Dreadnought By A Long Shot: 10 Minutes Of Big Ships

2015 is the year for multiplayer about slow moving hulks, if World of Warships and its flying, free-to-play, scifi equivalent Dreadnought [official site] are anything to go by. If you’re tired of single-person fighter ships with their nippy antics, and what you really want is to crawl through the air while peppering sustained laser and rocket fire, then come watch ten minutes of the developers playing the game below.

There was a time when I’d have called this game an inevitable flop: moving slowly is frustrating, I’d have thought, and people want to bunnyhop and whirl around and be some version of Luke Skywalker. Maybe I’d have been right once, but there’s enough evidence now to suggest that people also want strategy and tactics in multiplayer rumbles, which Dreadnoughts appears to provide through the positioning of its capital ships, the teamwork required in 5 vs 5 fights like the one below, and in the varied types and powers of the ships.

This isn’t as big a leap for devleopers Yager as it might initially seem. Although best known for Spec Ops: The Line and Dead Island 2, their first two games were combat flight games, including the scifi game from which the studio takes its name.

Thx, PC Gamer.

24 Comments

  1. Chuckleluck says:

    I have some reservations about this. When everyone is flying a massive capital ship, it’s not special. I feel like the sense of scale would also be thrown off.

    • Christo4 says:

      Yeah i kinda agree.
      IMO, would have been nice if they had carrier vessels as well, that have AI controlled fighters that you can make to pursue other players. Or perhaps a huge mothership with small fighters that are all AI controlled, you each have to protect your own and either the team who gets to 20 kills or the mothership destroyed wins (the mothership should have a weakness behind so that you can get the light frigate behind the enemy lines and them ram into it).
      Also, maybe it’s just me but it feels rather cramped. For space ships, it definitely needs more verticality IMO.
      And i really expected that artilerry ship to actually have to line up with the shot, to take long to charge but then to be deadly when it hits. For now, it seems like the barrel, if you can call it that, is completely misaligned with where the shot comes from.

    • Faxanadu says:

      Thiiiiiiiiiis…!

      I can’t imagine anything more important for this game than the sense of MASS. You need to have a CONSTANT visual reminder that the thing you’re controlling is FUCKING HUGE. And to make it great, you need to have the controls occasionally feel like “HNNGGH MOVE YOU FAT PIECE OF …” but not too often so it doesn’t become frustrating.

  2. alert says:

    F2P, what an immense waste.

    • Rwlyra says:

      Do you – anti-F2P-bullshit spewers have any idea on what you’re talking about? If this game was B2P – nobody would play it after 2 weeks.

      With F2P they at least have the chance of carving a niche and sustaining the product. They probably know it and that’s why they are going that route.

      • wu wei says:

        We’ve had so many decent F2P games over the past few years that I cannot understand the kneejerk antagonism to them. Even if a specific games ends up being pay-to-win, you lost nothing in checking it out.

        • Bugamn says:

          I can’t speak for the original poster, but it saddens me a bit when I see yet another F2P game because I know it won’t have any good single player element and I like to play alone.

      • alert says:

        Calm down man. Imposing a grind/paywall makes the game worse, this shouldn’t be controversial. Even if people can pay what they want on an individual basis, it inevitably causes imbalances across servers which has a detrimental effect on gameplay. These games are multiplayer, other players choosing not to spend/grind, or choosing to be frugal will have an impact on your experience.

        If only a handful of people commit to each specific playstyle or class then the game has less variation. If everyone can dip into every class equally then servers have a great deal of variation and the game becomes more dynamic. F2P games are often designed and balanced around this, which usually has the effect of further reducing scope if done poorly. The worst case is something like Hawken, an amazing looking game that plays poorly, mostly because of the grind/paywall.

        Obviously it depends on the specific approach they take, but I think it’s pretty undeniable that there isn’t a single F2P game that wouldn’t be improved by moving it toward a more traditional model and charging a fair price. A good game can overcome F2P, but F2P never improves the game itself.

      • zentropy says:

        Name one game that hasn’t been compromised by either being, or converting to, F2P. :3

  3. Mackeriah says:

    I’m pretty bemused as to why we’re seeing ships ram each other in the first couple of minutes. As that’s clearly a standard attack/tactic, then this is definitely not for me. If I want ramming I’ll play Destruction Derby. What a shame.

  4. foszae says:

    Still just looks like a run-of-the-mill MMO dogfight simulator. Fast action, stupidly easy kills, and hiding behind cover makes this more like a cheezy FPS. I’ve played Homeworld y’know, i understand what a capital ship is capable of in space combat.

  5. vorador says:

    I liked the teaser CGI video a lot, but from what it looks on the pre-alpha footage i’m not convinced. The ships lack mass, and move weirdly. And having to move close to the target is a turn-off since the point of a dreadnought was to fight at extremely long ranges with heavy firepower.

  6. ChrisGWaine says:

    The movement reminded me of the Gear Factor flying car

    • Cinek says:

      I was just about to write that these Dreadnoughts fly like a baloons, but your illustration is much, much better than any words that try to describe it.

  7. P.Funk says:

    Ships move too fast, have no inertia, no mass, bleh.

  8. Gibster says:

    Looks earily like Fractured Space, also a 5v5 Capital Ship game in development by Edgecase games. Though FS is already in Early Access and is very much playable (and certainly fun). link to youtu.be

    • Christo4 says:

      It already looks much better that Dreadnought imo.
      It feels like it actually has mass and size. Also, verticality.

  9. SomeDuder says:

    I dont get this game. Its about spaceship dreadnoughts, which, common knowledge dictactes, are massive ships, which move slowly and you do not want to get anywhere near off with other big ships due to hugefuckoff guns, usually attacked with fighters/bombers. Yet, here we see them floating about with ease, mere meters above a planet, dancing around and ramming into each other. Their size seems to be more in line with a cruiser-class vessel, judging by the objects and buildings they float around. Guns seems ineffective (If you have a ship that has only 1 role (weapons platform), then why bother with tiny little turrets? These things should have MASSIVE guns) and support is just freaking dumb.

    Whats worse, more people feel like this. Do the developers respond to these kinds of comments? Do they care? Is it just 1 developer/artist/lead who is imposing his vision on the rest of the team? AM I TAKING CRAZY PILLS?

    I mean, I don’t mind when molds are broken and genres mixed, but this just doesnt look right. Oh well, its F2P anyway, which means a massive grind to unlock the fun stuff, and a very likely outcome of the developer abandoning it after a few months of empty promises. Shit gets me mad yo

    • P.Funk says:

      Yes, it really begs the question, is the whole Dreadnought thing just a marketing thing? You could theoretically do any vessel class with this gameplay dynamic. Roll 12 turrets into 4 and you got a corvette. Roll 4 into 2 and its a fighter. Keep the DPS and effects the same, change almost nothing in the maneuvering. Would anyone notice a difference?

      I suspect this game was developed specifically to justify that first teaser that hooked everyone.

      • MrUnimport says:

        I think it’s like Battleship. You only get one or two battleships in the actual game, and the ranks are filled out with smaller, lighter vessels, but it’s still called Battleship.

  10. Thrippy says:

    It’s common practice to name a game after its biggest, baddest unit.

    Heavy dreadnoughts, medium corvettes, light destroyers, medium artillery cruisers, and light tactical cruiser ships were featured in the video, roughly one of each per team. Guess the ship variations weren’t distinctive enough for the casual viewer?