At first glance, Dreadnought looks equally grin-inducing to the Battlestar-loving side of my brain, as it is wince-inducing to the consumer side of it. First thought: simply gorgeous. Second thought: how many pieces of flight-sim equipment will I need to buy, and how many hours of training will I need to do in order to have battles as impossibly awesome-looking as the ones in the footage? The answer, is “none” on both counts. Dreadnought delivers the tension and thrills that should accompany a clash between massive capital ships, and it does so while walking a thin line between accessibility and believability.
Controlling Dreadnought’s ships, which range from modestly-sized support corvettes to the huge, eponymous dreadnoughts, is more or less like moving around in a first person, save for the fact that the A and D keys turn left and right rather than strafe. Shift and spacebar, ever the crouch/jump duo, move you down and up respectively along the z-axis. Aiming is handled with the mouse, and most of your standard armaments are turret-based batteries, so you can target freely in a full 360 degrees. It took me less than five minutes to fly comfortably and confidently.