Posted Wed Feb 4, 2015 at 10:26 AM PST by Brian Hoss
A 'TF2' level of addiction on display.
In the modern gaming era, it's quite natural for the audience to push back against the prevalent nature of shooting games. With that in mind 'Dreadnought' is a very sneaky title. As the name suggests it's all about ships, including dreadnoughts. These ships operate in a 3D space with the full ability to stop, hover, and rotate at will. And yet 'Dreadnought' is best viewed through the lens of games like 'Team Fortress.' Each match sees a team of five ships take on another team of five ships. The specific classes that make up the teams make a huge difference, the Light Destroyer (assault), the Light Tactical Cruiser (support), the Artillery Cruiser (sniper), Corvette (scout) and Dreadnought (heavy) all have their specific strengths and weaknesses. (More ships/classes have been promised before the game's release.)
The verticality offered by the maps and the ability to hover give the game a different feel from an FPS, and that taste of submarine/space warfare makes you want to keep playing. I had a chance to play 'Dreadnought' at PAX South and even though I knew that we needed to balance out our teams, it seemed like everyone was deciding to try out the same ship class at the same time. Having all five team members choose light destroyers and then try to ram enemies like the sniping artillery cruiser ends in predictable sadness. Even so, the desire to jump back in and try a different tack can be more enticing in the heat of the match than wising up and getting together with a tactical cruiser (think medic) and dreadnought combo.
All of the ships have a special cooldown/energy reserve that can be put towards different systems- boosting the ship's shields or weapons for a short time when needed. Knowing when and how best to use these systems is another way that the decision-making is critical in the match.
Yager has shared footage of another one of their matches, and what they do with their tactical cruiser puts me (and a lot of other Dreadnought) players to shame. That said, the map being shown is much more open than many of the ones I've played on. Still, it's evident how the profiles of each ship can make a difference when firing across the map.
In case it isn't obvious, watching this recorded match really has me jonesing to play more 'Dreadnought' and try out some of what's on display. The use of the Artillery Cruiser is impressive, and it is my favorite class so far. The dev playing (it's either designer Eino Joas or Timm Boukoura) is really skilled at leading his targets.
'Dreadnought' is powered by Unreal 4, and there are plans to have closed beta on PC later this year. Expect an update once those details surface.
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