The game play is very strategic, you can plan your war engagement down to the very detail and be extremely successful.

User Rating: 8.5 | Dust 514 PS3
I have played Dust 514 from the beginning of close beta and I saw it evolve over time. Since then I have spent 100s of hours playing it. There were times in which I enjoyed it so much that I could not stop playing. Sometimes CCP would reset all accounts in the closed beta and I would have to start skilling up the character from scratch. The beta period was used mainly by the developer to understand how people used weapons, vehicles and how players would create new dynamics in maps. Over time groups of people would gang together and try to exploit the game weaknesses to accrue more skill points. The developer would then modify the game to make it fool proof and remove these abuses. This and the careful monitoring of players feedback in forums ensured that Dust 514 is a very solid game, both in features and mechanics against exploits.

Forge guns and vehicles were always my preferred tools due to the fact that I was able to destroy lots of targets relatively easily, however over time these have been rebalanced considerably. The game play is very strategic, you cannot pretend to just land on a map and make kills or even survive for long. The best practice is to study maps, look at other players' behavior, locate spots where to snipe from, where to hide or ambush other players from and when you are confident, go and execute your strategy. You can move quickly to the other side of the map by using light vehicle and ambush the enemy or protect the main batteries that shoot at the mother ship. All vehicles can be fitted with long range or short range but more powerful weapons. These allow for different uses and different fun depending on the level of risk the player likes to take.

Part of the strategy is the skilling up of your character. Every time I start playing I spend 10 good minutes reviewing progress against my skills targets and if an improvement is possible, I would prepare a new fit with new weapons to test the new abilities.

The great thing of Dust 514 is that there is a countermeasure for everything, so your strategy for drop suit and vehicle fittings is right for the game play you develop for yourself, but inevitably you will find yourself in situations in which you are hopeless and you lose your vehicle.

I have heard people mentioning that the integration with EVE is not visible, but I can tell that the integration is deep and that the foundation for a lot more to come is already in place. I can see a lot of it:

 All market items in Dust are available in EVE Online
 Locations are the same as in EVE Online, including the star map
 Corporations are the same as EVE Online plus those of Dust
 A player can join a Dust 514 corporation or an EVE Online corporation
 Local system, corporation and alliance chats are all available in Dust
 Private channels can be created and shared with EVE players
 Audio is shared between Dust and EVE online players
 Player from both sides can exchange EVE mails
 Players can be invited to chat and squads
 Player standings and watches can put on Dust or EVE online players

I have used all of the above successfully. I think this is a fraction of what is available on Dust 514 / EVE Online integration.

It is fair to assume that the developer will be extra careful to interlink the two games economies, simply because EVE Online players would transfer huge amount of ISK to Dust players as soon as this is allowed. In addition there could be price inflation issues in the Dust markets. Most EVE Online players over time become expert commodity traders and will attempt to take advantage of the markets.

I love Dust 514 because I can plan my war engagement down to the very detail and build my character quickly around the key skills required to execute my strategy in the best way.

I have read a lot about pay-to-win and other controversial issues so I would like to mention something about this. In reality there is no pay-to-win in Dust 514, only the ability to spend some money to buy the AUR currency, which in turn allows the use of some advanced modules earlier than usual. It's really up to the player if he want to spend time playing and accruing the skills points required for a module or buy an unlocked one with AUR. This somehow helps to balance the game, in fact if I am a new player and want to perform like an old player, I can but it will cost me a very small fee. On the other hand there will always be a player that has more skills and that is older than you, so you can expect some players to be harder to kill and be more difficult to spot.

I like to think about the £50-£70 I invested in many new released games only to find out that reviews and video trailers were superficial and that the game was a huge disappointment. With Dust 514 instead I have a free to play game, which is exciting and that offer the ability to grow over time. The game developer has already issued a few releases of Dust and every time improvements were massive. Looking at how EVE Online has evolved over the last 10 years, Dust is indeed very promising and I have great expectations for it.

I strongly recommend Dust 514 to any PS3 player. Free to play with no limitations can't be wrong.

Great Review sir, this is coming from a fellow 514 Veteran.