Disjunction, by Lien Rhue, is the debut game from the Lien brothers. It might not be the greatest looking indie game of late. But Disjunction is a seriously absorbing stealth-adventure game with genuinely complex RPG elements to offer. You play Arlen Bales, a freelance photographer, whose latest assignment sees him investigating the murder of his boss’ wife. But instead of getting caught in the middle of a hectic chase through dark corridors and forgotten labs. You’re instead tasked to perform extensive research into the murder itself. And since you’re only equipped with a handheld camera and a vague idea of the murder’s likely motives. Your investigation will take an unwelcome turn after you’ve dispatched enough suspects to fill out a decent calendar.
The twist is simple enough a killer has been plaguing the town, seemingly unchecked. But with a mysterious stranger also targeting the townspeople, all hope seems lost. However, you quickly find that your skills aren’t strong enough to take on this formidable foe. You’ll need to hone your stealth and non-lethal abilities if you want to succeed – and that’s where Disjunction comes in.
The story is told in a very small village, just like most hidden object games. In that, you’re required to investigate a crime scene by exploring a series of rooms and points. Your success comes from your precise timing and use of the environment to aid your escape and detection. This is where the game really starts to shine, with its unique blend of stealth and narrative. You’ll be sneaking around undetected, moving from room to room, performing small tasks and completing puzzles.
Like many narrative-driven stealth games, Disjunction offers a limited number of levels. The Prologue is the game you start off with and provides the game’s basic stealth and gameplay elements. The main storyline is told through journal entries that are collected throughout the game and that are read by the player. The Prologue takes place in the quiet moments between when the game begins and the challenging scenes involving the enemy. This means that new players who’ve only played a couple of games on previous platforms will have no trouble adapting to the difficulty level of this game.
In addition to the Prologue, there is a large single-player campaign that can play single-player or up to four players locally. Unlike other narrative-based stealth-action RPGs, in Disjunction. You can develop an interactive environment that is both physical and digital, drawing in-game attention to environmental interactions such as conversations with other characters.
Newcomers to this genre of game design will impress by the open mesh networking system that encourages emergent gameplay and will find the game’s technical aspects less demanding than other titles in the same genre. This allows players to build on previous concepts and experience the story as a continuous and evolving arc rather than playing as though you are following a pre-determined path.
The pixel art used in the game is impressive and some may say beautiful. The reason for this is that it draws attention to textures, surfaces and objects that would normally be forgotten or ignored during an otherwise action-packed game. Some of the environments are described as “living” as the game allows you to interact with them. And the creatures you encounter and fight are very convincing. The game also has a great deal of replay value. Where players can try different tactics and level up before moving on to the next challenge. Which is available across all three Disjunction game modes.
The single-player campaign allows you to control your character through four different abilities, each of which is divided into two categories; survival and attack. Your abilities are built up by earning money, which is earned by fulfilling missions and fighting enemies. As you earn money, you can buy new grenades, protective armour and additional weapons for your character. Which are essential for completing the game. The game’s defence mechanism requires your playing skills as well, as your aim is to prevent being hit and being defeat by enemy soldiers who are either trying to arrest you or steal the grenades you have.
Although the single-player campaign is short, it does have a lengthy single-player mode. The story mode allows you to move through the single level seamlessly and makes use of both the single-player and co-op features in its structure. If you want a more challenging approach to the gameplay, you can opt for the time-limited and non-lethal takedowns. If you prefer playing tactical games that require some thought. You can opt for the “points system” where you accumulate points and can use them to purchase upgrades for your character and other aspects of the game.