactive. And published by Private Division.
What do you think of Disintegration’s multiplayer?
What starts out as an exciting concept with nods towards games like Hovertank and Wipeout, soon becomes repetitive and at times, frustrating.
One of my main pet peeves were the map designs. Although the maps were huge and offered so much variety, they were intentionally designed to bring you into one of several main areas of conflict. Even the outdoors maps were often full of tight turns between scenery and intentional choke points, making getting the best out of your Gravcycle’s speed and manoeuvrability difficult at times. And made spawn camping very easy. Although I am not a spawn camper myself, many a battle I sat and watched my teammates literally line the corridor from our enemies spawn point to objectives. And simply eliminate them the moment they came out from behind the shield that protects their spawn area. More often than not, people would then respawn and repeat or just leave the game. Leaving the teams unbalanced.
Although there are often multiple ways with which to leave a spawn area, all of them had the same problem and when our team was not camping them. The enemy was simply sat behind the shield, protecting their spawn area, taking shots and eliminating our team. So it just turned into a vicious cycle of campers versus campers which killed the pace and mood of the matches. The map designs as I said had so much potential, but the poor placement of objects and walls really let a lot of them down.
Gravcycles and Balancing
When it comes to the handling of the Gravcycle itself, depending on the faction you decide to represent, you get a variety of manoeuvrability. Firepower. And endurance. Although I see the logic in this as it tries to mimic say Apex’s ability to choose different warriors to add variety and new tactics to a match, the balancing between the Gravcycles was not right. The smaller nippier Gravcycles were at times too quick to get accurate lock-ons on and required keen aim to take them down. Whereas some of the Gravcycles that I would describe as team tanks - able to absorb the most damage. Took a ridiculous amount of damage to take down that required multiple Gravcycles to engage at once. A team of these really stalled the fight, and it turned into a case of who had the most patience (and ammo). Again the concept behind the Gravcycles was sound but was poorly executed.
In addition to the maps and the units, I found matchmaking to take quite a while. Having tried both the Xbox and PlayStation versions myself (to compare the two platforms). And spoken to many PC players. You could be waiting up to and over three minutes to find a match. Although this in itself is not too bad, when finding a game it was not guaranteed to be full, and you would often have x amount of time on top of your initial wait, to sit watching the counter of X/10 players count to 10/10 before the match would begin. My longest wait time was eight minutes in total. Although I can only guess at this stage, with Disintegration having been out for just under two months, and for the same to occur on all three platforms, it seems to suggest interest in the multiplayer is already waning. Unfortunately, the matchmaking issues do not end there, once you have got into a match on several occasions I was removed for inactivity (you are provided with an on-screen prompt) before we had even been able to leave the spawn area. And at the end of a match. Instead of been placed with a group back into rotation for a new game. You are taken all the way back to the multiplayer menu and have to start looking anew. Personally, this made little sense as it was basically taking more time to keep dipping in and out of matches which many players may find tedious and impractical as it eats into the time you could be playing the game.
I honestly think that it is a shame that I decided to play Disintegration on stream on Sunday as quite a few of the issues above were seen by viewers. It really gave a poor impression with many pointing out glaringly obvious visual glitches such as average graphics and similarities to better-executed games which have tried the same FPS/RTS combination. The lack of balance between Gravcycles. And the mechanics’ issues putting them off trying the game for themselves. At one point I was asked quite bluntly ‘will this game survive?.’ Taking into account everything I had played over the weekend and the views of friends and family when speaking to them, who had also played the game, to get different thoughts. I would have to say no. I honestly do not think Disintegration’s multiplayer will be around for long and have a huge active player base unless there is some severe patching done to balance the units and re-work the matchmaking.
Should there be another free to play weekend or it becomes free to play in general I will give Disintegration another try to see if it has improved and to playthrough the campaign which is meant to be quiet good. But based on the multiplayer alone, I would say Disintegration is not worth the current £40 retail price.
What overall rating would you give Disintegration's multiplayer?
Matchmaking/Multiplayer specific functions 🍌
Overall I would give Disintegration’s multiplayer 2.25 out of 5 bananas.
With a lack of balance, poor map design and generic reason for the matches - I think Disintegration’s multiplayer really needs to be taken back to the drawing board, and a few crucial areas worked on as it is losing player’s interest fast. After less than two months since it’s release too, I think the hefty 40% off during the weekend, bringing the game’s price down to £24 - indicates that the publishers know this too.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. I hope you enjoyed it. Admittedly, everyone has a different opinion, and all I can do is encourage you to try out this game for yourself and see what you think.