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When I first heard about DUST-514 I really was excited. The concept sounded excellent and from what they showed us at E3 it really did look promising. However, after playing the beta for several hours I came to a few conclusion about the future of CCP Games' latest title.

You are greeted with an awesome opening trailer showing all sorts of flashy space battles, ground warfare, cool futuristic vehicles, players running around with rocket launchers and some overall concept of an even greater war going on in the universe around you. Which is great. It really is. But when you actually start playing the game, err beta I should say. It’s a different story entirely. First of all get ready to wait because the loading times in this title are killer. You start in-station which in DUST is referred to as MERC-Quarters.

This is essentially one medium sized room with your suite customization, skills, leader-board, and quick-battle launcher. You can move your character around your quarters (slowly) and select whichever display strikes your fancy. Now here’s the thing anybody familiar with the EVE Online universe is aware of; there is a learning cliff as opposed to a learning curve and although CCP attempted to make this quasi-eve more accessible to players it really isn’t. You still have skills which are necessary for equipping different weapons, suits, and modules but those skills usually have prerequisites of other skills and it all works in very much the same way that it’s PC counterpart does, just with many more limitations.

Some small errors include a lack of a search bar in the skill que and an option which is supposed to open your prerequisites window instead opens the descriptions tab under the info window. Now, the game is “free-to-play” and the reason I have this in quotes is because of the micro-transaction model this game is based on essentially makes this a not-so-free game. There is an in-game marketplace where you can buy new vehicles, weapons, modules etc. and you do this with AUR and ISK which are both in-game currencies in EVE Online and in DUST-514.