The greatly anticipated DUST 514 from CCP has been released in a closed beta. The game advertises to be a first-person shooter that will integrate into the bigger EVE universe. As a player in DUST 514, you will take on the role of a mercenary to help decide some of planetary disputes that might arise in the MMO’s game world.
The first thing an EVE player might notice is the familiar “player’s quarters.” Within these quarters resources such as the market place, vehicle and player configuration, and skill allocation are all available at the players’ convenience. CCP designed the system with speed and efficiency in mind. The market place, configuration and skills are taken right out of DUST’s bigger brother EVE. There is one notable exception: skill points are not allocated over time. Rather, they are allocated per mission, whether successful or not.
The battlefield is a chaotic orchestra of drop ships, tanks, futuristic hummers and soldiers. Upon planet fall you will choose a spawning location and attempt to gain foothold on the field from there. Spawn locations can vary from tops of structures to random ground placement or to one of the field vehicles. You will also choose your soldier’s configuration types, which can either be default or custom made. Defaults include sniping, assault, logistics or a shock troop (for taking out vehicles). A map and overhead icons label friendly and hostile players. These icons can be seen through objects once you are close enough. CCP is giving DUST players decent battlefield awareness.
Death is treated as it is in the MMO: you have a clone body that you can jump into and start the battle all over again. There is a 10 second delay before the fighting can get back under way.
DUST troopers have the ability to call in their own vehicles, and they seem to have no limit in how many times they can be called. Drop ships can be manned by six soldiers and a pilot, two of which can shoot a heavy cannon to assault other drop ships as well as ground vehicles and troops.
Tanks can be manned by a two man crew of a driver who mans the tank’s primary cannon and a gunner who uses a weapon similar to the primary armament of the drop ship.
Soldiers have a variety of weapons that they utilize against the various threats on the battle field. Sniper rifles and missile launchers make up part of their offensive arsenal, while equipment such as shield generators help keep the soldier alive.
CCP has made a promising attempt at a FPS of the science fiction genre. Although the beta provided no insight on the DUST EVE implementation, this is a highly sought-after feature from DUST’s gaming audience. Lvl30 looks forward to future betas and seeing how much more of the EVE world comes to life in DUST, and vice versa.