In the realm of MMOs, there are few games that are able to reach a level of scope comparable to that of EVE Online. Dropping gamers into the depths of space, they are given complete control over every little choice they make, presented within a truly open-ended gaming experience. With the upcoming release of its newest expansion, Incarna, EVE Online continues to expand its incredible scope as it opens up new ways for the player to experience the EVE universe.

The release of the Incarna expansion will take the form of two main components. The first is the use of gamers’ 3D avatars as a means of not only connecting more closely with EVE’s universe, but also as a means of connecting with the other players who inhabit it. This comes in the form of captains quarters and, through future updates, public spaces.

In these captains quarters, gamers will finally be given the ability to take direct control of their avatar as they explore their own personal space. Inside, they will have access to information regarding their current ship and its fitting. As gamers progress in the world of EVE Online, their captains quarters will evolve as well, filling up with items procured during their journeys. Highlighting the incredible scope of the game’s world, the player, upon exiting to their balcony will be able to see the proportionate size of their ship.

EVE Online is constantly evolving as new features are added through free expansions, and CCP Games doesn’t plan to stop at just captains quarters and the release of Incarna. In future updates to the game, public spaces will be made available which will allow gamers to transition from the daunting depths of space to a smaller, more controlled public environment where they will be able to use their avatar as they communicate with other players, forming and managing corporations in person among other things.

While this will be an interesting addition to the community aspect of EVE Online, the release of DUST 514 will bring even more changes to the EVE universe. Sharing the same universe, these two games will lead the gaming world as the first connection between two different games on two different platforms. While EVE Online is an MMO on PC and Mac, Dust 514 will be a first-person shooter on the PS3.
EVE Online Incarna Preview E3 2011
These two games will feature a deep connection as actions in one game will directly affect the complete EVE universe, showing its effects in both games. Players in DUST 514 will act as mercenaries, working to liberate planets under the hire of EVE Online players. Whether they’re fighting to take control of a planet as a means of aggression or in order to expand their corporation’s empire, players’ decisions will shape the universe of EVE as control of planets is constantly shifting. For more on DUST 514, see Jacob’s impressions in his preview.

With planets under their control, players will then be able to use them, not only for monetary gain through the use of mines on the planet’s surface, but also as a means of creating a network of planets to connect their corporation and expand its grasp and control. This will make for a gameplay experience that is in constant flux as new corporations fight for control of planets in their journey for interstellar conquest.

Developer CCP Games also commented on the game’s steep learning curve and how new gamers will be introduced to the game. Notorious for how open the game’s universe is, letting gamers do whatever they want, it can be incredibly daunting for new players to the series. CCP Games hopes to remedy this through DUST 514. As the game will have a wider appeal, drawing in a new audience to the EVE universe, gamers will be presented with a more streamlined representation of the universe.

Through their experience of DUST 514, gamers will be able to experience the EVE universe and familiarize themselves with it before jumping into the depths of space and the steep learning curve associated with EVE. With this, gamers then will have the background knowledge required to thoughtfully navigate their way around the universe. In doing this, CCP will be able to make the game easier for interested gamers to adjust to while still retaining all of the depth that is associated with the EVE name.

Even though the release of Incarna is well on its way, EVE Online shows no sign of slowing down its continuous expansion of the massive universe. Not only will the release of DUST 514 change the way players navigate the EVE universe and interact with planets and corporations, but it is a launching pad for the implementation of planet liberation. As time progresses, CCP Games will no doubt continue their support of the iconic space MMO.

Do you think the connection between EVE Online and DUST 514 will work well? What would you like to see CCP Games add in a future expansion.

EVE Online is already available for PC and Mac, while the Incarna expansion is due to be released on June 21, 2011.

DUST 514 is expected to hit shelves in the Summer of 2012 for the PS3.

Stay tuned to Game Rant for more news and updates as E3 2011 continues through the week.