A Brave New World

There once was a legendary game called Halo. Originally conceived to be a Real Time Strategy, during preliminary testing; Bungie quickly realised that its product moved better as a First Person Shooter, and thus a mammoth franchise was born. A bold move, therefore it must've been a very hard call as the FPS genre was bloated with capable and experienced developers.

Unlike Bungie whom, at the time were new to the market with nothing to lose and everything to prove; CCP has to protect an established and sensitive game-world. They could be brave and admit all available options. For my money at least, their latest ambition; Dust514 may be more suitable as an RTS. Currently the team is developing this multi-format game for the console FPS player, but their target consumer is much more rigid about purchases, tending not to stray from the lure of the familiar's sequels or from the pretty persuasions of publishers and their hyperbole fan-boy articles in the media. I remember a game called: Too Human(check out that price! lol), being granted the media spotlight and hyped all the way to the shelves, despite being utterly shite. And the bargain bins burgeoned with mis-informed sales.

The RTS genre is also full of capable developers but the market share is smaller than that of the FPS, and less fought. Only a handful of really notable RTS's have made it onto the consoles and for this reason, Dust514 could become hard to ignore, existing as the most unique and refreshing virtual creation available, creating its own sub-genre and an audience with player's interest in the rich and detailed culture of New Eden. Many of the skills developed while playing an RTS can be equally useful in EvE Online and there are more elements of EvE Online that mimic an RTS, rather than an FPS. I fear that as an FPS; Dust514 could become a victim of ignorance, lost in the sound and fury the over-weight publishers create as they vie for every crumb of the genre's huge pie.

EvE Online is no stranger to the RTS genre. There are many passionate bedroom coders that have attempted to develop an EvE Online mod for Homeworld2 and Nexus; The Jupiter Incident. Perhaps due to a rapidly evolving game-world, a lack of consistent resources and possible copyright arguments; all of these mods are yet to deliver. This is a pity as an RTS version of fleet battles could train the brain for the real thing and become a tool for understanding the fundamentals of mass warfare tactics, so long as the RTS translates the mechanics of EvE Online faithfully...

Dust514 may be amazing! better than anything giants such as Bungie, EA, or Ubisoft can muster, or maybe it will sink whilst humiliating CCP and EvE Online against a backdrop of Blizzards insulting success and the media's ability to sensationalise and promote failure. I dearly hope that whatever happens, those for whom the EvE universe never appealed may enjoy our worlds as much as we enjoy our empire over them.

Related Links
Halo; Combat Evolved (PC)
Dust514 Video Archive