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From Dust Review

From Dust Review
2.5
Game Name: From Dust
Platforms: Xbox 360 Arcade
Publisher(s): Ubisoft Entertainment
Developer(s): Ubisoft Montpellier Studios
Genre(s): Strategy, Simulation
Release Date: July 27, 2011
ESRB Rating: E 10+

From Dust Review

 

Live ‘A modern god game where nature is the star. A shaman leading a tribe on a sister planet, in an extreme version of earth where time erodes  very thing under the eyes of the player and the power to master nature is the only way to survive measure the full range of your acts.

 

 

From Dust people’s destiny is in your hands

Key Features

  • GROUND-BREAKING TECHNOLOGY

– Behold the beauty of a primitive world, pulsing with life through the breath of a nature expressing its forces at its fullest.

  • A WORLD YOU CAN SHAPE, A NATURE YOU MUST CONTROL

– Beware the danger of a world constantly and dynamically changing under your command.

  • A PROGRESSIVE PUZZLER

– Start off with simple challenges of manipulating the earth, move on to timed challenges where disaster is on the horizon, and eventually progress to highly difficult challenges that will test your mind and nerves.

  • A TRIBE YOU SHALL GUIDE

– Control the destiny of a tribe struggling to survive and recover his ancestors lost knowledge and powers.

  • A LEGENDARY DESIGNER

– Original concept and creative direction by Eric Chahi, visionary creator of Out of this World / Another World

 

 

In From Dust, you control a disembodied force that is trying to help and protect various aborigine tribes. In the story mode, your goal is to help the tribes create villages at set points on the map which will eventually unlock a gateway that permits travel to the next map.  You also have the secondary goals of spreading vegetation across the land and finding secret points.  You do all this by telling the villagers to travel to set locations on the map, absorbing elements like sand and water and depositing them elsewhere, and by using various spells. For example, if a river blocks your path, you might grab a big chunk of sand and place it at a specific point so as to redirect the river and allow safe passage.

 

 

From Dust has what is quite possibly the best depiction of water in any video game to date, even when considering Hydrophobia. The water acts, looks, truly amazing and behaves just like you would expect it to. Just messing around with building and changing the world that you see and make fit to what you want is also fun. Also you change the face of the landscape and see how everything reacts to that change. And when a typhoon approaches a village and the villagers (if you can reach it in time) use the Repel Water spell, to change what could wipe out the whole tribe..

 

 

So unfortunately,  messing around with the landscape was the the best if not the only fun part about the game. Don’t get me wrong it is enjoyable, but can get boring when playing for long periods of time. But a good thing is that as soon as you load the game and press start it unlocks the only avatar award for the game, a tribal mask that you can put on your avatar and as a bonus pick the colors!

The story mode doesn’t draw the players in really so there isn’t much interest there. From dust seems it is trying to be between a sandbox game and strategy game and doesn’t really do either genres. There just aren’t enough options to make for a truly compelling sandbox game and the tasks that need to be accomplished in order to proceed aren’t interesting enough to make for a rewarding strategy game. The controls can also be annoying at times, like trying to grab some water but grabbing sand instead because your cursor was slightly off or vice versa.

 

 

Not to knock the game further down but it has the story design of “Tell, don’t show.” Most of the story is locked away in hidden paragraphs of text, with very little of the story coming up while actually playing game. It also seems that since all you can do is drop and pick up water or land that there should have been more options in the gameplay for more different things for the players to do. The game feels almost to quite with no words and very little music. We think the game is good, not great and it seems disappointing.

Game 2 Gamer’s Final Score 2.5 / 5

Frustration Level   

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