Dust 514 beta previewPosted 12:18 am on Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 by Mark Pacis
After its reveal at E3 this year, Dust 514 became one of top games on PS3′s radar. Linking it’s complex, massively multiplayer behemoth EVE Online, developer CCP has teased us with a game with great potential. With closed beta invites being sent out, we got to see first-hand just how special the game can be. First off, the game begins with you creating your own character. You will have to choose between one of four races, and one of its three subsequent bloodlines. Those of you who play EVE will be familiar with the Caldari, Gallente, Amarr, and Minmatar races. Once you choose your race and bloodline, you will have to choose your “specialty” which is Dust 514′s way of saying choose your default class. There are three you have to choose from Arbiters (Snipers), Enforcers (Assault Soldiers), and Sentinel (Defensive Soldiers). The different races and bloodlines, and the inevitable insertion of mercenary corporations, makes you feel like a small fish in a seemingly very big pond.
Once you finish with the creation of your character, you are transported to your mercenary’s HUB/room. Those that have used PlayStation Home before will get an understanding of how this works. Here you have access to the in-game store, use the battle finder, have access to the instant battle, your character sheet, dropsuit fitting (loadouts), star map, and leaderboards. If you don’t feel like having your slow walking avatar walk to the HUB you want, you can always access a regular menu by pressing start and gain access that way.
Once you’re ready for battle you have a chance to play in two different game modes Ambush and Skirmish. Ambush is your typical Team Deathmatch scenario and Skirmish is your typical King of the Hill scenario. The one thing you have to know about these maps is that they are HUGE. This can be both a blessing and a curse for the game. If the game becomes a hit with the masses the large maps and massive player count can be a lot of fun to play. Unfortunately, if it ends up being a dud (MAG I’m looking at you) these large maps will be a detriment to the game. With a closed beta, there are not a lot of players in these massive maps so it can take up a few minutes just to find an opposing player or a firefight. If you’re new or bad at FPS, then you will probably die quickly then have to wait even more minutes to respawn and find an opposing player. Overall, the maps and gameplay feel like your generic first-person shooter. It never felt as epic and massive as the footage and screenshots led you to believe.
After each battle, you will receive ISK depending on how well you did in the match. ISK, the game’s in-game currency, is used to purchase upgrades, weapons, and dropsuits for your character. For those ready and eager to take up the massive challenge of fine tuning your character’s loadout, then get ready for a great time. With the game you can customize your character to create anything from hybrid classes to tweaking minor stats such as how your health and shields regenerate. You have the ability to purchase more powerful suits, which gives you the ability to bring more gear onto the battlefield and also gain/lose stats, but you won’t be able to wear them until your character levels up in skill (this is set in an MMO universe after all). There is one downfall to all these customizations though, after each death your newly bought items will deplete. This means that you will be forced to buy your items in bulk, and those that are bad at FPS will have a hard time replenishing supplies and saving their hard earned ISK to buy a more powerful suit. The thing is with Dust 514, you will have to upgrade and buy multiple versions of your gear, because if you don’t then you will die… A LOT. I don’t claim to be an awesome FPS player, but I can hold my own on the maps. I found myself dying a lot to many of the upgraded players, and with that earning between 50,000-60,000 ISK per match. Those who are first playing the beta will have to learn the hard way that their hard earned, newly bought weapon will get depleted when they die. Only to find out that they cannot use their jumpsuit anymore without replenishing their supplies. So you will have to switch out your depleted gear to a different one, and get back out there. All of this can be done in a match, but the time wasted switching out depleted gear can be used to gain more ISK. I get why CCP is doing this, but those who aren’t as patient, it can get pretty frustrating real fast.
Right now it is a closed beta and many kinks and systems are being ironed out by CCP. I was excited for this game, but playing it makes me wanting more than the generic shooter that it feels like. As an avid PS3 player, I want this game to succeed and hope that CCP can deliver us the product that we all want.
Self-proclaimed “Human IMDb” and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you’ll probably ever meet.