From Dust quick play preview

Downloadable console titles continue to get better. Xbox Live Arcade and the PSN are now brimming with affordable, high quality content to be ripped straight to your gaming hard drive. 

From Dust is no exception, creating an easy to pick up and highly addictive strategy style game. At first glance it reminds us of the classic Populous games, but a quick play and we realise that From Dust has plenty more to offer. 

Name

From Dust

What platform is it on?

Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC (OnLive tablet specific support as well)

When's it due out?

27 July

What other game is it like?

Populous, Black & White

Does it use any new tech like 3D, PlayStation Move or Kinect for Xbox 360?

No

The pitch

From Dust is all about creating worlds, moving earth and building environments for your tribe to grow in. Vegetation spreads as you manipulate land, helping progress the game and encouraging new creatures to populate the game map. Moving nature however can have a knock-on effect, you can protect against a tsunami or cause water to flood an area and lose precious vegetation and tribespeople. 

The storyline

The tribe you control in From Dust are struggling to rebuild their civilisation while hunting from clues to their ancestors past. The more of the past you discover, the more power you get. You control the 'breath' basically a floating cursor with which you can grab and drop land and water. The breath helps tribes to activate totems and relics in order to discover their past. From what we played things don't get much more complicated than that, although expect more in depth a story as the levels go on.

Trailers, demos and videos

Our first impressions

From Dust is pretty striking at first glance, the colourful graphics, different art style and constant tribal chanting and sound effects all make for a very different gaming experience. 

From the outset your tribal minions are under constant threat from environmental hazards, things like water, volcanos and tsunamis are all commonplace. The easiest way to describe how the game itself works is to think in terms of solids and liquids. Manipulating the two substances so they that they either help create paths for your minions or block the path of things that put them in danger is crucial to the game.

Water will flow and fill in holes left in land that you have removed to place elsewhere, forcing you to think carefully about how and where you move things around the game map in order to let your tribe spread. The added pressure of things like tsunamis and volcanos mean you often have to make snap decisions in order to keep your tribespeople safe. The gameplay mechanic works pretty well, keeping controls simple and relying on the clever engine to maintain excitement. 

As downloadable games go From Dust feels very substantial. The game looks great, with a very pretty looking engine. Length-wise, we are yet to play things through completely, hence the quick play status. 

Please note

We have only just gotten our hands on a copy of From Dust, so are yet to found a complete opinion on the game. From what we have played it looks to be a downloadable highlight on both consoles and PC. Creative direction from Eric Chahi has brought with it a much different gaming experience to the one we are usually used to on consoles. For those seeking new gaming experiences, as a download it is pretty difficult to ignore. 



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