I’ve been sold on Yager’s upcoming Dreadnought since I first got to play a match, and it already seemed to have a lot to offer for a large breadth of gamers, but the latest update brings enough customization to further widen the appeal.
German developer Yager has been working on arena ship shooter Dreadnought for some time now, and I’ve had the pleasure of playing matches at a handful of shows in the last year or so. It’s got a lot going for it, from gorgeous graphics to exciting, if sometimes ponderous combat engagement. Something of particular appeal to me, however, is the slower pace of the game. You’ve got a robust selection of ships in varying sizes, and most of them favor slow turning, directional firing, and a generally lethargic pace of combat. The build I got to play at PAX, however, featured an impressive customization system, including both cosmetic and practical customization options.
The Yager team explained the customization system to some extent at PAX East, but most of it was still tentative and/or work-in-progress ideas, so there wasn’t much concrete information available. At PAX Prime, the system was available to tinker with, and was even better than I’d expected from our chat earlier in the year. Each of the five ship classes has three default loadouts, offering 15 different options for players who’d rather just stick with that, but advanced players now have the option of equipping their ship to suit their playstyle. There are cosmetic options as well, including ship colors, cosmetic structural modifications, and logo decals.
I’m particularly bad at fast-paced shooters, so I didn’t hesitate before choosing the largest ship class, the titular Dreadnought. The dev guided me through some of the module options available to customize your loadout, and the array of abilities looks to bring a remarkable amount of variety to your experience, even within a single class of ships. One module, for example, offered options between anti-missile flak cannons and an AOE pulse that cripples nearby enemy ships. You could pick a devastating, but mono-directional broadside ability, or something more flexible, but less damaging. Similarly, there are options for the support classes, with one being build being a dedicated healer, and another a combat medic, which lets you join the fray, but still allows support healing on demand.
Whether you’re an action-focused gamer – there are highly-mobile ship classes that allow you to duck into and out of combat – or a more methodical player – there’s always the behemoth dreadnought if you’re not much for dodging enemy fire, and would rather soak hits and line up your own devastating broadside – Dreadnought wants you on board. You can sign up for the beta already, but it’s not slated to start until early 2016, so I’m trying to temper my anticipation with patience.