DUST 514 preview

DUST's ambitious cross-platform integration with EVE Online means nothing if the game isn't enticing as a shooter. We get our first hands-on.

16

With its deep ties to EVE Online, DUST 514 is drawing from a "massive, persistent" online world containing "hundreds of thousands" of players, spanning "thousands of solar systems and individual planets. But does any of that matter? Can this intricate and dense world be relevant to PS3 gamers? Turns out, DUST is more than okay for non-EVE players. It doesn't require any knowledge of the EVE universe and is "designed to provide great moment-to-moment shooter gameplay."

I admit to knowing next to nothing about EVE Online--and that will be the case for many of the new players being introduced to the universe via the PlayStation Network. For console gamers, DUST 514 is simply a free-to-play online FPS supporting 24v24 battles over territories and resources.

DUST's ambitious cross-platform integration with EVE Online means nothing if the game isn't enticing as a shooter. CCP is well aware of this. While this is their first foray into the realm of the FPS, CCP has hired industry veterans (such as alumni from the Battlefield series) for its development.

I had a chance to play a standard team deathmatch. Each match begins in the lobby area where you can view a 3D map with data from previous matches, meant to help players plan their strategy. Although the map I played in was adequately large, I was told the maps go up to several square miles in size. You'll be able to summon vehicles, such as a tank, by spending ISK or Aurum--the two different in-game currencies.

Ensuring the game isn't "pay-to-win" is of great emphasis to the development team. You'll be able to buy Aurum, which lets you buy better weapons and equipment. However, CCP promises that nothing will stop a player from grinding their way to buy items of the same caliber with ISK, the free in-game currency.

And there will be a lot of equipment to purchase. There are an overwhelming number of options across armor, weapons, damage modifies, and grenades. Classes (or dropsuits as they are called in DUST) allow players to choose their role after each respawn. They can spawn as a various familiar loadouts you’ve seen in other games such as gunner, sniper unit, an anti-vehicle unit, etc. CCP wants you to specialize in one field, because apparently, it will take years if players want to max out stats across every class.

Matches and respawns deplete equipment each time, which need to be replaced by purchasing them in the marketplace with in-game currency in order to continue playing. The continuous need for ISK will drive DUST 514 players to connect with EVE players. On the PC, EVE players will manifest as corporations who put up contracts for DUST players. Those contracts offer the lucrative in-game currency as reward. EVE players can even affect DUST matches directly with an Orbital Bombardment--aerial strikes EVE players can call upon with their resources "to bombard the opposing faction." This level of cross-platform and cross-genre interaction is unprecedented, and certainly exciting.

The nerd inside me revels in all the potential DUST brings, but realist in me knows none of it will be easy to pull off. After my short time with it, I remain optimistic that CCP can make good on their grand vision.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 18, 2012 9:00 AM

    Alan Tsang posted a new article, DUST 514 preview.

    DUST's ambitious cross-platform integration with EVE Online means nothing if the game isn't enticing as a shooter. We get our first hands-on.

    • reply
      April 18, 2012 9:57 AM

      So, how did it play? How did it look? It looked a bit clunky in the Fanfest tournament but that was full of people playing it for the first time.

      • reply
        April 18, 2012 10:03 AM

        Entire article- "dust 514 is a f2p fps."

        • reply
          April 18, 2012 7:23 PM

          Seriously!? You get a hands-on with the game and all you can write about the gameplay is a vague comment about the map size?!! What the hell kind of games journalism is this?!?!

    • reply
      April 18, 2012 10:06 AM

      what's the point of mentioning that it's free to play, when i think all PS3 FPS games are free to play online

      • reply
        April 18, 2012 10:07 AM

        It's not just a PS3 game. It's also on the PC.

        • reply
          April 18, 2012 10:13 AM

          What? It's ps3 only with a companion vita app.

        • reply
          April 18, 2012 10:23 AM

          There are no plans for a PC version. This game is CCP's exploration in new markets and platforms.

          • reply
            April 18, 2012 10:35 AM

            OH. Wow, I thought it was on the PC also!

            I r dumb

          • reply
            April 18, 2012 10:50 AM

            They've been playing coy with a PC release. I think they will pump out a PC release when the PSN community gets it's next CoD infusion and the population bottoms out.

            • reply
              April 18, 2012 7:23 PM

              I agree. Tying it into the EvE universe means there has to be a steady stream of players to keep the mechanic that DUST introduces useful and balanced in EvE and console players don't stick around for long, especially this close to the end of the PS3's lifecycle.

      • reply
        April 18, 2012 10:12 AM

        Because you don't have to purchase the game itself? Plus EVE is subscription based so there would of been probable cause for DUST to be aswell, luckily for us it's not!.

    • reply
      April 18, 2012 7:19 PM

      Every time I hear about DUST 514, the concept gives me a woody.

    • reply
      April 18, 2012 7:54 PM

      So is this based in the ruins of 2011 Montreal?

      • reply
        April 18, 2012 8:32 PM

        Jeez,it sounds like most of you guys have no idea about this game and haven't followed any of it's development.To that,I say leave the conversation to people that know what the hell they are talking about.

        While I appreciate the effort of Shack News trying to cover this game,it seems kinda obvious that no one on here is all that interested in it.The article,while well written,really doesn't tell anyone that's been following the game closely anything new.

        Now with all of that being said,I have a fatalistic optimism for this game.If it fails,I'm pretty much done with all shooters.There's just way too much good about what CCP is pitching that if they can't pull it off,there's no reason to have any faith in anything that any dev claims anymore.Hell,it's not like any of them have delivered in the past few years anyway.

        One thing that I'm very conflicted about is that we still don't have a date for the beta nor the official release.On one hand,I'm sick of waiting,but on the other hand,If it takes this long,then hopefully it's because they are making damned sure that the game won't need a patch on the first few days of release.

        • reply
          April 18, 2012 8:45 PM

          The Closed beta has been going on for awhile and I thought they announced the beta was starting in May for a select few (192 players iirc) then opening it up more and more in June/July.

          • reply
            April 19, 2012 4:19 AM

            An internal closed beta has been going on,but they never gave an actual date for the beta for the Fanfest attendees,they just said in April. They said that the open beta would be sometime between April and June. That all sounds way too vague to me.

        • reply
          April 18, 2012 10:38 PM

          Might as well be done with all shooters then. I think it sounds potentially interesting but there's no way that taking success in a PC MMO and trying to leverage that into a PS3-exclusive shooter will do well. I think that incomprehensible strategy doomed the game regardless of how good it is.

          • reply
            April 19, 2012 4:23 AM

            You are going to have to explain why,because you have done nothing different that any of the other nay sayers haven't done,throw put blanketed statements that the game will fail,mainly because of a pc bias.

        • reply
          April 18, 2012 11:04 PM

          looks like you'll be needing a new genre then

        • reply
          April 19, 2012 5:26 AM

          Wooooooosh

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 6:39 AM

      Planetside 2 > Dust 514 <<<Discuss!

    • reply
      April 19, 2012 7:45 AM

      So this is the new counter-strike map?

Hello, Meet Lola