Andy from Sandbox Strategies informed me of a game called Dreadnought that I should keep a watchful eye on moving forward heading into embracing PC gaming. I’m convinced, that after trying Dreadnought out for the first time at PAX East 2015, that it is undeniably a sleeper hit, and here are the reasons why.
In premise, it doesn’t sound that out of the ordinary or even exciting. You spend your time piloting spaceships and shooting lasers, ballistics, missiles, and working together to bring down your opponents. Seems simple enough in concept, and in some ways, even boring (unless you already have a fascination with space ships. In that case, you’ve probably already gotten hands on time with it yourself!) Dreadnought makes this exciting in it’s smart use of class based ships, which allows players to experiment with key strategies and ship abilities.
Let’s take for example, my personal favorite ship, the “corvette,” which specializes in speed, mobility, and stealth. It’s particularly useful for flanking enemies while they’re focused on your other units, and can really turn the tide of a fierce battle when your stealth fighter gets the drop on someone while you, a different ship, is continuously raining death upon them. It’s extremely satisfying to outmaneuver your opponents, and really put a surprised smile on my face. It’s outfitted with a cloak, a powerful close range missile barrage, an anti homing missile deflector, and an evasive move as it’s 4 class-based abilities. It’s ability to create a devastating tide turning effect is one of the reasons I like this ship so much, aside from its swiftness on the battlefield.
Then you have other ships like the “Destroyer”, which is a great all-around ship that focuses on being proficient at a number of things. It’s certainly faster than most of it’s other ships, and can deal out a fairly substantial amount of damage, while taking a few hits itself. During my play time, this particular ship was outfitted with a ramming ability that made close quarters encounters particularly difficult for my team consisting of Cobalt Streak & Jesse Cox. While hilarious, it was also frustrating to see my team get pummeled by this seemingly overpowered mechanic.
The game also has sniper and support classes. I didn’t do particularly great with either of those ships, even though the support ship has a sweet warp drive ability. They were still fun to experiment with, and the long-ship design of the sniper ship was fitting, and aesthetically interesting. The one ship that I’m totally torn on however, is the massively daunting “Dreadnought”. While the “Dreadnought” ship has the highest armor rating, and most deadly abilities and canons, it’s also ridiculously slow. In that way, it’s very reliant on both drawing attention, and also gaining support from the support ship. Most of the time, ships are centering their attention on the tank of the group, and as such, makes for an easy and obvious target. Since the teams consist of 5 players, and there are 5 classes, you can in theory have everyone on your team use one of each class. The downside of that, is if you have someone on your team who’s particularly weak in one class type, that will bring down the dynamic, and that person could have been better served as a class they are more efficient with. You could however, have two “Dreadnoughts”, two “support” ships, and a “sniper” picking people off from a distance with the Dreadnoughts slowly moving forward. A team like that is really hard to take down if you have one of every ship, so strategizing on class load-out is important!
All in all, as a free to play PC game, you really don’t have much to lose checking this gem out. I’ll surely be playing more of it in the months to come. How about you? Do space combat games pique your interest in general? Think this title worthy of your time? Leave your comments below, or in the youtube video thread!