Dust 514 for those who don’t know, is a class-based multiplayer-only shooter set to coexist with the Eve Online MMO. What does this mean? It means that the battles fought in Dust 514 directly affect the world of Eve, and vice versa. The idea always intrigued and I’ve been meaning to get my hands on it for a long time.
The match used for the demo was a standard six on six team deathmatch set in a snowy map. Right from the class selection screen, you can see Dust is meant to be a team-based shooter mostly focused on objective-based gameplay. You have the choice between a handful of classes, including a fast and agile shotgun-wielding scout class, your average assault class, sniper, medic, offensive heavy and defensive heavy, along with a couple more. Since team deathmatch isn’t very focused on objectives, and doesn’t require as much team work, the most popular classes were assault and scout.
The controls take a little getting used to, as they are a little bit different to your average shooter controls. For example, your R2 button brings up the weapon selection wheel and L2 is used to throw a grenade. Aside from that the game plays exactly how you would expect it to- fast and chaotic. It really shines when good team work is used.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to see how it would play alongside Eve. It would have been interesting to have airstrikes coming from actual ships in the Eve universe.
Whilst I found team deathmatch a little stale and disappointing, I know that is not how the game is really meant to be played. It’s occasional brilliance, which mostly occurs when good team work is used, leaves me optimistic for the more team-focused game modes. These will surely attract players who are looking for a unique experience which goes beyond the simple battlefield.