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Best of PAX South: Dreadnought captivates

Dreadnought made a great showing at PAX South 2016. Judging by the crowds their booth drew its safe to assume this will be a hit.

PAX South was full of games and developers all gunning for the spotlight. There were lots of great titles, but none of them captivated me like Dreadnought did. Developed by Greybox and Yager studios, Dreadnought isn’t just another space combat simulator. In an age of swords, guns, and zombies Dreadnought is bringing sci-fi back to gaming. And pretty soon, it will be available for beta testing.

In the game, you are the commander of a gargantuan battleship in an ever-expanding sci-fi universe. Choose between five ship classes with varying abilities. Move around in quick bursts while tanking, or zoom around with torpedoes and turrets. Configuring your ships takes no time at all. There are so many options and ways to build out your ship you can be ready for every contingency.

dreadnought tank

In Dreadnought, you are the commander of a gargantuan battleship in an ever-expanding sci-fi universe.
Gameplay is very strategic

Pinned down and can’t escape? Move your ship's power from thrusters to shields. Has your artillery cruiser lined up that perfect shot? Go ahead and put all your juice into your weapons. Everything is up to you. You command all the functions of your ship, and it's great. For a strategy title, it is really easy to pick up and learn.

The controls are smooth and responsive, but it isn't like Star Wars or other space combat games. Most of the game's core ships aren’t all that fast. The namesake -- Dreadnought -- is actually a slow moving tank with massive weapon potential. The strategy here is in the placement. Moving your ship into effective range to demolish the enemy can be daunting. But teamwork can make this a cinch when applied well.

Dreadnought, PAX South, gaming

My only PAX regret is not spending more time with Dreadnought. Getting hands on at their media room was the height of the weekend. And I don't think anybody is as excited about the project as the team themselves. I spoke with one of the project's Creative Directors while I played.

He explained the team's vision and the long-term development plans for Dreadnought. Their philosophy is simple: be good to the community and they'll stay with the game.

Dreadnought, corvette, space, starship
No lone player has the advantage

Dreadnought is designed so that veteran players won’t be able to wipe out anyone new to the game. The longer you play, the more variety you will have. But that's just variety. New players are encouraged to try everything when they start playing. There is so much available from the start, yet finding out what your favorite ship or play style is in the first few rounds of playing is expected.

How and what you play is important. Dreadnought cannot be won alone. There is no single ship or player that can decide a match on their own. An artillery cruiser is unlikely to defeat a corvette by itself. But with some help from a destroyer or a Tac cruiser, the game changes. Watching the map and planning is the only path to victory.

Dreadnought is entering beta soon. I'm sure the developer got hundreds of sign-ups from PAX alone. Of all the games on the show floor, I'd say Dreadnought had the most presence. It was big, loud, and gorgeous. Beta signups are available here.

Have you had a chance to try Dreadnought? Are you waiting to get your hands on it? Let us know down in the comments!

Published Feb. 1st 2016
  • shox_reboot
    Columnist
    This looks like a better version of Fractured Space.

    The similarities in the hud is bugging me a bit though.
  • Lad Johnson
    Correspondent
    Yeah there alot of similarities. I guess that's to be expected with this genre. Overall Dreadnought felt more complete though.

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