Back in 2003, a small Icelandic video game company called CCP released an MMORPG game called Eve Online. Eve Online is a story about human civilizations in the far future colonizing the planetary solar system of a distant galaxy after the human race depleted all of the natural resources of our home planet. As generations evolved on the new planet system, the human race was divided into five different space faring cultures all competing for control of the new galaxy's resources. It's been ten years since CCP first launched Eve Online and it has become a long standing successful PC game with over 500,000 active players.
On August 18, 2009, CCP first made the announcement that they were developing Dust 514 exclusively for the Playstation 3. Dust 514 is directly related to and operates within the Eve Online Universe. The story behind Dust 514 is simple. Gamers playing Eve Online on PC are the pilots controlling customizable star ships throughout the galaxy of star systems in an RPG setting. However, gamers playing Dust 514 on PS3 are ground soldiers battling it out with rival corporate soldiers on the actual planet's surface in a more traditional FPS setting. While Eve players focus on the galactic battles, Dust 514 players focus on the physical ground combat.
The five main corporations are the same throughout both Eve Online and Dust 514. Gamers who choose the same faction in either game will then be able to interact and work together for the common goal of advancing their factions control over the planets resources. This results in many new and innovative gameplay features by CCP. The most notable feature is Cross Console gaming. This means that within the universe of Eve Online and Dust 514, PC gamers and PS3 gamers can play and communicate with each other seamlessly. No other gaming console offers such an impressive feature. One example of the interaction between Dust 514 and Eve Online in a real time gaming session is where a Dust 514 ground soldier can request an air strike from an Eve Online Star Ship (within the same military corporation). The result is an orbital laser strike that can wipe out an entire enemy ground platoon.
The graphics in Dust 514 are very well detailed and the sound quality is very good. The maps are very big which is ideal for vehicle combat as well as fighting on foot and setting up sniping positions. The gameplay mechanics are solid and the weapons have a nice hefty feel to them when shooting. Driving vehicles can be a little challenging at first, but once you get used to the controls, vehicles become a big tactical advantage on the battlefield. Most impressive is the fact that I have not experienced any online lag considering Dust 514 is a massive MMO online multiplayer game.
Battlefield operations are only one half of the overall Dust 514 experience. The second part of the Dust 514 experience is the strategy component that goes into building your perfect soldier. You will spend a lot of time in your private quarters changing up your armor, weapons and vehicle loadouts. Dust 514 also has a very deep and sometimes confusing skill system that you can use to boost your soldiers abilities on the battlefield. Getting to know the skill system will take time and can be frustrating for many gamers at first. However, for those gamers patient enough to learn the skill system, it goes a long way to improving your soldier and making the battlefield gameplay that much more satisfying and enjoyable.
Online MMO's don't usually start off perfected and instead improve over time while constantly evolving with the ever growing online community. Dust 514 is a very ambitious game and CCP already has a great track record with their other successful MMO franchise, Eve Online. Online MMO's are still a fairly new genre on home gaming consoles, but Dust 514 has already shown it has all the tools and potential needed to reach the successful longevity of Eve Online while also implementing many of its innovative features to stand out in a crowded market of generic console shooters. Any fans of strategy games or first person shooters should definitely give Dust 514 an opportunity.