"Dreadnought" has been out on the PC for a few months now, but the online multiplayer game all about spaceship combat will soon be making the jump to the PlayStation 4. It's a move that makes sense for a project that was purposely built to be played with controllers.
I had a chance to check out the PS4 build at a recent event, where the game's director Peter Hozapfel and senior producer Mike Barr offered new details about the project. "Dreadnought" on PS4 will feature a Havoc mode, a player versus environment rule set that pits a team of three against waves of enemy ships. It's similar to "Gears of War's" Horde mode, but there are some twists.
Each wave includes a random tweak that players have to overcome. During some rounds, teams will be impacted by modifiers such as a health boost to enemy ships or the inability to regain energy needed to recover shields. To compensate for that and create a layer of strategy, players can buy up to three random power-ups after each wave. The boosts cost credits so individuals will have to figure out whether they should save money or buy one. The power-ups last for as long as the team survives.
Every seven rounds, players will encounter a boss ship. They'll also be able to pick a new vessel every so often. This forces communication between the three-person team. A good squad will have a diversity of ships with power-ups that make up for the weaknesses of others. If one player dies during the match, they can still affect the battle by piloting a single-purpose fighter that can help surviving teammates.
As for the gameplay of "Dreadnought" itself, the game has made strides since I first saw it in 2014. First off, the game is more fleshed out. Originally, there were 12 ships in five specific categories. Since then, the developer, Yager, has brought that number up to 51. Inspired by "Team Fortress 2," the game offers a variety of ships designed to fill roles.
The titular Dreadnoughts are heavy but slow. They carry some of the biggest weapons but they have be positioned correctly to fire them. Small ships are agile and can fire at all angles, but they are also weaker. They excel in scouting and hit-and-run attacks. Falling in the medium-sized bracket are repair ships that heal teammates and sniper-style vessels that deal a heavy amount of damage from afar.
They all play differently but it's the speed and pace of the combat that's notable. "Dreadnought" isn't a quick-twitch flight game. Players pilot vessels that feel like battleships and aircraft carriers. They turn slowly and lumber across the battlefield. That makes positioning vital. It's best to use cover or different angles of attack. Instead of going head-on, it's better to fly down and fire from below.
On top of the numerous ships, players can also customize the look of each one with cosmetic pieces, but more important than that, gamers can switch out up to four modules on a ship. These are weapons and abilities that are mapped to the face buttons on the DualShock 4 controllers. Players can add a cloaking device or heavy torpedoes. It's up to players to figure out how the gear can complement their play style.
Lastly, players can staff ships with four different officers who have passive perks that can aid in combat or become active under certain conditions.
Because "Dreadnought" was made with a controller in mind, it's a game that feels at home on the PlayStation 4. The DualShock 4 handles the module abilities well. Interestingly enough, the touchpad is excellent for diverting energy around a ship. That's often what gives players an edge in matches. While controlling the ships, power can be rerouted to shields, engines or weapons boosting a vessels defense, maneuverability or offense. Boosting shields could be the difference between surviving a barrage of missiles or going down in defeat.
"Dreadnought" is a perfect project to be free to play on the PlayStation 4. It's a game that won't be for everyone. Those thinking it will be like "Call of Duty" or "Overwatch" but with spaceships will be disappointed. The pace of the game is much slower and more strategic. It's a title that should be given a test run against other PS4 players. Despite being on PC, "Dreadnought" won't feature any crossplay.
If it appeals to players, they can grind through the game or they can purchase a Founders Pack that includes Grey Box Points, the premium in-game currency, and regular in-game credits. In addition, certain cosmetics are included along with five hero ships. These are tuned vessels that can't be modified but work great in a match. Paying players also get a certain length Elite Status, this essentially gives anyone who is on your team an experience boost when they play with you.
Expect "Dreadnought" to come out on the PlayStation 4 later this year. ___
(c)2017 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
Visit the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) at www.eastbaytimes.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This article is written by Gieson Cacho from East Bay Times and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.