It’s always pleasant when a game sneaks up on you and takes you by surprise. As is the case with the excellent stealth-em-up, Disjuntion from Ape Tribe Games. Yes, the pun was fully intended and I am ashamed of myself.
Set in an alternate 2048 New York you play through three intertwined stories that form an overall mystery that actually gripped me more than I was expecting. The cyberpunk setting works really well and really does a great job of selling the dystopian nature of the game’s world and story.
Yes, cyberpunk has been done to death in recent years and the horrid culture surrounding the development of CD Projekt Red’s games has given a bit of a negative view of the setting. However Ape Tribe Games have done a lovely job of making a tired concept feel fresh and alive, so kudos to them.
The pixel-art style may also put some off, but it works wonderfully in Disjunction and does a great job of selling every aspect of the game. It is easy to understand the world layout and how characters move, interact, etc. It is clearly a well defined stylistic choice that is pulled off successfully, especially when blended with a well thought out soundtrack.
Playing Disjunction I got hints of Mike Bithell’s Volume and the VR missions from Metal Gear Solid. Yet what really impressed me was that even though I got those hints, Disjuntion felt like its own thing and not just jumping on existing mechanics.
Enemies are well programmed, which offers up a nice challenge that rewards taking your time to think before executing. The AI isn’t stupid, but neither does it become stupidly intelligent to the point you cannot get through without perfect precision.
Instead, Ape Tribe Games have really considered how well the game is balanced as I felt that any deaths were of my own doing, thus I could find a way to learn from mistakes. The visual clues work here well, but without being overly reliant on them.
You get various weapons, gadgets and other tricks to get through the game and despite the game ushering you into being completely stealthy in your approach, there are options for reacting when the proverbial hit the fan.
I really enjoyed my time with Disjunction and cannot wait to see what the developers do next. If you are after a good stealth game, then Disjuntion should be right at the very top of your wishlist. Outstanding.