From Dust Review
A beautiful and challenging downloadable game
While the initial concept of the gameplay, simply picking up material of one kind at a time and depositing it elsewhere, is easy to grasp, it is really only interesting, on its own, for the first few stages. Luckily though, Ubisoft recognized this as well and quickly introduces additional player abilities and interactive items within the environments normally on a one-per-stage level. This keeps things interesting as you go throughout the campaign so rather than each stage simply feeling like a slightly different layout of the one before it, each stage feels entirely unique and some game mechanics make an appearance and then are removed all within the lifespan of a single stage (such as an expansive desert that undulates every few minutes like the ocean tides). In addition to the basic objects of each level which include safely building a village at each of the totems on a stage and escorting your villagers to the exit tunnel, bonuses are granted to players willing to take the time and effort to spread foliage across the entirety of the environment and gain access to special, smaller totems that unlock a “memory of the tribe” which unveils additional pieces of the game’s very thin storyline. These additional objectives add a nice bit of challenge for players who are looking to go the extra mile or don’t want to continue past a certain stage just yet.
From Dust is a very good game and one that will scratch any god game itches you may have been having (or perhaps create some future itches if this is your first taste of the genre). While the story dips a bit too heavily into the metaphysical when it could have been more about culture and character, the overall arch alongside the ever-expanding array of tools and abilities granted to the player makes for a very rewarding and satisfying single-player campaign. The inclusion of challenge maps will appeal to those certain gamers looking for something a bit more nerve-wracking and competitive, but may ring hollow to some (like myself). Ultimately, From Dust is an excellent downloadable title featuring a fluid, physics, and gameplay mechanics that are begging to be implemented into a full-fledged, retail title more fitting of its god game roots. For now though, all we have is this beautiful and challenging downloadable game that is From Dust and that is certainly not a bad thing.
Our ratings for From Dust on Xbox 360 out of 100 (Ratings FAQ)