Average User Score: 6.2May 15, 2013DUST 514 is schizophrenic. It has awoken, nominally, on May 14th, not knowing who or what it is supposed to be, and as a result, is anDUST 514 is schizophrenic. It has awoken, nominally, on May 14th, not knowing who or what it is supposed to be, and as a result, is an unfortunately mediocre experience. Before I get into the meat of the discussion, let me give the following disclaimer:
I want to love this game, and I want to see it succeed.
The PS3 was, in my opinion, one of the worst decisions. Not because I dislike the console, or Sony, or because I prefer other platforms. It is at the end of its development cycle and lifespan, with the PS4 on the near horizon. More importantly, the core audience of people who would be receptive to a game like DUST don't own a PS3, or weren't willing to purchase one on the hope they would like one free to play game. I think it is fair to state that a hardcore, complexity-craving, long term audience is most likely to be found on the PC platform, a platform which is incidentally the most receptive to a FPS game.
The game on the PS3, with controller or KB and mouse just does not handle well. The movement is not visceral, the gunplay is stiff, and you feel as though you're struggling against the controls rather than the opponent you're fighting.
The game is set out to be a sort of a hybrid of MMO and FPS, and it excels at neither. Character progression in an FPS doesn't work in an MMO styled system, and it shows in DUST. Your starting mercenary will scantly be able to spec into a worthwhile build with the 500,000 SP that you are granted. You can specialize into a decent weapon or suit; not both simultaneously. This as been somewhat addressed with the introduction of the instant battle academy,a special match making queue for "new" players, but the problem runs deeper. Being objectively weak compared to older players is fine in say, EVE Online, because you don't contend with those players until you're ready, and EVE functions on an asymmetrical basis, where a dedicated swarm of new pilots could easily topple a more established player or players. That doesn't work in a 32 v 32 setting, simply put. If the other team has an SP advantage, they are objectively better suited to victory than you, something which does not sit well in the palate of an FPS player, where skill, tactics, and reflex should determine the winner.
Additionally, weapons have vertical progression. The militia variant is outclassed by standard, standard outclassed by advanced, and advanced outclassed by prototype. The seeming variety in the weapon and skill trees than is little more than flat upgrades with two possible "side" upgrades, usually an assault or tactical variant.
With the release of the game and the addition of Scrambler rifles, Flaylocks, and a few other toys, the weapon diversity has improved, but it is still the case that a the assault rifles rule supreme. They offer more versatility and damage than any other weapon class, and this imbalance stifles the unique and innovative weapon categories that CCP built, developed, deployed, and then decidedly handicapped.
Though the game doesn't have a class system, it does have specializations you as a player will move into, basically: Light, Medium, or Heavy, with sub groupings, such as Scout, Logistics, and Assault. Simply put, it's a long long road to end up into any reasonable specialization, which would be okay if you wouldn't be fighting players in these roles in the more meaningful factional warfare and planetary conquest game modes (which don't offer disparate gameplay from instant action, I might add).
Vehicles are present, though the ceiling to access them is quite high, except for a light scout vehicle which every player may employ for free. It is a testament to the poor fundamental gunplay that in public matches, it is often more effective to ram opponents to death with a free car than shoot them with the gun you've spent 500k SP to get to a playable level. Tanks have received a much needed buff, but along with the consistently nonperforming dropships, are basically only playable as luxury items a single HAV or Dropship loss can cost as much as 10 matches worth of rewards to replace.
I would continue, but am rapidly approaching the limit for this review. I will finish by stating the following:
DUST 514 tries to be an MMO with the depth and complexity of EVE, as well as a tactical "battlefield" shooter such as BF3 or Planetside, and in doing so excels at neither.
The gunplay will leave you wont to hop onto a more polished game, and MMO aspect is still shallow compared to EVE.
The reason I give this game a very very generous score of 7 is because of the promise. It is my hope that a lukewarm reception will for CCP to look long and hard at this game, and create a new niche that thrives on both the hardcore nature of their player base, buthas rewarding, enjoyable, and meaningful core gameplay.
Thanks for your time, and I hope this guides your decision before deciding to reward CCP with your hard-earned money.… Expand