Game Title: Dust 514
Publisher: CCP Games
Reviewed On: Playstation 3
Available on: Playstation 3
Now this is tantalising. Dust 514 is a lavish, free-to-play first-person shooter. The FTP title is a staple of modern gaming, of course, especially for social networks, PCs and apps. But it’s relatively rare for consoles, and especially for this genre and with production values this high.
Dust 514 is a spin-off from Eve online. For the uninitiated, Eve is a complex and much adored massive-multiplayer online game, so there’s a ready-built mythology and universe for this shooter. Dust 514 was supposedly designed both to convert new fans to the Eve brand and as a source of cash via its micro-transactions.
The result is a sophisticated but imperfect sci-fi shooter. There’s a rich back-story and plenty of context, should you want to delve deeper into its epic story via videos, text and online material. It’s got plenty of side-trimmings as well: menus, social interaction, shopping for new weapons and upgrades. But most of this game is multiplayer online battles, aspiring to (if not quite reaching) the teamwork and brutality of Battlefield and the future-chic of Halo. The missions vary, but are generally what you’d expect – hacking consoles, attacking and defending bases, etc.
The result is intense and challenging. Sadly, there’s no story mode and this gamer was reminded of the value of a single-player story (even a brief one) to teach the ropes before diving into multiplayer.
To its credit, Dust 514 is generally exciting, albeit with some minor bugs and flaws: Distracting blocks of text sometimes appear in the middle of combat for instance.
Though imperfect, Dust 514 is a attractive and generally exciting, and the price is oh so right. Perhaps most importantly, this classy FTP console game sets a tasty precedent.