Clunky. Cumbersome. Crap.
X gets the square.
It has a fantastic original concept and potential..... abysmal, and I do mean abysmal, execution.
The things that make other FPS games successful, be they amazing story, innovative controls and multiplayer gameplay, "polish", or sheer WTF holy jesus spectacle, none of these are present in DUST.
It's a kernal of a possibly fantastic game, weighed down by so much clunky and unresponsive gameplay as to be ignored by just about everyone.
Yep, that was pretty much the impression it left on an awful lot of folks at release. CCP's been polishing furiously ever since, with a roughly 1-month patch release cycle.
I'm a little concerned, actually, that they're polishing so furiously that by the time they're ready to start linking the game more closely to Eve, the player base will have wandered off to play something else. There are some recent indications that this link is on the back burner while they work on hit detection and such-- and in fairness, (1) aiming and hit detection needed a lot of work and (2) they're both much better now.
Without a closer link to Eve, DUST is way too similar to the likes of Battlefield for comfort-- "for comfort," mostly, in the sense that it's in serious danger of being wholly overshadowed by the likes of Planetside II and (oh-God-this-looks-good) Destiny.
A lot of coordination is going to be needed to link the games more thoroughly (through the market, for example), and apparently it's not looking like there's enough contact between the development teams for that to be a realistic possibility this winter.
The main thing I really do not understand about all of this is why CCP insisted on releasing the game in May with a pile of new and untested features. It's only now getting back to where the gameplay was BEFORE they decided to update the shading.