A terribly underwhelming take on the sci-fi FPS genre.

Disintegration, the debut title from V1 Interactive, places players in the shoes of Romer Shoal. Shoal was a former celebrity robot turned outlaw that leads a group of other current outlaws to take down the evil Rayonne. This is done through a lot of vehicle focused combat and some great character designs, but a terrible story with some surprisingly shallow gameplay. Though the game aims to become a real genre defining moment for games that mix real-time strategy elements with a first-person shooter, it just never excels in any capacity.

The game opens with Shoal on the run from an evil organization called Rayonne. We see Shoal run through some hallways before ending up inside a spaceship with other robots. A montage of a lot of walking is followed by the group meeting up with an old man in the middle of nowhere. Shoal and the group join the man's crew and, well, the game begins. It's a fairly cold opening that gives you little in the way of background information on the main villain, or even your own character, Shoal.

Sadly, this matter of storytelling continues throughout the rest of the game where things just sort of happen. You don't really know why they happen. They just do. What did Shoal do to become famous in the past? I don't know. Why is Rayonne so evil? Beats me. Why are we doing literally anything? Like the case with most everything else: The answer is simply too ambiguous to know for sure. It feels like this is the middle entry in a series of games. This world is already established in some mythical prequel that just never saw the light of day. We are just supposed to know what is going on and why. Frankly, that is a real garbage way to tell a story.


Even the supporting cast is not fleshed out in any meaningful way. Amusingly enough, the characters just simply lack any sort of character. They are more background dressing than anything else. I found that moments that were supposed to have an emotional impact fell flat because I simply did not care for any of these characters. I was never given a reason to care. Even in the small bit of characterization that was established for the supporting cast made most of them out to be rather unlikable. Amusingly, even the characters themselves seem to realize that everything and anything just does not matter in the game. A character's death seems to be quickly forgotten about a mere story beat or two after it happens. It's almost as if that character could have been removed from the game from the start and nothing would be any different.

The game's single player campaign is spread out across a total of 12 missions. These are usually bite-sized offerings of gameplay that clock in around 30 minutes each, depending on your skill level. One of Disintegration's redeeming qualities lies in its unique blend of real-time strategy with first-person shooting. You will be put in control of a small group of fighters, dictating their actions while also participating in the action first-hand. It makes for a bit of fun, but the shoddy AI on both sides of the battlefield does not do the game any favors.

Sadly, the bad news just keeps on coming. First off, the game is linear. Go to an area, carry out a battle, win, and move along a path to the next battle. The ideas here are solid, but the execution in every aspect is just severely lacking. There are hints of brilliance that are just never given the room to grow. Then there is the ending. Without spoiling much, I can safely say that the ending felt rushed. The game ends abruptly and, much like the rest of the game, feels unsatisfying. Perhaps it was given a mercy killing.


Final Say
The gameplay itself is serviceable but it feels like it could have been so much more. It is ultimately a disappointing and unfulfilling experience. There is also little reason for me to want to replay the game given the linear nature of the entire campaign. No customization also ensures that most battles play out almost the exact same way each time. I really wanted this game to be so much better than it is. There are a few sparks of a great game hidden deep within Disintegration. Sadly, none of those sparks ever manage to catch fire.

2 out of 5 stars

Additional Information
  • Disintegration
    • Developed by: V1 Interactive
    • Published by: Private Division
  • Price: Starting at $49.99 (USD) via Steam, PlayStation Store, and the Microsoft Store
  • Platform reviewed on: PC
  • Release Date: June 16, 2020
  • ESRB: Rated Teen for mild blood, mild language, violence
  • The multiplayer component was unable to be adequately tested for review as the game was not yet released at the time of review.
  • This game was provided to Total Gaming Network for review purposes.

Additional Screenshots
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