By now, many of you PS3 owners out there have already downloaded the Dust 514 open beta. Months of being shown of how epic this title can be, one can go into with many different thoughts only feel mixed about what they have just played.
PC gamers are all familiar with this considering that PC gaming has always had the MMO Genre. Console gaming, though has had them, isn't a familiar face when associating MMO with it. The PS3 has released a few MMO, such as DC Universe and free realms, but despite that consoles are still new to the overall idea of MMO. And though Dust 514 is a first-person-shooter, you should make no mistake in treating the title as such as the ones listed above.
Unlike Call of Duty, Halo, or Battlefield, Dust 514 is not a fast pace shooter where players can spawn and get into quick combat from the get go. If there's one title out there that can be compared to it, then its MAG. Like MAG, Dust 514 controls feel somewhat "slow", yet everything else available in the game offers boundless depths for players to explore. And like MAG, Dust 514 has a high learning curve and isn't for those who are impatient.
MAG, which is a PS3 exclusive, allowed a total of 256 players at one time on a given map. At launch, I decided to pick up the title knowing that it was an online only title. My first few matches with the title felt bad. The controls were weird, graphically, yes it was very ugly, but as time progress so did my leveling and understanding of the skill system and game modes. I went from being a Call of Duty Rambo soldier to being one that relied strictly on their own squad mates. There's a big difference in the way most FPS work compared to those that actual use teamwork. In Call of Duty, if I get a kill, it feels good knowing that it was by me. If it's in a group of people, we just fight it out to see who's going to get that kill. I mean, even on objective based games, it's all about the kills. In MAG, however, though the killing feeling was there, the progress of either defending or pushing enemies to their home front, it all felt good because there was a feeling of true progress. It wasn't about getting as many kills and trying to upgrade as quickly as possible, it was about the battle. And this is where I see Dust 514 heading.
MAG received a bunch of criticism for various reasons, but the title itself is not bad at all. If you have the right friends to play with, it certainly will take up a huge chunk of your time and Dust 514 will most likely be the same.
Graphically speaking, the game isn't that impressive but it is an MMO and it's one of those that'll most likely jump onto the next generation of PlayStation with the years of support it'll mostly receive. The biggest focus that developers need to pay attention to, beside the gameplay is the user interface. Being a newcomer to Dust 514, the UI is just a mess to look at. I mentioned earlier that this game has a learning curve, and yes some of that will be spent in learning the UI. In its current state, the UI is packed with so many features you just really don't know where to begin.
The menu need better explanation, or at least better sorting and be simpler for new users. I know some will come out to say why should it make it noob friendly, but the truth is the menus have always been an issue since the closed beta launched. Sure if you learn it it's easy, but looking at it is just discouraging to even bother. Many of us do want to get into quick action with as little time possible trying to figure out what goes where and how.
Honestly, I don't know what you're into when it comes to FPS. All I can say is, if you hated the beta give is another chance as there are plenty of ways to go about this, and like said it has a high learning curve compared to other FPS out there. If you're someone who loved the FPS massive shooter, MAG than this game takes many of the components that made that title so great along with a great mass of new features. It's a title that is built on teamwork, not one that'll allow a player to carry the team. There's depth, and although it does need work, Dust 514 is shaping up to be a title to look forward to later this year.