Earlier last year, we shared our hands-on experience with the multiplayer aspect of Disintegration, a new game from V1 Interactive, a studio comprised of many industry veterans including the co-creators of Halo. That previous games experience was very much reflected in the RTS/FPS gameplay style of the multiplayer, but until now we had no idea what the single-player aspect of the online game had to offer. Prima Games recently sat down with the creative director, Marcus Lehto, to dive deep into what the single-player aspect of Disintegration brings to the table.
If you remember our multiplayer preview, you may recall that we mentioned that this game could have the potential to be Next Big Thing In Gaming or the Biggest Flop but after having seen the single-player in action, we are definitely leaning towards the former. During a roundtable setting with Lehto, he mentioned that VI Interactive's goal was to create a unique niche for gamers to enjoy, something totally new on the current market while still carrying elements that players can feel drawn in by. From what we ourselves have seen of Disintegration, that goal was very much achieved, meaning our best advice when it makes its debut is to go into the game with completely open eyes because there really isn't anything out there quite like it.
I remember when I played the multiplayer last year, and then again during PAX East 2020, I felt a little overwhelmed by the real-time strategy / FPS blend. The learning curve is real and I know I wasn't alone in feeling that way. The single-player aspect offers a different newness than the MP aspect, for obvious reasons, but my biggest takeaway from the sneak peek was that I was just massively impressed and eager to learn more. Many times, getting to see a game early and hearing the passion of the team behind it leaves me feeling excited, but this game left me feeling hungry for more and thoroughly perplexed in the best way possible.
Despite being set 150 years in the future, there is something entirely present about this narrative that with everything going on right now almost felt like a gut punch. The setting sees a massive fall after global warming ravages the earth and a pandemic - see what I mean - leaving humanity feeling vulnerable and uncertain. As with many futuristic games, this desolate setting inspires a sense of innovation and a creative will to survive, causing the process of Integration being developed to encase a person within a robotic machine, effectively elongating the lifespan of the average human by 200 years. The shelf-life is temporary, which eventually causes the Disintegration of the neural pathways and robotic connections to fall away, showing that no one fix is ever permanent.
Where Disintegration as a narrative comes into play is a fast-forward into the future following the popularization of this technology and sees nefarious forces use this innovation for their own purposes to form what is called the Rayonne. The Rayonne then sets out to kill all "naturals" with the hopes of total obliteration and control, therefore sparking a new wave of terror and a fight to be the last man standing.
Stepping into the role of the main character Romer is ... incredible. He's integrated himself and unlike the Rayonne, he knows his humanity and will do anything in his power to keep it. What's interesting about this character is seeing the reflections of his pre-integration life as a badass pilot and celebrity from a show called Cradled Grav. His entire schtick was to review Gravecylces (motorcycles) in a livestream format and his love for the craft - and his viewership - skyrocketed once the integration process took place.
With the war, one would assume the protagonist would be this paragon of unwavering good, but what he actually is a very human con-man. Not necessarily in a bad way, per say, but very Bounty Hunter-esque in how he controlled the pieces on both sides of the war in an effort to remain one step ahead. But, as we all know, that sort of game is dangerous and eventually, he made a Gravcycle sale to the wrong person, which is how he finds himself imprisoned by the Rayonne. We also learned that Romer has a special history with one of the leading villains, Black Shuck, which kickstarts a desire for the player to see Romer do and be better.
Lehto mentioned that Romer's story is one about making up for previous mistakes and that's what the single-player experience has to offer. While the multiplayer part of the game offers strategic combat placed within the world but feeling very separate at the same time, the single-player adventure feels almost guttural in how it thrusts players into what being human is all about: making mistakes and learning from them.
We don't have a release date at this time for Disintegration, but one thing is for sure? I need more of this game and I'm excited for everyone to learn more about V1 Interactive's newest adventure!