When you think of space combat, your mind likely turns to games like Wing Commander, X-Wing, or even the upcoming Star Citizen. In those games, you're piloting a fragile snub fighter and, in some cases, running escort missions for larger ships like corvettes, cruisers, and even battleships.
But what if you were actually at the helm of a ship as big as Galactica instead of running interference from the pilot seat of a Viper? Yager's Dreadnought is all about giving gamers an answer to that question.
In Dreadnought, you are the captain of one of five classes of capital ship. These range from the faster, less armored corvettes (a larger ship by science fiction standards) to the hulking, titular dreadnoughts. Five-vs-five battles take place over sweeping vistas that benefit from the scale of being in such large vehicles.
Depending on your ship and your loadout, you'll have the ability to make short jumps into (or out of battle) to close distance or escape, broadside missile batteries, area of effect tactical nukes, and fighter bays to launch your own escort fleet to harass larger ships. It's a very different multiplayer experience that feels more strategic without dialing back on the action.
Dreadnought can be controlled via standard PC setup (WASD, mouse aiming, number buttons for abilities), but Yager is developing controller support, as well. Normally, this would be a detriment in PC multiplayer games, but Dreadnought's pacing is less twitch and more tactic.
The title is free-to-play, and Yager is planning on focusing on cosmetics for monetization (though the details are not yet ironed out). Progression is handled via a traditional experience/unlock system, with an end-game scenario focused on looting and manufacturing.
Ships will also have officer slots, and using those individuals in battle will improve their skills. Yager is planning to have approximately 50 different abilities available at launch, so there is diversity of ship builds in battle.
The small team of 35 people is building the game in Unreal Engine 4, and it looks fantastic. Yager is also working on Deep Silver's Dead Island 2, and the information sharing between the two teams has helped both projects, according to game director Peter Holzapfel.
There is still much work to be done before Dreadnought hits closed beta in January (followed by a planned launch in the second quarter of 2015). Yager is hard at work, and if the team succeeds in realizing its vision, those of us who have dreamed of being Adama instead of always playing as Starbuck will have a place to live out those fantasies.