Dust 514 is a free to play MMOFPS game for the PlayStation 3 made by the same company who brought you Eve Online (Some ex-members of Dice are also involved in Dust514).
As a matter of fact Dust 514 is set in the same universe and even more amazingly can interact and directly affect Eve Online.
I have been lucky enough to have been playing the closed beta for some months now and I am very impressed by the way this game is. More so since the recent merging of the closed beta with the Eve servers now allowing things like Orbital Bombardment:
Eve Online is a game that’s been around for years, and unlike many other MMORPG’s it has steadily grown it’s player base annually. The game has a single-shard server which means that each player will play with one another rather than being separated by servers or factions. In Eve each item you acquire can be lost in battle which makes each achievement gained an amazing feat, but each loss also devastating. Dust 514 works in very much the same way. In Dust, you can immediately go in and start enjoying things like Team Death Match or Resource Battles. Each battle will reward skillpoints and ISK which can then be used to purchase new items or customize your character, however you must remember that each new gun you buy, each weapon or armour fitting could very easily be lost.
ISK is the in game currency which luckily is given away at a level which can make gaining items relatively easy at the beginning, however due to the amount of customization you soon realise that this is far from the entire picture. Apparently they’ve calculated that to fully customize a character it would take approximately 7 years of non-stop grinding which really shows the insane level of customization available.
You can also purchase Aurum which is purchasable with real currency, however unlike many other games they have stressed the point that even if you do purchase things it won’t give you an unfair advantage, only allow you to expand your character and enjoy at a rate you wouldn’t as a completely free to play player. Although I’ve yet to find a need to purchase Aurum; I most certainly think people should as it helps support the developers who have put years into creating such a diverse game.
In Dust 514 there are no clear archetypes for players which is another nice addition to the customization. Rather than thinking “I want to be a sniper, so I’ll buy a sniper rifle and sniping gear” things really aren’t made so black and white. If you want you could be a sniper who has heavy armour, or you could be someone who uses light armour to sprint around the battlefield while using a SMG or Assault Rifle.
As I previously mentioned Dust 514 directly affects Eve Online this is done through things like calling in Orbital Bombardment (as illustrated by the first video) but it is involved in a much, much deeper way. Think of it like this: Eve players are flying round in space with their mega-corporations and having their space wars and such, but to help take over planets they send in mercenaries to capture strategic points and gain control of said planet. Players of Eve can also make contracts for Dust 514 players to complete which can make a large impact on the game that Eve players are playing but also gain renown for your clan and other players of Dust 514, which in turn means that you may be sent more Contracts by players of Eve if they think you’re suited to the job. Here’s a little explanation of how some of the game to game interaction works:
Dust 514 can also interact with the Vita. Although sadly it’s not possible to play Dust 514 on the Vita the console can actually add a lot to the game (though sadly this is yet to be implemented). It allows you to control everything that you can in game except actually playing a match which a little saddening however this may be changed in the future.
As a side note anyone with access to a CFW PS3 and a Vita would you mind testing if multiman makes it possible to play Dust 514 through the Vita? Leave the results in the comments or feel free to mail me (Tonakai) on the forums.
Dust 514 also offers a large amount of customization with Vehicles. With regards to the controls it’s very similar to Halo which I love since although I was never a fan of the Halo franchise – I did love the vehicles. Much like everything else in Dust 514 these are purchasable, upgradable and just a hell of a lot of fun. You can go round in attack buggies, tanks, drop ships and all other types of vehicles that you can customise to your playstyle.
I would just like to add that I absolutely adore driving around in LAV’s and running people over, or using HAV’s to destroy large groups of players. I’ve yet to really look into the dropships, but having gunned in them I can say that it is also incredibly enjoyable.
If you’ve played Dust 514 then feel free to share your opinions on this game. Personally, I give it a 4/5. It would be higher, but I really would love the ability to play on my Vita. I understand that’s rather expectant of me, but it’s the only downside I have to the game. It has large maps, great customization and a lot of time can be enjoyed playing it but it’s also suited for the casual player, which is a very hard balance.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a HD Gameplay video that includes a bit of everything… enjoy!