Stealth games aren’t as popular as they once were and it’s now being left to indie developers to fill the gap left by the big players. Will Disjunction sneak its way to your hard drive, or is this another cyberpunk heartbreak waiting to happen? Find out in our Disjunction PS5, PS4 review.
Disjunction is set in a futuristic, cyberpunk version of New York City. Criminal gangs run the slums while mega-corporations rule the rest. Activists and bad guys collide, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of it all playing as not just one, but three characters in an intertwining story that changes depending on your actions. You’re given choices throughout the game and they will affect the eventual outcome. However, I’m not nearly good enough at this game to make it through multiple endings, and I count myself fortunate I even made it through to the end once.
Disjunction is not an easy game.
I played a brief demo on PC before release and, as is my nature, I did it by running and gunning my way around. With a mouse, aiming is easy. With a controller, aiming is a bit of a pain. It’s doable, sure, but it’s not as accurate or as easy as using a mouse. So bear that in mind.
For that reason, I felt like I was forced towards using stealth much more when I played on PS5. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, though, because once you realise that each level is essentially a puzzle, it becomes a matter of waiting, watching, and memorising patrol patterns and using the skills and equipment of the three characters at the right time. Aiming becomes secondary as stealth takes centre stage, and you’ll feel like an absolute beast when you finally do make it through a tricky section by Sam Fisher-ing you way to success. I know that because I spent an hour on one level, constantly failing, swearing, wishing sore teeth on the developers, before finally sneaking my way to success. It’s not easy, then, and patience really is a virtue when it comes to Disjunction.
Disjunction gives you control over three playable characters. They’re all different in how they move and play with each having their own set of skills, abilities, and signature weapon.
Lockjaw, a big guy who used to box for a living, is naturally strong and he’s further enhanced with his great big metal arm. But he’s slow and not always up to the challenge of quickly moving from the watchful eyes of guards, cameras, or droids. But what he lacks in speed, he makes up for in brute force (and a massive shotgun) and I found I really enjoyed his levels the most.
Frank is the middle-ground character. He’s quite quick, which is useful for darting past patrols, but he carries a pistol as his weapon of choice. Accuracy is key, then, for taking Frank into a fight, so I avoided trouble when I could, instead opting to either stealth my way around the bad guys or clobber them over the back of the head with a sucker punch from behind.
Spider rounds out the cyber-trio with her blistering speed and spray-and-pray Uzi, which was fun, but encouraged me (wrongly) to drop stealth in favour of trying my hand at Hotline Miami-style shootouts. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m rubbish at such games, so I found her missions to be among the most difficult and time-consuming.
That all being said, they’re great characters and really well written for the interweaving sci-fi tale. Despite the dialogue all being on-screen text (something I normally dislike) I still found myself following the narrative. It helps that you’re always a part of the narrative with dialogue options. Some of these change the course of the story, others are just to impart a bit of yourself on the characters.
You’ve also got upgrade paths for the unlikely heroes. You gain experience points throughout the game and they can be spent on upgrades like faster movement, shorter cooldown times on abilities, extra stamina, and so on. I’m not sure the game needed these upgrades, but I didn’t mind them and I never felt like I was bogged down with stat-tracking and tweaking; the upgrades are easy to customise and they come at the end of each level.
Disjunction might be a tad too hard at times and the mission structure (there are sooo many locked doors…) gets old fast, but the moment-to-moment gameplay is superb. I’ve missed Splinter Cell over the years and while Disjunction doesn’t look a lick like Sam Fisher’s world of covert operations, it does at times feel like it, and that was enough for me.
Disjunction PS5, PS4 Review
Overall - Very Good - 7.5/10
Disjunction is a great stealth game wrapped in a highly-polished pixel-art wrapper. It’s difficult at times – and occasionally unfair – but it gets the job done and it’s generally enjoyable.
- The stealth gameplay is brilliant and a throwback to the old days of Metal Gear’s supremacy
- Variation in playstyle with each character keeps things from getting stale
- Gorgeous pixel-art presentation
- The futuristic soundtrack is perfect, just perfect
- Difficulty spikes are common and occasionally a touch unfair
- Aiming with a gamepad lacks the built-for-PC steadiness the game was made for
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5 and PS4