I find it hilarious that for a game that aspires to be a sandbox experience, dust has the least freedom of any game i have ever played.
You're missing out.
Light Duel was awesome. If only because of the unique-ness of a one-dimensional fighting game. And yes, I mean that literally. One-dimensional graphics as well.
Back on-topic though, I don't play DUST a whole lot any more, but it's not because of BF4 or GTA or the other big names you're focusing on. I'm playing Armored Core: Verdict Day too much lately. I still pick up DUST intermittently, and I'll go back to it properly at some point, but I'm kind of obsessed with Verdict Day right now. If you haven't played it, you should. Giant robots are awesome.