It’s early into the new year, but Cyberpunk titles continue to roll out, and I, for one, am here for it. Recently I was able to play the first several levels of Disjunction by developer Ape Tribe Games and publisher Sold Out Software. While this game wears its cyberpunk setting on its sleeve, the gameplay focuses more on stealthy gameplay with action-RPG elements, which provides a unique experience in more than a few ways.
Disjunction takes place in New York in the not so distant future of 2048. Various shady dealings lead you to explore the underworld as three distinct characters. You must sneak past numerous obstacles during each level, including armed guards and mech surveillance to gather information and interrogate suspects.
While you do have the option to go in guns blazing, you will most likely meet a quick demise if your actions are less subtle. Ammo and health are given sparingly, motivating you to take your time and approach every situation as silently as possible. Running, gunfire and other loud noises can draw guards’ attention, but crouching will let you sneak up behind enemies to take them out.
As you crouch, guards’ line of sight is highlighted, defining where you are and aren’t visible. The act of maneuvering through multiple guards without being detected can be quite a challenge. This requires quick reflexes as well as paying attention to enemy patrol patterns. If you’re found out, they will alert other guards who will swarm around you quickly.
If you’re as sneaky as I am, you will die countless times. Luckily there is typically one save point per room, but it can only be used once. Depending on your play style, you might hold off on using it until you have most of the room cleared, or if you’re more desperate, you might just utilize it as soon as you see it. Even with this savepoint, though, Disjunction requires some patience to make it through certain rooms.
Each character has different abilities they can utilize, and my time with them has felt surprisingly distinct. Some were also more of a challenge for me because of certain abilities I favored that were absent in another character. Luckily RPG elements are implemented with cybernetic upgrades. You can customize each of your characters based on your play style.
Players are given several different choices that seemingly will affect Disjunction’s narrative. Dialogue choices and how you deal with guards are all up to the player. At this point, it mostly seems to amount to how ruthless you are with enemies. You have the option of simply knocking guards out or straight up killing them. In this demo, I’ve tried to be as much of a pacifist as possible, but as the stakes rise with the final release, it will be interesting to see if I can maintain this method. I’m looking forward to how deep the developers have incorporated this system within the story and if it may lead to additional endings in the full game.
During my time with Disjunction, I’ve had a decently fun and sneaky good experience. Regardless of whether I died more times than I could count, I’m looking forward to experiencing the full game when released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on January 28. The demo is currently available on Steam.
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