I've enjoyed Yager and SixFoot's Dreadnought every time I've played it. I dug it at PAX South and PAX East. At this point, it's probably not the best use of my time to take appointments to see a game I've already loved and raved about. That said, I'm the only one here at PAX and I'm allowed to play favorites occasionally.
For those new to the game, Dreadnought is a 5v5 arena shooter, except each player controls a starship. It's capital ship combat, like World of Tanks or World of Warships, but with a scifi spin to it. The size and scale of the ships means that combat is less reliant on twitch reflexes. This means if your skills have rusted a bit, but you still want that arena shooter action, Dreadnought might be the title for you. If you just want to live out your Star Trek ship-to-ship combat fantasies, then Dreadnought has you covered there too.
Up until the PAX Prime 2015 build, Dreadnought has had five different playable ships, each of a different class: Dreadnought, Destroyer, Corvette, Tactical Cruiser, and Artillery Cruiser. The Dreadnought is your slow, heavy-armor ship, the Destroyer is your all-around ship, the light Corvette sports powerful guns, the Tactical Cruiser is your support ship, and the Artillery Cruiser is the long-range sniper.
The new build of the game triples the ship roster. Within each ship class, there are now three different ships, corresponding roughly to light, medium, and heavy variants. That means while you might want to play a support role, that doesn't mean your Tactical Cruiser needs to be a pushover. Perhaps you'd like to play a Corvette with a few more defensive options. The ship classes share certain equipment, but the subclasses add variety and lean towards various playstyles.
Even better, the developers have added heavy customization to Dreadnought. Now each ship has a number of different visual tweaks. This includes new paint jobs, livery, symbols, and different chassis options.
Even better, the loadout of weapons you choose for your ship actually changes the physical look of your ship. If you decide to go with the broadside cannons on your Dreadnought, you'll see the guns mounted on the side. If you pick the drones instead, drone bays will be installed in that spot. While that might help your opponents determine which loadout you're using on the battlefield, the visual differences are more for the player's benefit.
"If you're talking about strictly conveying the loadout, this helps that," explained Dreadnought executive creative director Tony Medrano. "At the baseline though, while we totally want to plant the seeds for competitive play to happen, first and foremost, blowing up shit is cool. Big ships are cool and making a ship your own is cool. Living out that fantasy of being the captain is way more important to us. If competitive play finds us, it finds us."
As you play with a ship class in Dreadnought, you'll unlock more weapons and visual options for that class. The developers are hoping that players will be engaged with their favorite ship class, upgrading and customizing their ships to show off online and in the single-player campaign.
Dreadnought continues to shape up well and the game planned for PC some time in 2016. A closed beta for the title is coming in early 2016 and players can sign up for that beta right now on the official site. At the very least, this means I can stop playing Dreadnought at conventions and finally enjoy it in the comfort of my own home.