DUST 514 Review - Liberating FPS players from a prison they don't know they're in yet
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DUST 514 is easily the most indepth FPS game out there and with an admission fee of €0.00 there is no reason at all for you not to check out what could be your go-to FPS for the next 5-10 years.
- Deep customisation and skill progression
- 1 year of development down, 10+ to go!
- A few bugs and technical issues
- Some of the dropsuit racial variations are not yet in game
When you download PS3’s exclusive free-to-play space shooter, you are onto something that can be cunningly addictive and awesome to be a part of. I’ve been in the beta since E3 2012 and have followed the game very closely since then. However, many gamers are unaware of just how deep and badass this rabbit hole is.
DUST 514 isn’t some superficial and meaningless military shooter; it’s a pioneering endeavour of programming, technology and consumer communication that has already created something unlike you’ve ever seen in gaming. You're doing yourself a huge injustice if you judge the game without understanding what it’s REALLY about and why it is unique in the industry. In this review I’ll be looking at what DUST 514 is, and then examining its current state at launch.
DUST is an intergalactic shooter on console that is set in the universe of the spaceship MMO game EVE Online on PC. EVE is a universe of 7000 solar systems which has evolved over 10 years to become a thriving digital industrial community in space that is 500,000 subscribers strong. The combination of DUST 514 and EVE Online creates EVE Universe; an IP that heads bravely into many uncharted territories.
There have been games that have allowed PC and console gamers to play together, but in these cases both are playing the same game; they were just cross platform. DUST 514 is a military FPS game on console that includes deep role customisation and gameplay mechanics not found in any other shooting game; EVE Online is the 10 year spaceship MMO game on PC that provides the lore and context for it. Two totally different game types, two different systems, one IP-- that’s why The EVE Universe is truly a cross genre and cross platform innovation.
One of the most impressive technological feats is the super server the games run on. Normally, MMOs might have a server for the US, the EU and Asia, dividing the players into different regions. Within those regions the players are further separated into different servers or instances. Even though millions might be playing the same game, they are often disconnected from each other. CCP does things differently. Tranquility is a single shard super server based in London that provides ONE single instance universe for all EVE players to exist in. There is no other shard, no other server--everyone plays with everyone and no one is separated or segregated. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, DUST 514 players also exist in that single shard server.
What this means is that CCP can start building the most advanced gaming ecosystem ever devised, allowing unprecedented interaction between the two games which are wrapped around the same rich and deep lore. On a very basic level, DUST 514 and EVE Online players can chat, voice chat and send e-mails freely. They can also form corporations (clans) and form alliances.
On a more visceral level, there is the awesome Orbital Bombardment feature. When console players meet certain conditions in battle, they are able to request a tactical strike from an EVE pilot in the contested planet’s orbit which is delivered from the PC, through Tranquility and into the console gamer’s match in real time. At the moment, only the basic tactical strikes are in game, but when I talked to EVE Designer Kristoffer Touborg in January, he talked of the planet scorching possibilities of the future.
The development of the link between these two games is slow and steady. EVE Online is 10 years old and has an extremely intricate society that has emerged within it. It is very important to CCP that the introduction of DUST 514 into EVE Online is careful and meaningful so that the experience of its PC gamers is not disrupted.
The ability for players on both platforms to form this connection is most relevant in the new Planetary Conquest ... (continued on next page)