Community Review: From Dust

Community Review: From Dust
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Around these parts, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a downloadable LIVE Arcade title receive the kind of hype and anticipation that From Dust received. Now that it’s out in the wild, what are your thoughts?

I was embroiled in a last minute dash to knock over some games for Shameless Gaming month, but I still managed to play a bit of From Dust – not enough to have any kind of educated opinion on the game, but enough to get a feel for it.

My first instincts were that the controls felt a little clunky, and the game didn’t really provide you with enough guidance in the early stages. It does seem to be a game that may work a little better with a mouse and keyboard, but the controls have been well adapted to the 360 controller.

The art is striking, but what I really enjoyed in the (very) early stages of the game is the entire aesthetic – the concept, the whole idea and how it’s integrated. From Dust really seems to have put stock in its own universe – the tribes feel real, as though they have a real history as opposed to a lightly lifted amalgamation of primitive cliche.

I’m really looking forward to putting some hours into this game.

Any thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.


  • I’m waiting for it on PC, got it pre-ordered through Steam.

    My question is, how long does it take to do things in the game? The footage that shows off the abilities of the game are all sped up quite a bit so I’m assuming it takes some time to get things done.

      • I was until ubisofts became asshats again

        It’s like they don’t want my money

        If I can’t play your game in a uni lecture because I need some ports open you don’t get bought

          • I have a solid net connection, but that’s not the issue I want tO be able to play stuff like this which by all rights shouldn’t need an Internet connection where I want not within 100ft of my router

          • That attitude is incredibly flawed. If the only issue was drop-out, I could understand what your saying, but its not. It effectively restricts where and when you can play the game, despite having purchased in legitimately. It’s literally inferior to a pirated version which has no such restriction.

          • I game at home or at a mate’s place, so for me it doesn’t restrict where I can play the game so it’s not flawed at all…

            Plus where would you be with a computer/laptop good enough to run these games that wouldn’t have a net connection?

          • Don’t you see that each time you let them walk all over your right to privacy you encourage them to go a step further? Having their disc in your drive to play wasn’t enough..but you took it.. having you type a serial number wasn’t enough..but you took it.. having you connect to their server wasn’t enough..but you took it.. having you *permanently* connect to their server won’t be enough..but you will take it.. will you accept retina & face scanning? dna sampling? blood? semen? cameras in your home? whatever you will put up with in life, that is exactly what you get.

  • When I first heard of From Dust, I thought it was going to be a retail release. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn it was an XBLA title. I put a good number of hours into From Dust over the weekend.

    I actually thought the guidance was dished out in nice portions, not too much, not too little. You’re introduced to new powers over a few hours, and nicely still getting new ones in the later levels.

    I have to agree on the controls, it does seem like it would be better with mouse/keyboard control, but they did a good job mapping it to the controller.

    My gripe was that the on-screen messages seem to overlap. Far too often, you’d be reading one message, only to have it vanish, and another appear. It made the flow of the game rather jolted for the first few levels.

    The physics of the game are amazing, and I spent time on some of the levels, just sculpting the landscape.

    I would love for there just to be a level creator/sandbox type level. There may very well be, as I’m still about 3 levels from the end, and I haven’t even looked at a fraction of the stuff I’ve unlocked.

    I also quite enjoyed all the story bits you unlock as you play through. All in all, it’s a very refreshing change of pace, and something I’ll put more hours into no doubt.

  • Absolutely love this game! Really enjoy the manipulation of the environment and how some of your actions have a completly unforseen consequence, like blocking off a lava flow will suddenly open a channel for water to flow through.
    Another thing I enjoy are the occasional “oops my bad” moments when clearing land around a village will suddenly open it to sudden floods or fire. Or simply raising a hill will suddenly change the entire flow of the game (which I totally meant to do of course…)
    While playing the other night I had only meant to play for an hour, but ended up staying for several. It was always a case of, I will just finish off this map, but then I couldn’t resist just haveing a look at the next one and before I knew it I was frantically reshaping the world, while sheparding my little villagers to their safety/doom.

  • I’m really enjoying it. The pace is so very different from what I’m used to in games, I’ve ended up spending entire “cycles” of the games “F you” system just sitting, planning through what I was going to do, and I love that it lets me do that(until I accidentally burn all my villages to the ground…). From a tech standpoint it’s also pretty incredible.

  • Yea I’m loving it. I’m up to a level that requires I [LEVEL SPOILER] form three villages on a mountain-side that are all in the direct path of multiple volcanoes (and one near a geyser that creates a flood every few minutes).

    When I got to this level I got giddy with the thought of beating it!! haha

    • The final level is essentially a sandbox offering you more God-like tools than you’ve previously used.

    • Also, when you choose Resume Game you can actually select older levels and they load up already completed. So you can mess around with them and it doesn’t effect your current progress

  • Agreed, the controls are clunky and the art style is amazing. Well worth the asking price even in spite of the guaranteed frustration most – including myself – will suffer playing the game. This year’s Summer of Arcade is shaping up to be the best yet.

  • It was pretty good, but I didn’t like how they used the same cut-scene at the start of pretty much every level.

  • I downloaded it upon release but still have it in my list of games I still have to play…..still have to get through Bastion & Fallout New Vegas……so I may find the time to get into it some-time after Christmas… 🙁

  • Random things:

    1. I can’t tell which ones are men and which ones are women until I look close.

    2. Infinite earth is the best thing ever.

    3. You can make music by moving around the menus.

    4. The cut scene at the start gets annoying.

    5. Your villagers will scream for help at pretty much everything.

    6. Your villagers have pretty bad music tastes. (TRUMPET BLEEEEAAHHH)

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