DESYNC is a single player first person shooter with an emphasis on different weapon and attack combinations as well as always being on the move. Still, with that said, the thing that probably most stands out when you look at DESYNC, are the tron-like visuals and the slight touches of a glitch aesthetic. I’m personally a fan of the way it looks, especially the particle effects, but I can see that some people might find it a tad too simple, and perhaps even as an excuse to not spend more time working on the visuals. One thing worth pointing out is that, while the enemy animations might look rather lacking in fluidity, they do a decent enough job in providing visual feedback as to when an enemy is about to attack you or perform some kind of move.
As a FPS, DESYNC is pretty basic, but it offers some unlockables and mechanics that manage to spice things up. As you play through the game, you’ll unlock new weapons, and there are a total of seven different ones that you can use, but you can only carry four with you at any given time. Nonetheless, there are some interesting combos that you can carry with you, such a railgun, a rocket launcher or a simple shotgun, besides the basic pistol which you can’t unequip. With that said, there is an ammo system in the game, but not in the traditional sense. Each weapon consumes energy and you pick up these energy charges from fallen enemies, which restore a certain amount of ammo for each individual weapon.
In terms of structure, the game is divided into several zones that you can access through this hub-like area, and at the end of each zone you’ll face a boss. The bosses are quite possible one of the weakest features of the game, as these take place in flat arenas where you can pretty much just circle around the boss forever, while avoiding their attacks. From this hub area you’re also able to choose which level you want to play next, either advancing through the main levels, or play Aberration levels, which are special challenges that you can play with a predetermined loadout and a series of modifiers. These levels are much more interesting when compared to the standard ones. The pool of modifiers ranges from only being able to heal yourself by overkilling an enemy, to only being able to damage them while mid air, having everything run twice as much their usual speed or being killed in one hit.
In any case, as you play the game you’ll unlock these terminals in your hub that you visit between missions. Here you can equip cores, which are essentially active skills, as well as upgrade various different sidearms and main weapons by using shards, which you can find in levels. There are a total of four different sidearms, one that freezes and slows down enemies, a shield, a poisonous weapon and a pulsar.
In terms of enemy and level variety, the former is far more richer than the latter. There’s a huge array of enemies, each with their own unique attacks and pace but, while the levels might feel rather elaborate at first, you realize that there’s an optimal path through which you have to loop around in order to get the most out of the situation, mostly because enemies will come at you in waves, and they will spawn in predetermined locations, so a good thing to do is to memorize those spots. Also, I find it that it’s a real shame that in terms of movement the game doesn’t really have that much going for it. The ability to bunny hop would make everything much more interesting for instance, and it would provide players with a new way to traverse the levels.
In the end, one of the best things about DESYNC is finding out what is the shortest and most economic way to use your weapons in order to dispatch a specific enemy type. The brilliant combination of tron-like visuals with a thrilling electronic soundtrack makes most encounters rather tense. Nonetheless, when taking into consideration the game’s price and the the amount of content it has to offer, I’m somewhat reluctant in recommending it at full price.
DESYNC is by nature a difficult game, one that might take you quite a few tries in order to get past a certain section. However, some people might confuse its difficulty with bad design. Personally I think that it’s a good game, but it’s not for everyone and it doesn’t feel like it brings anything new to the table. Nevertheless, if you’re searching for a FPS that focuses on maximizing your score, competing for the top of a leaderboard and mastering every single level, weapon and mechanic, I think you’ll enjoy this one.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.