Have you heard why Dust 514 is exciting yet? Itâ€™s a multiplayer-based first person shooter, sure, but itâ€™s also deeply entwined with major cult hit Eve Online â€” the game with the spaceships and absolutely mind-blowing player-led economy. And thatâ€™s also what makes it so intriguing.
But Iâ€™ll get to that in a minute â€” after all, all the integration in the world couldnâ€™t save a title that couldnâ€™t stand on its own two feet. And thankfully, what I saw today was pretty encouraging.
The developers were very quick to mention that you donâ€™t have to worry about any of the higher level stuff if you donâ€™t want to. For the kind of player who just wants some damn good action, you can hop into quick matches or ranked battles as easily as, say, Call of Duty.
And when youâ€™re in the game? Well, it looks as frenetic and action-packed as you could hope for. The game will sport maps of all sizes, from tiny, claustrophobic battles to larger-scale fights that make the use of vehicles (summoned via a speedy drop ship) a necessity. The devs mentioned the maps of Battlefield as an inspiration here.
The weapons packed a satisfying punch, and fun extras like mines and placeable health recharging stations could add a needed dose of variety to this often staid genre. Otherwise, it looked how youâ€™d expect a multiplayer-focused console FPS to look: basically, like a futuristic Call of Duty. The key will be polishing the hell out of it to tempt action gamers away from the known franchises.
And how about that much-touted cross-game integration? Here are a few things the devs touched on:
This all sounds hugely exciting: itâ€™s asymmetric product integration on a level I havenâ€™t seen before. Of course, the usual caveat applies: how much will it really enrich the lives of Dust 514 players? Can action-oriented fans be tempted into delving deeper into the amazingly deep simulation that is Eveâ€™s ever-changing landscape?
That remains to be seen. For now, though, itâ€™s encouraging that the shooting part, at least, is solid. The devs seem well aware that if they build a mediocre game, no oneâ€™s going to be interested in the higher level stuff. Weâ€™ll find out how they get on with that when the game ships exclusively for PS3 later this year.
The Good: Free to play, massively integrated
The Bad: It's another shooter.
The Ugly: Getting wasted by a spaceship in orbit. Ouch!