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Disintegration review: A shooter with a different aim

(PS4/XO/PC) ★ Age: 18+

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Disintegration

Disintegration

Disintegration

Hands up who grimaces at the prospect of playing yet another shooter. Gaming's most overused cliché clutters the charts like superhero flicks clog the cinema. Show me something new please.

Disintegration steps up to the challenge and while its intriguing mash-up of genres doesn't fully gel, it at least pumps fresh breath into the stale bulletfest blueprint. It looks like a shooter but doesn't play like one, putting you in control of a tooled-up drone-like vehicle and commanding a corps of four soldiers on the ground.

So you rain death from above until you realise your elevated view of the battlefield makes it more efficient to order your squad to do your dirty work as you make periodic tactical assaults on enemy units. It's real-time strategy meets first-person shooter but the emphasis is on the former.

Disintegration is hampered by a layer of calcified sci-fi trappings - the muddled backstory about humans resisting the rise of robots, the generic go-there-shoot-this missions. But its greater deficiency is the unsubtlety of your crew, who're too quick to attack and can't be commanded individually.

It's perhaps less of an issue in multiplayer where the combat hots up and all-out assault is the most viable strategy.

Designed by Marcus Lehto, the co-creator of pioneering shooter Halo, Disintegration should be applauded for thinking outside the barrel of a gun. But the formula is prone to misfiring and feels just a little off target.


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Little Orpheus

Little Orpheus

Little Orpheus

Little Orpheus

(Apple Arcade) ★★★★ Age: 7+

Don't tell me you don't remember Pitfall, the 1982 classic for the Atari 2600? The makers of Little Orpheus do, delivering a sumptuous paean to the 2D platformer that's wrapped in a whimsical Cold War fable about a subterranean search for a missing bomb.

In truth, there's not much to the simplistic gameplay that we didn't see in Pitfall and it hardly evolves in the eight short chapters. But the quirky presentation elevates Little Orpheus above mere rehash, incorporating a humorously droll narrator, pretty visuals with some lovely parallax scrolling and a rousing score.

As an exclusive to the Apple Arcade subscription service, it's playable on everything from iPhone to iPad to Mac but suffers on the smallest screens where fingertip control is fussy.


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