Dust 514 (Hands-On Preview)

How do you take on the mighty big guns of Call of Duty or Battlefield? Giving your game away for free isn’t a bad place to start. We’ve seen the free-to-play market really boom this year, a trend further enforced by the large presence of many free-to-play titles at this years’ Gamescom Expo in Germany.

To be honest though, those hungering for ‘proper’ games haven’t had anything to match the core experience offered by bigger premium games. CCP would like to change that attitude though with their new PS3 title, Dust 514, an MMO first-person shooter.

They’re not just breaking the rules with their pricing though; they’re putting PS3 gamers into new territory by forming an alliance with PC players. Dust 514 belongs to the game universe of EVE Online, a very different experience featuring orbital spaceships far above the planets in space. EVE Online is huge too. It’s set in the galaxy of Eden with seven thousand solar systems and fifty-sixty thousand planets.

Admittedly, not much of that scale has an impact on the PS3 game, as the warzone planets for the console experience require more than a randomly named ball in space on a map. With a parent game boasting such big numbers though, we’re hoping at least for varied looking environments to battle in.

 These two games exist on the same servers and your battles against different corporations (think Guilds) will affect the standings in the PC game as the two are closely tied as a persistent universe. The most direct connection between the two is naturally one of violence. PS3 players will be able to call in orbital strikes from the PC players resulting in devastating barrages from these huge space ships far above the battlefield. In the favour of balance, PS3 players can use orbital artillery to blast these epic vessels out of the sky. Apparently, we can’t all get along after all.

Click here to read the rest of my hands-on preview at Dealspwn.com

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