We've seriously underestimated Dust 514. At E3 today we've spent the day at presentations and getting hands-on with all of Sony's first-party titles, including The Last Of Us, God Of War: Ascension and Beyond: Two Souls. But although those three titles do look incredible, our heads are still rattling after seeing the potential of CCP Games' MMO.
Dust 514 is the most ambitious project that the PlayStation franchise has ever seen. Taking place in the unfathombly massive Eve Online Universe, players of PS3's Dust 514 and PC's Eve Online will do battle online against each other, but will also be able to team up together in squads. It's a concept that only the open architecture of the PS3 could possibly handle, but if this really works,it could be amazing.
The persistance online world will be rich with PvE and PvP, including anything from deathwatch battles to the in-depth Conquest mode, where one skilled player will Lord over this army using real-time strategy to command the battlefield in a huge spacecraft hovering over his troops.
Though we've only seen a sample of just how huge and potentially epic these battles could be at this point, Dust 514 has a real chance to capture the souls of core PlayStation gamers like no other multiplayer game with the same addictive qualities that have made Eve Online so popular.
Players continuously grow in the game, choosing to specialise in certain areas, earning in-game currency to spend on a huge range of stuff from augmentation and weapons to armour to vehicles. Players can trade items in a real-time auction house and customise their characters to an incredible amount of depth. A quick look at the inventory system and myriad of menus is at first daunting, but anyone familiar with MMOs will lick their lips to see this sort of depth and scale on console.
Yep, Sony has shown some great games at E3 this year, but none has the potential that Dust 514 has. This is a game that CCP has built to last for many years; and a quick look at a constellation map showing dozens of stars all representing different places to do battle is just the tip of the iceberg, we're told. Mark our word, Dust 514 is about to make a big impression.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the closed beta shortly.