Original post here: http://www.destructoid.com/review-dust-514-253697.phtml
Normally, I'm a lurker around these parts (Hi! Nice to meetcha!), but I feel that DToid's Chris Carter didn't give Dust 514 the proper review it deserves. Game reviews exist to propogate an opinion carried by the review, and in extension the site on which the review is hosted. That said, Destructoid simply did not do its homework on this game.
The review starts talking about Dust's link with EVE, but doesn't elaborate hardly at all. Mr. Carter merely mentions that EVE ships can bomb Dust troops, but doesn't detail the conditions underwhich this is possible. To the average reader not knowing better, wanting to pick up the latest Sony exclusive, this would sound terrifying. How could a newbie possibly compete against giant ships in the sky who've been around for years?
With that in mind, let me explain this mechanic in a way that a reviewer playing for the sake of writing a review simply wouldn't be able to. I'm a former (This game causes drama and I just wanted to shoot baddies!) director of a corp
, which is part of a much larger, ambitious alliance
(shameless plugs are shameless) seeking to leave our mark on the Dust universe. This is done through a mode that wasn't detailed at all, called "Planetary Conquest," or what we "Dusters" call "PC."
The name, Planetary Conquest, should on its own give you an idea of what this game has to offer. In PC, a corp/alliance's job is to attack/defend districts on a planet in New Eden. If enough districts are owned, the specific corp owns that planet and must defend it from attackers. Right now, the mechanic is limited to just a few planets, but will gradually be opened up to a much more significant portion of the Dust universe. Dust provides a map of areas available to fight over in its "Starmap" under the Battle tab of the main menu. Tell me more about how this game rips off Call of Duty and Battlefield.
It is in these PC battles that the Dust/EVE connection comes into play. During these matches, if a Dust squad on the ground amasses a certain number of points (~2500 in the previous build, I believe a bit closer to ~3000 now), they have the option of asking for orbital support. The leader of said squad requests and aims the support, and if the EVE player(s) supporting that team is able (more on that shortly), he/she can fire down onto the planet and clear the area designated by the squad leader.
Let me make this clear: This cannot be done in public matches. Newbies and non-corp members in general need not be afraid of EVE.
That said, it's likely that these strikes may not even be used in corporation/alliance battles, given that to support the battle on the ground, the area in space needs to be controlled. What I mean by this is quite obvious. If I'm an EVE player helping my corp on the ground capture/defend a territory, it's in my best interest to attack any other EVE players attempting to assist the other team.
Skipping over the mention of graphics (I'll address that later), Mr. Carter's assertation that Dust is ripping off Call of Duty and Battlefield with its game modes further propogates the idea that PC and the Starmap weren't looked into in any capacity. This game isn't about the short term, pick up and play public matches that were played for the review. This game is first and foremost about Planetary Conquest. The public matches mentioned in the review? Meant for practice and grinding skill points and in-game cash. Nothing else. Again, and I cannot stress this enough, the game is meant for PC. The fact that it wasn't mentioned in the review at all is just sad.
Back to his mention of the graphics, it's fair to say that this game needs some touching up. It's obvious that it isn't running on something like CryEngine 3 or Frostbite 3. It is, however, a significant improvement over the visuals of the previous iterations of Dust in every way except for one - Draw distance. CCP coded the game in such a way that if you are carrying a close quarters weapon, your draw distance is shorter than those carrying a longer range weapon. In short, this means if you're carrying a Submachinegun, chances are you will never see that annoying sniper that keeps hitting you. THIS is one of the things that should've been mentioned as a negative in the review, but wasn't. It has nothing to do with framerate or lag, it's draw distance. Sometimes it just doesn't work, especially when you're attempting to shoot at a super speedy scout suit. There's a difference. And trust me, I know a thing or two about lag, given that I live in the middle of the Pacific ocean, playing on a wireless connection. My connection is terrible oftentimes, and it's never once been a gamebreaking issue like this review would lead someone who doesn't know better to believe. I believe that when the review mentions "lag," he's rather mentioning the Dust's average hit detection.
Mr. Carter mentions that playing with friends makes the game better, and allows you to get into the metagame. This is entirely true, but at the same time, isn't. Make no mistake, this isn't a game that you can just turn on and "play with the bros" on a Friday night. You need to be in a corp with more than just a few buddies, you need to have a plan, and you need to have your character leveled up to a point where you're competitive against other similar groups.
As for complaining about item's being single use..I simply say "Welcome to Dust." The game is working as intended. You cannot just jump into this game with the best gear and expect to win. You need to learn what works best with what, specializing into a specific area of play, and stick with what you've chosen. The goal here isn't to pad your KDR, but to rather make the enemy team misplace more money than they force you to lose. If 9 guys in starter gear all die to 1 super advanced ("Prototype") gear user, but the 10th starter gear guy kills the baddie and the total costs less (which it often does), the ten newbies are the winners, even if it seems pyhrric. (Killing TAR Logis is very satisfying!)
As for mentioning microtransactions..the game is free, and nothing that can be purchased with microtransactions are unavailable to free players. Blueprint items that are mentioned in the review are in fact barred behind a pay wall, but when you actually use said items, you see that they are merely starter gear items that do not deplete upon death. It isn't so much of an advantage as it is saving the player a few thousand ISK..and when ISK comes in hundreds of thousands at a time, you almost don't even notice the loss. Aurum items, in many cases, simply aren't worth the cost, and yet because it's cool to shoot down microtransactions for the sake of shooting down microtransactions, no matter how insignificant or how little it takes away from the full game, they're used as detractors. Almost kotaku-esque.
I'll agree with the review score, 6/10. The game definitely needs some work, but at least I can safely say that my version of the score is after having experienced the game for going on a year, rather than being a knee-jerk reaction from someone who, by virtue of the things mentioned/omitted in the review, clearly didn't invest himself in the game much at all. I love me some Destructoid, but considering how much time both myself and people I play with have invested into Dust 514 before having read this, considering this review barely skins the surface, I've been rubbed the wrong way a bit.