A glimpse into the FPS/RTS hybrid from the co-creator of Halo
Back in late 2017 when I heard that Take-Two Interactive was establishing a new, indie focused publishing label named Private Division, I was excited. When I also heard that one of Private Division’s upcoming games would be a new sci-fi FPS from Marcus Lehto, one of the co-creators of Halo and an integral part of that series’ aesthetic, I was thrilled. Lehto’s new home, V1 Interactive, is a smaller studio of about 30 developers and was not only comprised of ex-Halo veterans, but also boasted ex-SOCOM: US Navy SEALs vets as well.
I was able to get my hands on the PS4 technical beta they held in late January to see what V1 Interactive had cooked up with their multiplayer component. At it’s most basic, Disintegration is a team based first-person shooter with some light real-time strategy elements mixed in. Each player controls a Gravcycle, or hover craft, and also commands a handful of ground units. There are seven teams, or “Crews”, that you can choose from, each with their own unique loadouts and abilities. The beta consisted of two modes and two maps. The first mode, Retrieval, had teams play two rounds with each team taking turns on offense and defense. The offensive team had to take one of two payloads to the drop point in the center of the map to earn a score. The second mode, Zone Control, is just that; a classic take on zones where teams struggle to control 3 different zone areas simultaneously.
As an RTS newbie, it took me a while to realize just how powerful my ground units could be in the thick of a firefight. Early in my play session I was often times quickly overcome by enemies as I relied heavily on my first-person shooting chops to get by. Only after notching a few losses did it click with me to lean more on my ground units. Things slowly turned around as I came to grips with juggling the unit commands with the shooting. This balance is where Disintegration feels the freshest and where I believe the game can really shine. Factor in the various teams that you can choose from and you’ve got potential for some special interactions on the battlefield.
I really enjoyed the different teams and trying out that team’s abilities and weapons. Hopefully V1 Interactive will continue to expand the current roster of seven teams even further as the game grows. Overall, I thought the controls were solid and the multiplayer modes were fun, but nothing blew me away or made me think this game would outclass other multiplayer contemporaries. Upon launch, Disintegration also promises a large single-player campaign that should have Lehto’s art style all over.
V1 Interactive is aiming for a Q2, 2020 release window, so we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer to see what they can deliver. So while Disintegration may not have the production values of Halo or SOCOM, if it can capture the heart that made those games great, expect to see us revving up our Gravcycles on day 1.