From Dust is a God Game with a Twist

from dust

The second offering in 2011’s Summer of Arcade came out this past week, and like Bastion before it, the materials I saw before release intrigued me enough to pick it up. I am speaking, of course, of From Dust, the environment-manipulation game from UbiSoft.

In From Dust, you control the Breath, a deity of sorts that has the ability to manipulate the landscape. You can pick up anything from water to lava with the left trigger and drop it with the right. At first you’ll just be using earth to make bridges over water, but later in the game things get more complex as you’ll be sculpting the land to re-direct lava flows or using wind to part the seas.

No god would be complete without people to worship it and From Dust supplies you with devotees in the form of the Men. These little guys are your responsibility as they seek out to populate the land and rediscover connections to their ancient heritage. For the most part the Men do what they will, you only command them what to do when you want to recover an artifact, found a new village or move on to the next area.

From Dust is a little different from other games of this type because it puts you under a lot of pressure in the later stages, forcing you to move fast against the overly-aggressive nature of the world. Erosion happens very quickly and lava can overwhelm your poor Men if you’re not careful. You’re not omnipotent here, the Breath has a very defined set of powers and it’s up to you to work within those limitations as best as you can. The only problem I’m experiencing with From Dust so far is the controls; they’re a bit too loose for my taste, requiring a lot of compromise on your part as you’re not able to fine tune your movements with the analogue sticks.

Other than that, though, From Dust is a very interesting game and carves out its own niche in the Summer of Arcade. God games are something we don’t see a lot of on the consoles (or even on PC anymore), so if you’ve been missing those types of games, I recommend checking this out.

Has anyone else grabbed From Dust? Are you waiting for the PC/PS3 releases? What are your thoughts?

Written by

mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

5 thoughts on “From Dust is a God Game with a Twist”

  1. I own Black & White 1 and 2 and when I first saw From Dust trailers I was very excited. I never finished either B&W games because I always got a little lost and it got pretty tough. Mind you that was years ago. I’m waiting for the PC release of this and I’ll most likely give it a shot.

  2. Ive been excited for this game for a while. I planned on making the LOST island but since there is objectives and what not I guess itll have to wait.

  3. Had a quick play of this earlier. Not quite what I expecting, not much free roam and time can sometimes be an enemy but I still enjoyed myself a lot.

    Word of warning, the learning curve is very steep and nature will kick your ass but very rewarding.

  4. Yeah, I really thought that it would be a sandbox (lol)/free-form game. Kind of surprised that it has levels.

    On the second stage, I got rocked by the tsunami. It took way longer for the Man to bring back the warding spell than I thought it would.

  5. I want to try my hand at this game, but gradschool and the slew of other games out may make it hard. I would figure this game would be tough with a controller. To me this is one of those cases where a mouse and keyboard sound way better.

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