The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
A tribe embarks on a perilous journey to recover the knowledge of an
ancient civilization and explore uncharted territories. With the forces
of Mother Nature working against them, the tribe requires aid from “the
Breath,” a higher being with the ability to manipulate the earth and
elements. Out of This World creator Eric Chahi successfully realizes his
ambitious vision of allowing players to control a living, breathing
world in From Dust. Fans of god games are in for a unique downloadable
experience when staving off disasters while helping the tribe survive.
Dust is less about building a civilization and more about controlling
the environment to protect it, so if you are looking to create and
customize villages, look elsewhere. As the Breath, you create paths for
migration toward different totem poles by absorbing land, water, and
lava, then strategically placing it to clear paths, redirect water or
lava flow, or create bridges. Manipulating elements is as easy as moving
an airy cursor over the desired matter, using the left trigger to
absorb it, then using the right trigger to release. Leading five
AI-controlled tribesmen to a totem causes them to automatically populate
a village at that location, granting you special powers such as
jellifying water, increasing matter absorption, or quickly dousing fires
(all of which are mapped to the control pad).
The concept sounds
simple, but later maps in From Dust put your puzzle-solving skills to
the test. The difficulty surfaces as you attempt to populate all totems
in an area against timed natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and
tsunamis. Quickly figuring out the most efficient strategy to gain the
powers to proceed toward each totem across wildly different environments
– plus creating and maintaining a safe haven for tribesmen until the
area is cleared – makes for addictive and frantic gameplay.
Dust sometimes suffers from pathing problems that make leading AI
tribesmen frustrating since players have no control over which direction
they take. The villagers occasionally get stuck in geometry or take the
least-efficient route despite your best environmental efforts, costing
you precious time between timed natural disasters and leading to
do-overs. These issues aren’t frequent enough to detract from the
overall experience, but are annoying on the more challenging maps later
in the game.
From Dust also offers challenge maps to complement
the main campaign. The maps give players bite-sized timed tasks such as
safely leading villagers across canals or dousing raging fires with
water. While the challenges offer some light entertainment, you’ll
likely sink the most time into playing deity in the main game. With a
great variety of maps and tons of secrets to uncover, From Dust’s
amorphous sandbox ensures a consistently entertaining journey.