Following the recent announcement of CCP's MMOFPS entering open beta, I decided to take a look at some of the standout features in DUST 514 and gauge what it could mean for the future of cross-platform gaming.
If you're not familiar with DUST 514, it's the second game from developers CCP, with their first being the massively popular EVE Online. The core features follow the typical archetype of the MMOFPS world with character progression, a huge variety of weapons, vehicular combat and thousands of other players. However; what really makes DUST 514 unique is the ability to have an affect on the EVE Online game world. Players actions in one game can affect the politics and economic factors in the other, making it one of the first MMOFPS titles to breach the gap between PC and PS3 players.
All of the combat situations in DUST 514 are real-time based, fighting on planets that can be found in the EVE Online Universe. Player owned guilds, called Alliances and Corporations, in EVE Online are able to recruit DUST 514 mercenaries to represent their cause on the battlefield. The outcome of every battle will have a drastic impact on the sovereignty of planets and player-controlled politics in the EVE Online world, but DUST 514 players are not alone. EVE Online players that hire DUST 514 mercenaries will be able to support their troops via Orbital Bombardments; even giving DUST 514 players the opportunity to individually highlight targets for destruction.
Although this is a monumental moment for the current era of gaming, the real potential lies with future possibilities. With the explosion of information regarding next-generation consoles currently occupying practically every console board on the internet; the potential of the next-generation is alsmost limitless. Could you imagine what the features of DUST 514 could accomplish if given another 5-10 years of technology?
Rather than just supporting one another, we could see battle coordination in real-time across games from 3 different platforms. Imagine PC players taking to the skies in futuristic jets while Xbox players fight it out in intense vehicular combat with Playstation players supporting with infantry units.
Sadly current relations between major console manufacturers means that technology isn't the only obstacle we'll have to face before this comes possible; but there's one thing they cannot control, our imaginations as gamers.
So what do you think? What kind of potential do you feel cross-platform gameplay has in the future? Is DUST 514 a new era in gaming or just a passing fad?
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