Gamescom 2012: Dust 514 - Immortality has a Price
By Jonathan Doyle (Ardua), OnRPG Journalist
Not every massively multiplayer experience is limited to a PC. Consoles are playing a greater role in bringing people together in ways that typically would have been those limited to PC gamers.
Having brought us space to be conquered on the PC, CCP Games is branching into new territory. It is bringing a massive shooter experience to Playstation 3.
For those who do not know, this is DUST 514.
War Without End
The beauty of science fiction is that it can be used to explore a broad range of concepts. Morality, legality, the future, hope, fear. You can cover all of those in a spaceship and laser gun package and dissect them once a week to world acclaim.
The beauty of science fiction games is when they have a beautifully realized world, half of the work is done for you.
Worried about the amount of arenas available to you in your favourite shooter? The New Eden cluster has hundreds of stars and thousands of options.
Are you the type of person to demand a modicum of realism from your games? Being shot in the head by an advanced laser or futuristic shotgun is no longer an impediment to waging war seamlessly. The same rationale and technology behind the deep world of EVE Online has been applied to DUST 514 to not just explain the shooter but to give it meaning.
There is war amongst the stars, war without end and most importantly a war you can affect.
Two Methods, One World
Interested players already know that the worlds of DUST 514 and EVE Online are on in the same. Specifically while PC gamers spend their time warping around New Eden and laying waste to one another in losec space, Playstation 3 gamers will be fighting it out on the worlds dotted throughout those voids. There will be market links between the two allowing material to flow between players of either game. More importantly, as the wars wage and as players claw out territory, EVE players can support mercenaries on the ground with orbital bombardment.
Been turned into plasma and itching for payback? You can turn the tables and fire back at those spaceships hindering you and helping the opposing force.
Admittedly, and sadly, my experiences with DUST514 were limited. Not for any failing on the part of the game, there's just so much to see and get done at Gamescom that both the time of interviewers and developers is limited. What I did play? Very engaging. Each instance is a 24vs24 battle that quickly turns brutal, or at least it did for me. There were reports of a clan of players so eager to get to grips with DUST 514 they kept lining back up to play together.
I fought tanks and fought with them. I had the pleasure of having my clone brains scattered around the landscape on more than one occasion and yearning to repay the favour. One thing that I rather enjoyed? In the lore of the game and in the actual gameplay, some vehicles are capable of spawning troops. That drop ship buzzing the complex? You better take it down quick or the guy you just sniped may well respawn on it even as it bobs and weaves through the air. Just to make your life worse, he'll even be able to fire its guns if no one else is covering them.
I came away from the CCP booth a little disappointed honestly. Once again, not because of any failing on their part, but this time on mine. I don't own a Playstation 3. I can't jump into the mercenary war. Not right away anyway. I can't get my hands on a Playstation Move and mount it on a rifle body (DUST 514 is move enabled and this is something that you could play with on the show floor) to mow down players. For now, I'll have to content myself with EVE, with the knowledge that whenever I do get my hands on a Playstation that DUST 514 is free and waiting for me to jump into and finally with the work of one Tony Gonzales.
Templar One, like The Empyrean Age is CCPs reminder that their universe is out to suck you in. It's on our PCs, it's on our consoles and it's in our books. The best part about a world like what they are offering?
You're more than willing to be sucked in.