Dust 514, the shooter spinoff of popular MMO EVE Online, certainly looks great, but how does it play? Turns out it plays a little like a first-person game of Magic: The Gathering.
Edge's webiste has posted the big feature on the game that formed the cornerstone of the mag's latest issue, which gives us our first real details on how the game is going to be worked into the existing EVE experience.
CCP's creative director, Atli Mar Sveinsson, explains how the game's multiplayer combat is a little different. "You're given some interesting choices before the fighting's even started. There are ten vehicle classes, but the commander can only commit five for each battle. We have 15 installation types, and he can only choose five. It's simple, really, like Magic: The Gathering: you prepare your deck and then fight."
Those choices are made by a "commander", either a human player or AI, who literally hovers over the battlefield in a large ship, able to give orders and witness the entire battle at once.
Which is fine, as far as shooters go. But Sveinsson is aware that Dust's real chance to shine is not as a shooter, but as shooter with links to EVE.
"The most ambitious element is the Eve link," he says. "The other stuff has been proven in other games. Running around with a gun is a proven concept: let's just make it really good. It's when Eve comes in that it becomes special. We're sharing the universe: your basic interface to the world in Dust is even through the same star-map as Eve."
"Essentially, the Eve players need to control planets," Sveinsson continues. "Planets give them resources and affect sovereignty. So they can issue contracts to win over territory on their behalf: either open-ended contracts for all to accept, or more direct contracts to specific mercenary corporations. You could almost liken it to the setting of a match: I want this kind of player, this kind of skill level. The difference is that it's being handled by players. It's not game designers or server admins setting games in motion or deciding where things should be, it's actual players in Eve, building up their districts and fortifying their areas."
And when those planets are conquered in Dust, the results will be reflected in EVE. Exciting stuff.
There's plenty more of interest in the piece, from the way Dust will work to how CCP are handling development across two continents, so hit the link below for all that and more.
Enter Planet Dust [Edge]