Disintegration, the upcoming sci-fi strategy shooter hybrid from V1 Interactive is fast approaching, but before it does you’re going to get a chance to get your hands on its five-versus-five multiplayer this week in open beta.
The Disintegration multiplayer beta will run invite-only for two days starting Tuesday, January 28, before opening up to everyone for two further days starting Thursday, January 30. So, to prepare you for that, we’re diving into each of the nine playable crews in the full game, though only seven of these crews will be playable in the beta.
A crew in Disintegration multiplayer is essentially a character or class, complete with its own unique personality, primary and secondary weapon or ability, a gravcycle which you pilot in one of three chassis sizes – light, medium, and heavy – and finally a ground crew made up of two to four units each with their own special abilities.
Hopefully, our breakdown below will help give you a sense of which crew to pick up as soon as you get into multiplayer. And, of course, you can get all this information and see the crews in action in the video above.
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Lost Ronin is a samurai-themed, medium-chassis gravcycle crew that’s good across the board: good speed, maneuverability, and health. Their primary weapon is a medium to long-range burst-fire cannon that does decent damage with good accuracy, especially when zoomed in. This all makes Lost Ronin a very balanced, easy-to-grasp introductory crew that’s great for new players.
Their secondary ability is Yumi Rockets, a salvo of charge-up, lock-on, fire-and-forget seeking missiles that take big chunks out of health bars if all of them connect for a really great medium-range burst option. That firepower is further complemented by Lost Ronin’s ground units: a Striker armature with the Mortar Strike ability and two Warrior armatures with Concussion Grenades that stun and make enemies vulnerable to damage.
The Lost Ronin doesn’t do anything particularly crazy, but it’s a reliable crew, able to whittle down enemies at range for your teammates to eventually finish off, or unload a full salvo of rockets for the final burst and kill.
Tech Noir is one of my favorite crews in Disintegration and pretty easy to pick up right away. It’s a light-chassis, long-range sniper support crew that’s quick enough stay out of range, fragile enough that you’ll want to stay there, and with enough pinpoint damage and support utility to lock down an area or swing fights your way.
Their primary weapon is the semi-automatic NG-6 Marksman Cannon that functions as a quick-fire sniper rifle with great long-range accuracy. It packs a punch and easily deters opponents from closing in after three or four shots.
Its secondary ability is where it really shines, the NRD Repair projectile is a friendly-seeking dart that applies healing-over-time to friendly gravcycles and units. And its ground crew is a Destroyer armature with long-range seeker rockets for high burst damage, a Ranger with a deployable slow field that hamstrings enemies and projectiles, and a long-range Assassin armature with a disruptor drone ability that disables gravcycle weapons for a few seconds if you’re caught out of position.
In practice, Tech Noir is excellent at sitting in the back lines of a team fight, popping enemies at long-range and swapping between damage and the healing dart to top off teammates. But they’re fragile so watch out for ambushes while you’re zoomed in through your scope.
The Sideshow is a medium-chassis crew of twisted clowns with a strong defensive playstyle. Their primary weapon is remote-detonated Sticky Grenades that can stick to enemies, the ground, or walls where they’ll stay until you detonate them using the secondary ability.
The Sideshow’s ground crew is comes with four units: A tanky Rhino armature with a blast wave ability for heavy directional AOE damage, an Assassin for long-range damage that can temporarily disable enemy weapons with its Disruptor Drone ability, and two rangers that can lay down Slow Fields, which slow down enemies and projectiles that pass through it.
A well-played Sideshow can shut down an entire area, using sticky remote grenades to set up ambushes for enemy ground crews. In the Retrieval game mode, Sideshow’s multiple slow fields are amazing at setting up chokepoints and kill boxes on objective-carrying enemies before focusing all that damage from their grenade launcher and ground crews to burn down targets incredibly fast.
The King’s Guard is a medieval-themed, heavy-chassis support crew that provides a ton of utility from its primary weapon – the Javelin Launcher. This sci-fi crossbow rapidly fires bolts that slow down enemy units and gravcycles on hits, or can be charged up for longer range, faster projectile speed, and more damaging shots.
King’s Guard’s secondary ability is the Nano Emitter, a large area-of-effect healing orb that can be fired at range to set up repair areas for friendly gravcycles and ground units.
Its ground crew consists of a heavy Striker armature with a long-range mortar strike and two Merc units with deployable mines that wreck ground units and low-flying gravcycles.
Now all that kit working together makes King’s Guard and ideal heavy support, AOE pelter that can sit back and defend an objective point. When being pushed, King’s Guard can slow down incoming enemies while it calls for help, and then sit back and soak up damage with its heavy armor and healing bubble to wait for the calvary to arrive. But just calling out enemies that you’ve slowed for your team to focus fire is an excellent tactic that sets good King’s Guard players apart.
Warhedz is a heavy-chassis bruiser crew and another one of my personal favorites. They’re slow, not very maneuverable, but what they do they do really, really well: bullying enemies with high-powered explosives.
Their primary weapon is the burst-fire Tri-Nades launcher, which lobs bouncing explosives in a downward arc that’s exceedingly good at cleaning up enemy ground units, despite a fairly short range.
