Leave it the developers of the severely underrated Spec Ops: The Line to come up with an smart and gratifying way to portray combat with massive spaceships. Yager has done just that with Dreadnought, which does a great job of bucking the expectations for a free-to-play shooter by giving you control over hulking crafts that require a bit more tactical nuance than your typical dogfighter.

Dreadnought (so named for the preeminent naval battleships of the 20th century) isn't about dogfighting at all. Rather than twitch reflexes, its design instead revolves around strategically posititioning your massive crafts effectively for offensive and defensive purposes. You don't get all that much of a sense of Dreadnought's sense of weight in the teaser trailer above, but once you start playing the game a bit, it quickly becomes clear that your maneuvering is as much about accounting for momentum and inertia – these large ships ascend, yaw and turn at a very deliberate pace compared to the zippy fighters in most space dogfighters – as it is about keeping your wits about you, flanking and getting the drop on your enemies.

Across multiple classes you can choose to take on traditional offensive, defensive and support roles, and each ship is outfitted with four abilities that range from blink-like evasive hyper jumps to the last-ditch suicide of localized nuclear detonation. In short, it makes standard multiplayer team play feel both arcadey and fun as well as tactically sophisticated. (Not to mention looking gorgeous running on Unreal 4).

Dreadnought will reportedly contain a single player narrative component as well as several multiplayer modes, so this is definitely a game for spacecraft fans to watch for. The public beta starts next year on PC. For now, here's the teaser.

[Via Youtube