geekery · Preliminary Thoughts

Preliminary Thoughts: From Dust

Preliminary Thoughts is my attempt at reviewing games based on the snippets available to you when playing a demo in 500 words or less. The best ones will be purchased. I have an Xbox, the Fiance has a PS3 and I have a decent computer that can run simple stuff. I imagine most will be on Xbox as they usually have the most comprehensive demo section.

First up! –

Last night I found From Dust on XBL and was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had. The game play is intriguing, you play as the ‘breath’ of the world, fighting the elements to make a livable world for your tribe of people. Mostly it’s spent moving water and earth from place to place to make paths between islands so they can get to goals and build cities. There are timed events, like the threat of an impending tsunami or volcanic explosion to keep things interesting. It seems to get exponentially difficult between levels and there is some nominal mention of magic so far. It’s a god game and it reminded me of playing the sim city, except fun. I was easily absorbed in the game and it was relaxing to play. Kind of like raking sand in a Zen garden is supposed to be I think.

The art is gorgeous, when it comes to both the game play and the little bits of cut scenes. Lots of flowing water and swirly images, watching the land grow palms and the tiny animals swarm about was nothing short of delightful. The game has a definite style which seems to be simplistic in that there is not a lot of different things, mostly islands and ocean, but what is there is incredibly detailed. The music blended into the background in a pleasing way and I felt like it matched the game play. The controls were easy to learn and intuitive to use.

The one odd thing I found, the tribe seems to consist of only black people. That’s a little strange to me, I’m just not sure how I feel about that. Is it right to be portraying the tribe as only primitive black people with magic powers? Seems a bit stereotypical, but since I haven’t gotten beyond the trial bits I’m going to reserve judgment, just in case things change later.

This one is a definite purchase so expect a more in depth review at some point in the future when I’ve played a lot more of it. It’s only $15, or 1200 MSP on Xbox Live (I hate that system! Just use dollars for fuck’s sake)

A video of a tsunami occurring from the game

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