But Warhedz’s secondary ability is its signature move: a charge-up, slow-moving, timed explosive that sticks to anything it touches: floors, walls, and enemy players. It’s essentially a mini-nuke and it’s an incredibly satisfying instant kill if you stick a player. But its slow movement makes it hard to hit and has to be fully charged before you can fire. Plus, once it’s fully charged, you have to fire it, there’s no backing down. The AOE damage that comes off this thing is awesome, even if you miss and hit a wall or the ground, which means there’s a good chance you can change a team fight by just firing into the center of the chaos.
However Warhedz only comes with two ground units: a tanky Rhino with a directional smash ability, and a Ranger with a slow field ability that can help to pin enemies in place and set up the perfect nuke shot and unload grenades.
Note: Not available in the multiplayer beta but will be playable at launch in the full game.
Muertos is a light-chassis, hit-and-run crew that excels in quick harassment and disruption. Their speed and maneuverability make them an excellent flanking crew but they’re exceedingly fragile.
Muertos’ primary weapon is a pair of high-capacity “MM” semi-automatic shotguns that chew through gravcycles at close range and are deadly against damaged or softer targets.
Muertos’ secondary ability is a Sentry Beacon that can be fired at a location to call down a small squad of light infantry. Their damage is modest and they can be killed quickly, but their size makes them almost invisible during chaotic firefights so they can get quite a bit of damage off over time.
Tactically speaking, as Muertos you should be flanking an enemy, tossing your beacon on the opposite side of the enemy right before you open up your twin shotguns. As they naturally turn around to see what’s happening and engage you, you run, just run, and sentry bots continue to pepper it with damage while you run.
Muertos’ ground units are the heavy Tank armature with a ground slam and a Striker armature with long-range mortar strikes which can destroy enemy ground units to give you the space to get in close.
Note: Not available in the multiplayer beta but will be playable at launch in the full game.
The Militia is a heavy-chassis bruiser that excels at medium-range chip damage that’s fairly easy to pick up and play. Their primary weapons are full-auto explosive Auto Cannons with a good rate of fire and nice range, making them great at taking down clusters of ground units.
Their secondary ability is a mini-turret that can be deployed at a distance where it automatically fires at enemies. Though it’s modest damage isn’t scary, it offers constant secondary damage that adds up over time while the enemy focuses on you. In close range fights a great tactic is to toss your turret behind the enemy to harass them from their flank or force them to deal with it so you can get free shots or a few seconds to escape.
The Militia’s ground crew consists of a heavy Tank armature with a circular, AOE ground slam, and two Merc armatures that can deploy proximity mines at a targeted position.
While the Militia might not have that alluring burst damage or utility, their consistent ranged damage and tankiness make them really well suited for trading with enemies, which can often lull an enemy into a false sense of security. Lure them into your mines, and start trading while your turret fires from their flank to whittle down enemies quickly before they know what’s happening.
The Business is a medium-chassis, well-rounded crew that’s a really great introductory crew for new players. Though they’re not as complicated as others, they’ve got scary stopping power and really excel at getting up close and personal.
Their primary weapon is the full auto HV-Rifle which peppers out consistent but modest damage at medium range. It’s conventional, but it’s effective at what it does, applying pressure and damage.
But The Business packs an incredible opener, or closer, in its secondary weapon, the Saw-2 charged burst shotgun. You charge it up, fly up close to an enemy, you release the trigger and delete large portions of a health bar. Now the range is super short, but if you can sneak up on an enemy or a light gravcycle you’re on your way to a kill before they even fire a shot.
The Business’ ground units are one Destroyer armature with seeker rockets that are great for finishing off wounded, fleeing enemies, and an Assassin with good range damage and a disruptor drone ability to lock down an enemy’s weapons.
Neon Dreams is a colorful, light-chassis gravcycle crew that’s best played as a fast but fragile hit-and-run harasser. Their primary weapon is the rapid-fire MK-64 Light Machine Guns that deal modest damage at range, but really kick in when you’re right up on your target.
Neon Dreams’ secondary ability sets up everything: a charged-shot Ion Disruptor that makes a target hit by it vulnerable to ALL damage for a few seconds – letting you melt them. The disruptor also cancels out enemy charge-up shots if you hit them before they fire, which is very handy when a nuked is charged up in front of you.
Neon Dreams’ ground crew is three strong, with one Destroyer armature and its long-range seeking rockets, and two moderately tough Warriors that toss out stunning Concussion grenades which also make enemies vulnerable to damage for a very short window.
Great Neon Dreams’ players can swoop in, hit an enemy with a stun grenade or ion disruptor to stack that vulnerability, nail it with the Destroyer’s seeker missiles, and open up both barrels at close-range to finish the job. In team firefights, it’s a little tougher, but the Ion Disruptor’s damage vulnerability makes an excellent debuff for focus-firing down a single enemy if your team is communicating and calling out its targets.
There you go! Hopefully you’re a little better equipped to get into the multiplayer beta and start carrying your team to victory.
If you’re looking for more on V1 Interactive’s sci-fi strategy shooter in the singleplayer realm, you should check out my full Disintegration hands-on preview impressions and learn more about Black Shuck, Disintegration’s super menacing main antagonist in the campaign.