Looking for a little more depth from your FPS? Hugely ambitious free-to-play sci-fi shooter Dust 514 might be just the ticket. CCP’s PlayStation 3 exclusive sits alongside its enormously popular PC space MMO Eve Online, with players’ actions in one game directly affecting the environment in the other. See our recent post from the Icelandic developer for more on exactly how this plays out.
The third string to the whole intriguing project is Dust 514 Neocom – a companion PS Vita app that lets you interact with various systems from the PlayStation 3 game directly from your handheld. In search of a little more information on exactly how it works, we collared CCP Creative Director Atli Mars Sveinsson and Marketing Director Cameron Payne at last week’s Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany.
“It’s a companion app to the PS3 game,” explained Payne. “It brings all the customisation, community and commerce features onto the Vita. There’s no direct gameplay but you can use pretty much all the features that the Neocom user interface offers in the main game.
“You can interact with battles, purchase items on the market, play around with your dropsuit or vehicle and then save it so you can use it on PS3.”
A quick hands-on session with the app demostrated just how much functionality CCP has managed to squeeze in. Players will have access to the complete Fittings system – allowing you to tinker with your weapon load-outs, armour and various vehicle configurations. And as Eve afficionados will likely be well aware, this is almost a game unto itself, with thousands and thousands of different combinations available.
On top of that, the game’s store is fully accessible from the Vita app, complete with daily deals and special offers, while the in-game mail and social features are also present and correct. Not only that, but you can also navigate around the Eve universe’s enormous galaxy map – a feature which CCP plans to build upon further down the road.
“There’s New Eden in real time on your Vita,” said Sveinsson proudly, zooming in and out by pinching the Vita’s touch screen. “700 solar systems and you can drill down and look at the individual planets. Over time we’d like you to be able to tinker with those planets and manage their surface infrastructure.”
Those who don’t own a Vita won’t be missing out on anything – all these features exist in the PS3 game – but, for a game as potentially as absorbing as Dust, it should offer a compelling way to stay connected to the game when you’re out and about.
“There are so many parts of Dust 514 that you can take with you and don’t need a PS3 to enjoy, and this was the perfect way to exploit those features,” added Sveinsson. “The whole PlayStation ecosystem works really well, allowing these systems to connect and be a nice cohesive experience. It’s MMO on the go.”
Stay tuned to PlayStation Blog for more on Dust 514 ahead of the game’s launch later this year.