Staying low along the Martian landscape, I kept my tactical ship out of sight from the enemy. The fleet’s dreadnought above me, our artillery cruiser by my side, we started our assault on the enemy ships. We allowed our destroyer to take point, and watched as they diverted energy to thrusters and was the first through the arch. Our Dreadnaught review.
That’s when the shooting started.
Dreadnought is the new team-based tactical space combat game by Six Foot Games where you aren’t just flitting around in speedy fighters. Flying capital ships that have purpose, you can feel the difference in movements and action when you first sit in the captain’s seat.
There are five ship types that you can choose from, and each of them offers a different playstyle and specialty. The destroyer is more maneuverable and focused on disrupting enemy movements. Able to move in and out of situations more quickly, destroyers are great for sneaking around terrain and taking out support ships.
Artillery Cruisers are the glass cannons of the game. Able to fire from longer distances than other ships, they are often used as snipers. With defensive capabilities and missiles, Artillery Cruisers can move into position, turn on stealth, and wait for the perfect shot! Tactical Cruisers are the support class of the team. Able to repair their teammates and themselves, these work best in a group. Of special note is that tactical cruisers do get “points” and assists for healing ships.
Corvettes, starting at Tier II, are the quickest ship in the fleet. Used for the more traditional “Run and Gun” tactic, these are the ships to have if you are trying to scout the enemy or disrupt movement. And finally… The Dreadnoughts. These are the tanks that are carrying the bulk of the weapons. Able to wipe out entire fleets on their own, these beasts pack weapons that can destroy most others in just a few hits. The downside is a speed disadvantage, as these ships are slow to move around the map.
Piloting a capital ship doesn’t feel like flying in other games. The controls remind you that you are controlling warfare ships whose purpose is to obliterate everything in their path. Ships move and turn at a slower rate, and both accelerate and decelerate as you would expect a large object to. This leads to requiring some planning on the player’s part as they choose to move around the map. On the PS4, using the left control stick is your acceleration, deceleration, and turning tool.Using R1 and L1 raises or lowers you on the vertical plain.
The right stick controls your reticle and camera. Different weapons can be fired in different directions, or the reticle can be used solely for locking on to enemies. The PS4’s touchpad is used to divert your energy to various systems (Shield, Thrusters, or Weapons), and is an essential part of gameplay. Switching weapons on the fly, moving around the map, switching on your shields or putting your thrusters to the max are all easily picked up and can be mastered pretty quickly.
The Training Experience
Starting the tutorial gives you a quick run down of the game and how to control your ship. War is now fought by mercenaries who are hired to do the dirty work. Mercenaries have their own ship fleets to use in battle, and are based out of one of the last safe strongholds in the galaxy. Operations are held out of the base, and your first mission? Learn how to control your ship. The fifteen minute experience starts with you moving your ship out of the docks, trying out your weapons and subsystems, and then eventually fighting your first battle.
Post tutorial, you have the option to do solo training. This is a great place to try out your own ships, although you do not earn any experience.
Playing with a team is what you would expect from a game in this genre. Everyone on your team chooses a ship from their fleet, and readies up. Maps are diverse, as you could be fighting on a planet, dodging around geographic features, or in space dodging space station parts as you find your enemy. Currently there are two modes – The traditional team deathmatch where kills equal points, and you go until one team hits the goal. Team elimination is the quicker, one kill your done mode.
Movement around terrain and positioning is one of the first things to take note of when playing. Being able to maneuver your ship under an arch to spring a trap, or tucking your tactical cruiser in a corner to heal your teammates while remaining safe is all an important part of the game. Terrain is non-destructible as of right now. Like other games in this genre, Dreadnought wants you to focus on building your skills, researching and upgrading your ships, and eventually move on to the next tier of ships. Each battle rewards you with Ship Experience (linked straight to the ships you use) and credits in order to purchase upgrades.
The other form of currency is Grey Box Points, which you can use to buy perks, visual upgrades, and hero ships. There is a Co-op versus AI mode (Havoc), but currently it really doesn’t do much. It’s survival mode against waves of ships, but everyone only has one life. Rewards are based on how long you survive. Of note on this mode is that you are not piloting your own ships, so you will not get ship experience.
Overall Score: 7
- Easy to pick up and play
- Tactical Warfare
- Multiple play styles supportedCons:
- Sluggish controls may be off-putting
- Advancement through Grinding