Posts Tagged ‘PS3 Dust 514’

An Introduction to DUST 514 on PS3

dust-514At first glance DUST 514 looks like your average lobby-based FPS with a Sci-Fi skin, but further inspection reveals a project much more ambitious. Produced by CCP, the game is not only set in the universe of their flagship MMORPG EVE Online, New Eden, but the two games are connected. Players piloting spaceships in one game can communicate and interact with players taking on the role of clone mercenaries in the other, and the link between the two games grows stronger with every update.

The core of DUST 514’s gameplay is a tactical shooter reminiscent of the Battlefield series or the recently deceased M.A.G. Since there isn’t anything truly innovative about “point gun pull trigger”, it’s what the game borrows from EVE Online that truly sets it apart: the lore, skills, item market, player alliances, and multi-faceted battles. In DUST 514 there can be greater victories than simply winning the match; sometimes killing a player using a rare, irreplaceable, item and removing that item from existence is the greater achievement.

As a clone your body, weapons, and equipment are all disposable. Purchasing an item with currency earned in battle (ISK) allows you to use that item until you die, and then it’s gone. Wise mercenaries buy in bulk. The expansive skill system allows players to use Skill Points (SP) to unlock better, more expensive, equipment and provide bonuses to improve the equipment they can already use. The most important of these are your Dropsuits: highly advanced suits of armor that serve as class templates and define your role on the battlefield. The nimble yet stealthy Scout suit and the heavy yet durable Sentinel suit both represent a player’s investment in specializing their role, and how players choose to outfit their suits with weapons, modules, and equipment diversifies them further. For even more options mercenaries can switch Dropsuits mid-battle, and those who have purchased vehicles may have them delivered to the battlefield and risk them as well.

communication4_2Like all free-to-play games DUST 514 allows players to spend money for an advantage, but it’s handled in such a way that the advantages are only personal and temporary. A second in-game currency called Aurum (AUR) may be purchased, which can be used to buy items on the in-game market. Items purchased for AUR are identical to items purchased with ISK in every way except one: their skill requirements are reduced by one tier, granting early access to the next step up in items (without the benefit of skill bonuses provided by the usual prerequisites). Also for sale are packs of pre-fit suits to try and, most importantly, Skill Boosters that accelerate how quickly SP accumulates. However, you cannot pay for any battlefield item that cannot also be attained for free with patience. Maximizing any one skill and unlocking all of its items is only a few weeks away.

Tip: Skill Boosters are the most cost effective use for Aurum and your hard-earned cash. Skills permanently unlock access to items, but sometimes it’s nice to spend a few bucks and try something with AUR before investing a big chunk of SP.

In EVE Online, politics and conflicts between players shape the universe. Mercenaries in DUST 514 can join the very same Corporations and Alliances as pilots in EVE Online, chatting alongside them with text and voice. Mercenaries can enter battles fighting for one of New Eden’s four major factions, and the outcome of those battles can make it easier or more difficult for pilots to capture and defend territory for those factions inEVE Online. Meanwhile, pilots in space can approach planets and provide orbital support requested by the mercenaries fighting in DUST 514 below. In a separate conflict, mercenaries can fight on behalf of their corporations for surface control of planets themselves, and regular updates frequently add new ways for the two games to interact — with a unified economy and trade between the two games being the most anticipated.

Plateau 6EVE Online’s final contribution to DUST 514 is its community and metagame: that culture of espionage, deception, betrayal, theft, and bastardly backstabbery which is not only approved of, but is encouraged by CCP. Corporations and Alliances, the political power blocks of the game, have simply vanished overnight because the wrong people were trusted with power; whistling as they made off with fortunes in assets. You might even occasionally find mercenaries on your team are helping your enemies.

It isn’t all smooth sailing, though. This is, after all, CCP: a company with a reputation for making colossal mistakes — and making up for them. The game is, as of yet, feature incomplete and the frequent addition of new weapons, modules, and dropsuits keeps the game balance in a constant state of flux. A massive update, Uprising 1.8, is expected to release in mid-Mach that introduces the full compliment of existing Dropsuits for all four races along with new weapons and Cloaking Devices to add a stealth element to the game. Many vehicles are also missing, as is the much-anticipated cooperative PvE game mode.

Most disappointing, however, is the new player experience. With nothing but popup boxes containing paragraphs of text and a few battles limited to floundering around with other new characters, players are unceremoniously thrown into the savagery of the general population. That first experience is a brutal object lesson in the disposability of the clone mercenary and the harsh reality of life in New Eden, but persistence — and perhaps a change in tactics — rewards players with the ISK and Skill Points required to quickly become competitive.

DUST 514 is a solid game with ambitious goals and features that are new to the genre. Its link with the MMORPG EVE Online is an industry first, with CCP’s Tranquility game server hosting two different games, on different platforms, in the same online universe. The item market and Dropsuit fitting system provide an incredibly broad range of options for character customization and flexibility, and the universe of New Eden makes a spectacular setting for a cutthroat Sci-Fi shooter. Even with its flaws, I highly recommend this game. You sure can’t beat the price.

Want to try DUST 514?

B4_Action01_CCAfter accumulating some Skill Points, finding a group of players to form squads with, and adjusting to the pace of the game, DUST 514 can quickly become a very rewarding — if sometimes frustrating — experience. It’s worth a look for anybody with a Playstation 3 who has an interest in tactical shooters, Sci-Fi, or the EVE Online universe. For a leg up and some free stuff, you can create your account using this recruiter link to receive:

  • a Recruit Assault Rifle
  • a 7-Day Active Skill Booster
  • a Recruit Submachine Gun (after accumulating 25,000 points in battle)
  • a Recruit Militia Dropsuit (after accumulating 100,000 points in battle)

Full disclosure: When a recruit who uses that link unlocks that final reward, I will receive a 1-Day Active Skill Booster and some other rewards I’ll never use at milestones for certain numbers of recruits. The benefits to you far outweigh the benefits to me.


Copyright 2012 Beazley Entertainment
All text, images, and other material posted by Video Game Scoreboard administrative staff to the website or the forums are the property of Video Game Scoreboard and cannot be duplicated, republished or retransmitted without the express written permission of the Video Game Scoreboard. All rights reserved.
Submit your scores to:
Video Game Scoreboard
2373 N.W. 185th, Suite 423
Hillsboro, OR 97124

Popup Widget

This is the Popup Widget. Add any widget to the popup widget position, and place anywhere Gantry Popup widget to trigger the RokBox.

You can configure its height and width from the widget settings.

More Information