Friday, 24 May 2013

Dust 514 receives a critical drubbing

Dust 514 the free to play (F2P) shooter from MMO darlings CCP (how many acronyms?) has been getting the initial run with gaming sites for review and the scores aren't brilliant.  At the moment the game sits at a rather mediocre 58 on metacritic.  Now it's early days as far as reviews go but they do highlight many of the issues I had with the game myself.

Bland maps, weak weapons, poor movement, aggressive real money mechanics and even poor support for mouse and keyboard are all highlighted.  Of course DUST isn't for everyone out there especially the majority of console owners who have been spoiled by the instant gratification of Battlefield and Call of duty over the years.  DUST needs time to settle (haha) and become something of a more refined shooter.  It's skill trees although in line with what EVE uses, is too intimidating for new players and it's systems demand you grind for tens of hours for a single skill.

These issues though can all be improved over time if DUST is given the same kind of dedication as CCP, but I fear that since the game is made in another country by another development team, the same work ethic that is seen over in Iceland may not be apparent in Shanghai.  Really DUST now has to quickly improve to be something more profitable in the short term before the launch of PS4.  Playstation 4 will likely carry DUST on it's newer PSN store but now competing with numerous "next gen" titles it may not make the grade.

Personally I would want to see DUST up those player numbers so the battles actually feel large and epic.  It doesn't help when you fight a mere 16 people on such large maps and the competition (Battlefield and Planetside 2) offer at least 64 players.  The cost and possibly the mechanics of the AUR needs to be adjusted.  Losing a gun you just paid real money for is a nasty sting for those unaware and it needs to maybe lessen this punishment a little as the community on consoles are far less forgiving as those on the PC.  The weapons also need to sound a little more beefier and not like toys, they look cool but honestly do little for you when fired.

Again this is a game that can and likely will improve but much like the Wii U it's launch has been severely undercut by a bigger, better console just around the corner.  It has some nice ideas with it's connection to the EVE universe and if it expands this with better game modes it could become a hardcore shooter with a dedicated community built around it.

The eurogamer article is written with a hope that the game can improve but like the gametrailers one really feels letdown and disappointed by the game.

Gametrailers is a very scathing review but none the less honest about the issues the game suffers from.  Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind and the industry could benefit from more reviewers being honest about games instead of giving away 9/10 for every big release.

Overall DUST 514 has every potential to be as big a game as EVE with some really interesting mechanics that given time and money could rival that of Planetside 2 a game it will most likely be compared to.  Was this a mistake by CCP?  In my opinion yes, either it should have launched earlier this year or late last to have more time before the PS4 overshadows it.  CCP will now be eager to recoup money it has spent on both development and the hefty hosting fee's that Sony have for hosting the content on their store.  PC really should have been the platform for this game but hindsight is a wonderful thing.


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