This game has been popping up on tech blogs and podcast for a couple of weeks now, so thought I’d give it a go.
Currently available are Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet, From Dust and Bastion, with Fruit Ninja Kinect and Toy Soldiers Cold War still to be released. If you purchase all 5 games (at 1200 points each) you will get a free game (Crimson Alliance) for being a good sport. As it stands I now currently own the 3 released games, and might as well get the other 2 to get the freeby.
So back to From Dust, it’s made by Ubisoft, and it’s a god game. Probably the best way I can describe it is, Populous 3 crossed with Lemmings, with a little bit of Black & White thrown in for good measure.
The idea of the levels is quite simple, you start with a handful of men (which you don’t control directly), and you have to take over totems, each level will have up to 4 totems to capture, once done the exit opens and you send your men to it, then off to the next land. Unfortunately it’s not quite as easy as it sounds, you have a handful of natural disasters heading your way which you need to protect your guys from, these being tsunamis and volcanos erupting and spewing lava at you.
Now with this being a god game, you don’t interact with anything apart from the environment. As the levels progress you can gather a handful of water, sand and lava and place it back down on the ground. This can be used to create paths, create flows for lava to follow, or even put out fires with the water.
As you advance, the totems give you special ability, like the ability to “jellify water” for 60 seconds at a time, or use the “evaporation” spell to dry up the land to let your guys get to where they are going.
As well as lava and water, there is also plant life attempting to kill you, one explodes when it gets to hot, one empties it’s water content when exposed to heat, and finally a plant that tends to spontaneously combust, setting fire to everything around it.
Now I have to say, the thing and the core of this game that really makes it all work is the physics engine…it’s amazing !. For example, when you dump a load of sand on the floor it will slowly flatten out..if it’s near water, it will gradually get smoothed down knocking down walls you may have previously built. (I’ve put the tech demo youtube video below for your pleasure :))
There are a total of 13 levels in the game, which in total has taken me the best part of 8 hours to complete, which isn’t bad at all for an Xbox Live arcade game.
Once complete there are a number of challenges….well 5 pages of them to be exact, using the in game physics to do “something” against the clock.
If your a bit of a completist, you can go back through each level and ensure the territory is 100% covered with vegetation (which there’s an achievement for), and also go back and make sure you’ve got all the “Memories” (little statues you can send your men to get) from all the levels (as there’s also an achievement for this too)
All in all a fantastic game, well worth the 1200 points.
Approx Time taken to beat – 8 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:5/5]
Developer Tech DemoTags: Bastion, Evaporation, Free Game, Freeby, God Game, Good Measure, Good Sport, Handful Of Water, Hot One, Lava, Lemmings, Levels Progress, Natural Disasters, Populous 3, Shadow Planet, Special Ability, Toy Soldiers, Tsunamis, Ubisoft, Volcanos, Water Content, Xbox Live