Developed By: Ape Tribe Games Published By: Sold Out Category: Action, Arcade, Role-Playing, Strategy Release Date: 01.28.2021
Anytime I hear about a game where stealth is a key element, I get excited. Games like Syphon Filter and Hitman, among many others, paved the way for a genre that while exciting often seems overshadowed by a flood of games and other genres stretched across multiple platforms. Having experienced Disjunction, and seeing the inspirations of other games, it was refreshing to play something that felt genuinely new. Set in 2048, the game takes place in a dystopian, and almost cyberpunk, New York City. You will use three different characters to strategically navigate your way through multiple levels. All while working to discover a corrupt agenda hidden within the multiple levels you will explore.
There are multiple obstacles, ranging from various guards, to patrolling robots, and security cameras. All of these work to impede your progress by having certain areas the scan and patrol using line of sight. Noise often alerts enemies around you. You have the option to roll through the levels multiple hallways with guns blazing. Unfortunately, I learned all too quickly that even though it isn’t the default movement, the stealth option is how the game is meant to be played. Without using stealth you will be easily overwhelmed, leading you to restart the level.
Usually when a game is released on multiple platforms, I am reserved pretty heavily about controls when using the Switch. Especially with so many having issues with their joy-cons. The movement in this game is simple and set up really well. The controls to move played incredibly smooth for me, using both joy-cons and the pro controller. You can choose between walking normal (more of a speed walk if you will), as previously mentioned, or you can toggle your controls into “crouch”. It really is surprising it wasn’t the default because using crouch was most beneficial. When crouched, not only are your steps undetectable, you also gain the ability to see the enemy and camera’s line of sight. Allowing substantial advantages to strategically planning your path of attack.
The abilities for each playable characters range from cloaking, stuns, or holograms that can be used to distract. There are also options for upgrades, which are a little different for each character. Your are provided both a red bar for your health and a blue bar for energy. Using certain abilities will drain your energy. There are energy and health “boxes/crates” throughout each level, sometimes dropped by enemies and sometimes found sporadically throughout levels. But they aren’t provided in abundance. This adds to the necessity of planning, thus raising the games difficulty based on your the preservation and use of your energy. Along with these abilities, I was surprised that you were able to drag/move enemies and robots that were knocked out or destroyed. I thoroughly enjoyed the instances where I could relocate an enemy in order to disrupt enemy vantage points.
All levels have a checkpoint. This serves as both a detriment and benefit. The plus side, like many checkpoints, it allows you to save the progress in the level. If you are knocked out, you are able to restart at that checkpoint rather than start the mission from the beginning. Unfortunately, that is also the detriment. There is only one checkpoint per level, per floor. And, whatever your character’s condition is in when you use the checkpoint, that is the condition you are reset to. The other notable concern I had while playing is that these checkpoints are only usable once per mission, per floor. This adds to the already great depth of strategy and planning. The narrative feature of the game was enjoyable, but unexpected. You are able to choose from a few responses in certain conversations and interrogations. This affects how those you are working for or interrogating respond. Not only is this a nice feature, but additions like this in games raise the replay-ability. Which is always something I look for in a good game. Careful, however, when you enter a new level/area the entrance serves as a checkpoint and overrides the one you used previously.
It wasn’t hard for me to get drawn into the world of Disjunction. Having limited time to play, I found the game easy to pick up and play a little at a time. With so many massive games on the market, ones that take days of grinding to complete, it was a welcome experience and a breath of fresh air to play a game that didn’t feel like it was overburdening me. This is an amazing edition to the stealth genre and easily shines among it’s predecessors.
I can easily see the inspirations. Reminiscent of games like Hotline Miami, Party Hard, Hitman, Metal Gear Solid, and many others; Disjunction brings far more to the table. The music fits the mold of many other retro indie titles and becomes more immersive the longer you play. My only complaint was the lack of checkpoints, however, this is a small complaint. The game was fantastic. This cyberpunk stealth adventure is a game that really grabs your attention and excels where great stealth games miss the mark for me. This is one indie I hope sees a physical release.
Buy Now: 15.99
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*The Switch Effect was graciously provided this game code for review.