EVE as you’ve never seen it before.
Dust 514 isn’t your average online experience, and CCP certainly aren’t an average developer. The house that EVE built has been working on something very special over the past three years and during PAX East they finally allowed the public to see and sample their unique free-to-play shooter, and it seems even the spaceship-loving audience has come back impressed.
The heart of the appeal is as follows: while the dominant factions of EVE fight for superiority in space, Dust 514’ers do the same on the ground with galactic lines concurrently being redrawn. Basically the way it’ll work is that PC players will set jobs on a contested planet – be it taking down a command post, hacking networks etc. – and the console players will elect to carry them out, earning them ISK to spend on upgrading and customisation their weapons, armour and loadout to an insanely anal degree. Like EVE, CCP are building Dust 514 to cater to ludicrous amounts of player choice with regards to changing around the basic class-based archetypes – say arming your scout with a bazooka, or kitting out your tank with additional automated defences rather than an extra turret. All items will either be unlocked via in-game experience, ISK (in-game currency) or AUR (cash) – a system CCP has employed before.
This interplay adds a new avenue to the EVE universe, while still keeping the spacefarers completely in control – they can even fire down planetary missiles to favour one side during battle over another. In griefing terms alone this system seems rife for exploitation, let alone a game where player corruption and exploitation is rife, but we would be very surprised if there wasn’t a risk versus reward structure to stop one audience bullying the other outright.
Undoubtedly the relationship between EVE and Dust 514 is what interests us the most, but its free-to-play nature should attract certainly attract a large portion of the PS3’s casual crowd. As a standalone game, Dust 514 is shaping up to be a solid online shooter with skirmishes involving as many as 42 players and a fleet of vehicles which can be customised to the nth degree. Cross-platform play isn’t new to the MMO scene – notably RIFT’s mobile app which allows players to earn in-game loot while not adventuring – but CCP are taking the idea to a whole new level. We have no idea how it’ll all pan out yet, but we’re immensely excited to be privy to the journey. Here’s hoping CCP can change the gaming landscape for the better, as they’ve certainly managed to do that before.
Tags: Dust 514
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