They're showing Project Legion off as a "prototype," testing the waters before jumping into development, a bit like EVE: Valkyrie. FYI I played EVE a long time ago but quickly fell off as I just couldn't stick with it.
Even though it may feel big being in the EVE universe with some of the same ideas, I'm worried the core gameplay will be a "Lobby Room MMO" with matches if they decide to run with it. Though, the sandbox gameplay does sound interesting...
DUST 514 got mixed reviews, though it is PlayStation 3 ONLY, with 32 max players per match. Someone put it, “The best way to describe DUST 514 right now would be that it's like a clunky, unpolished Battlefield 2142 with persistent gear," about a year ago when it released.
One of the main complaints about DUST 514 since its announcement was the fact that the game was a PlayStation 3 exclusive. DUST was CCP's first attempt to break into the massive console shooter market and its first game to use the free-to-play business model, but things didn't exactly go to plan. The millions of console gamers CCP expected to flood into New Eden failed to materialise, reviews were mixed at best, and DUST quietly fell off the console radar. Players have been asking for a PC release ever since, as the game's unique connection with the EVE Online universe could potentially make it popular with existing EVE players.
If you've been hoping for DUST on the PC, your prayers may have just been answered. A few hours ago at EVE Fanfest 2014, CCP demonstrated a prototype of something it calls Project Legion -- an attempt to bring DUST 514's shooter gameplay to the PC but with all-new sandbox gameplay. The project is extremely early in development, but CCP was able to put together a concept demo for Fanfest attendees showing how the game will work. Most of the demo was a slick UI and transition into a DUST planetary environment which has had its graphics significantly improved. DUST 514 is severely limited by the specs of the PS3, so Legion's being on PC means it should actually still look that good when deployed.
In addition to signing up for mercenary contracts, players will be able to scan the entire EVE universe for open sandbox salvage zones where resources have been found. These planets have no pre-defined missions, victory conditions, or teams; instead, they're free-for-all PvE zones with open-world PvP, and CCP hopes that this will promote the same kind of emergent gameplay as is seen in EVE. It won't be a true sandbox until you can stab someone in the back, CCP announced to a pleased audience. Little else is known about the project, and the announcement has raised some pretty big questions. Will Legion link in with the EVE universe in any way like DUST? And what will happen to DUST 514 on PS3 if Legion takes off?