Analysis of Disjunction

Disjunction is at home in today’s video game market with gritty stories and strong characters. As part of the surge of Cyberpunk-themed video games hitting the market at the same time, Disjunction puts players in control of Frank, Joe, and Spider, three individually motivated characters in a dystopian New York with the goal of solve a city-wide conspiracy. The deeper players get into this mystery, the more complicated it becomes, but after a series of intense stealth missions, everything will become clear. There’s a lot to love about Ape Tribe Games’ debut title, but die-hard fans will also notice some consistent flaws. In terms of inspiration, Ape Tribe Games tends to refer to titles like Metal Gear Solid, Blade Runner, Hotline Miami, and even Deus Ex. It’s by no means a technical marvel, but it’s not trying to be. The retro graphics work well for the gameplay, and the character art during the conversations helps make the whole thing more modern. Players will need to learn how to best use the unique abilities of Frank, Joe, and Spider to overcome each level and discover more details of the plot. Disjunction is first and foremost a stealth game, and it certainly makes stealth feel good. Although players have the option to run in guns blazing, that strategy won’t work in later levels. Because the enemies are so deadly, players are encouraged to use stealth, and the feeling of leaving a room full of bad guys without being seen is very rewarding. Furthermore, players have both lethal and non-lethal options, and which one they choose to use will greatly affect the outcome of individual missions as well as the story as a whole. However, in all cases, the players have the final say in how they approach a situation. Frank from Disjunction Ape Tribe Games Between the three playable characters, there are also different playstyles influenced by Disjunction’s unique upgrade system. By nature, Spider is a sneakier character than Joe, but upgrading his submachine gun can turn him into a killing machine. Also, Joe’s rush attack can be used to knock down enemies, but creative players can also see it as an option to sprint past an enemy undetected. This kind of experimentation is further encouraged in the way Disjunction handles character development. In each level, players can gain a set amount of experience for their character by completing an objective, but there is also an optional upgrade kit to be found that will allow the player to upgrade one of their skills for the next mission and net them a little extra experience. The beauty of the system comes from how players spend upgrades and experience points, as they can switch at any point. Players may want to experiment with making Frank’s Deadeye ability more lethal for a mission, but if that doesn’t suit them, it’s very easy to switch abilities and increase his First-Aid ability instead. This encourages experimentation with different play styles. All of this customization is great, but ultimately it serves to tailor each character to the player’s preferred style. For those who want to be as stealthy as possible, getting in and out without spilling blood, there are options such as Spider’s cloaking field or Frank’s smoke grenade to accommodate this. Meanwhile, players who want to leave a trail of death and destruction in their wake will probably get to know Joe’s shotgun more quickly. To make it even better, the story changes and evolves based on how the player handles each mission. Disjunction story changes An early example of this can be found in the game’s very first mission. Frank’s contact specifically instructs him not to kill anyone during a break-in, but the player is not required to listen to this instruction. If Frank’s revolver sees little use, the client will become angry and cut off contact with Frank, prompting the story to continue in a different direction. This decision also affects the end game, but the important thing to remember is that players have full control over their actions and should expect that these actions will change the world around them. RELATED: 5 Great Indie Games on Xbox Game Pass As mentioned earlier, there’s a lot to love about Disjunction, but it’s not without its flaws either. The world building is unique and players will find themselves interested in learning more about this dystopian New York City, but most of that knowledge is locked behind walls of text. During any conversation, players can hover over the yellow text to get more information, and while it does a good job of explaining what Central City is or why a certain name is important, it always comes in the form of a block of text. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this, but it will certainly deter some players from learning more. Along the same lines, there are a few typos here and there in the game that give it an unpolished feel. Again, these don’t break the game in any way and they don’t compromise the integrity of the game, but they do break the immersion. To be fair, with so many branching paths, there should be plenty of dialogue in the game for the relatively small team at Ape Tribe Games to parse, so this isn’t a huge issue. Disjunction Joe on the tombstone These small flaws are easy to miss, but the game crashing problem is not. It’s frustrating to finally get through a difficult part of a level only to have the game crash and lose that progress. Each level in Disjunction has about three checkpoints, and if players die before getting to the next one, they have to start over from that point. This wouldn’t be an issue under normal circumstances, but during a ten-hour playthrough of the main story, the game crashed five times, usually when it was at its busiest. It’s entirely possible that these and other issues will be fixed at or shortly after the game’s official release. While these hiccups in the game feel necessary to mention, they shouldn’t deter players from checking out Disjunction. For those who enjoy a solid stealth experience that will bring back memories of classic titles like Hotline Miami or Metal Gear Solid, this is a perfect game. Great levels of customization ensure that each character is different from one another, and the branching story set-up encourages multiple playthroughs to see all the different endings. Ape Tribe Games has succeeded in creating a game with a daring story, interesting characters, and a unique setting that first-time players will love. Subsequent playthroughs have the potential to be more interesting, as players will likely need to completely change their strategies to see different endings. Aside from a few minor and almost inconsequential issues, Disjunction is the real deal and acts as a love letter to fans of the Cyberpunk genre and stealth games as a whole. Disjunction releases on January 28th for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. Today Technology was provided with a PS4 code for this review. MORE: Apex Legends Accused Of Copying Character Design From Indie Game

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