From Dust Hands-On Preview - Playing With Fire

Our villagers may think their god has a divine plan, but we're just flying by the seat of our pants in From Dust.

In the stylish, downloadable god game From Dust your powers may be divine, but they're far from limitless. The brainchild of game developer Eric Chahi, creator of the classic PC action game Out of This World, From Dust puts you in control of a benevolent deity called forth by a band of wayward villagers. For those who played Peter Molyneux's Black & White, you'll feel right at home here. However, the only humor you'll find is what you make yourself by tormenting your loyal followers. You can help (or hinder) them by transplanting different types of terrain to guide them through a barren world. We went hands-on with the game and tried to keep the accidental casualties to a minimum.

From Dust started out with a simple enough premise. By building land bridges and redirecting waterways, we helped our followers from one area to the next. Sending them to a totem made them build a village, and special structures and locations throughout the map unlocked new powers or additional lore about the game's world. Once we had all the totems on a map occupied, our villagers could advance to the next area. However, things got a little out of hand when we arrived in a large, mostly desert region.

The first totem was not too far from our stating location, and it produced a measly village deficient of any plant life. A helpful prompt encouraged us to go green by redirecting the water flow of a nearby lake to bring some moisture to our land. This seemed easy, but then, we hit a water geyser. And another. And another. Before long, we were frantically scooping up mounds of earth in an attempt to redirect the numerous torrents of water. And we couldn't interact with our villagers directly, so if they got washed out to sea, it was up to them to paddle their little bodies back to shore.

A power's duration isn't very long, but it doesn't take long to recharge either.

Our first village survived the torrent, but it was now encircled by a makeshift moat. Our next goal was expansion. By building a simple land bridge, we quickly occupied the next totem and expanded our powers. In addition to making the villagers sing and dance, controlling these totems granted us new powers. Two that came in handy during this stage were evaporate and jellify water. Evaporate gradually cleared the area of all water, in addition to ruining all the expensive hairdos of our villagers. Jellify water did just what it sounds like and transformed all the water into a malleable jelly. With the water in this state, we could dig a path through the waves just as easily as digging through dirt.

To complete the stage, we had to get a certain number of villagers to a cave submerged in water. We first used evaporate to clear all the water and then jellified the water to prevent anymore from flowing out of the geysers. With the region's entire ecosystem in flux, we followed our villagers into the cave and onto the next area. This stage introduced two new elements: water trees and fire trees. Fire trees, as you might guess, burst into flames every so often and catch any nearby vegetation on fire. Water trees release an amount of water when fire is near.

Both of these plants surrounded our initial village. From the very beginning, we could uproot and replant the water tress, so we placed them around our village to form an impenetrable water barrier--or so we thought. Just like the last map, things initially seemed fine but quickly fell to pieces. At our lowest point, nearly all of our villages were in shambles. On one end of the map, some poorly placed water trees vomited their contents on all of our villagers, washing them away. On the other end, a creeping wildfire finally caught up with our initial village and set it ablaze through a hole in our defenses.

Building up lush wildlife attracts exotic animals that take up residency.

At this point, our subjects should have realized that their god, frankly, had no idea what he was doing. But, bless their hearts, they had faith and we eventually got things back under control. Outside of the main campaign, From Dust also included numerous challenges to test our godly powers. Some had us putting out fires, while other had us parting rivers for tiny villagers. At the end of each, the game marked our time and uploaded it to a leaderboard. You can match divine wits with your pals when From Dust is released later this year.

Written By

Want the latest news about From Dust?

From Dust

From Dust

Discussion

114 comments
JackS22587
JackS22587

Looks like a pretty interesting God Sim, especially since God Sims are rarely done well.

TerStone88
TerStone88

Considering one of the developers IS the creator of Black & White... I'm sure it is an awfully lot like it. Lol It just lacks some of the core features that made Black & White the amazing game that it is. But these is bound to be just as fun and amazing as it's, in a way, predecessors.

PS2Dude89
PS2Dude89

This game really interests me. Just would like games to stop costing $15!

agusf
agusf

black and white?? lol

giuse92
giuse92

Finally!!! a new populous :D i just hope ubisoft doesnt repeat the same problem of the settlers 7... the need internet connection to be allowed to play :S

ziadpayne
ziadpayne

By Ubisoft..... Then I'll close my eyes and buy it cause Ubisoft is number one baby :) I don't know but isn't this game related to the word ( Blasphemy )

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

He said "This game looks like Peter Molyneux's Black & White" I'm..... SOLD.... :D

rakhaanandra
rakhaanandra

damn i dint no that being a god has a limited power?

DKant
DKant

This is looking utterly awesome. Just hope it makes it to the PC or PS3 soon enough. :)

mer1in79
mer1in79

@pelvist did not know that thanks for the info.

kpuff
kpuff

I wonder if there's a mode where you can just play around with the elements on the island?

gashoe13
gashoe13

It's like... a 3D version of the iphone game Pocket God. Only better.

Koi-Neon-X
Koi-Neon-X

From Dust is a refreshing change with all the FPS and cartoons/TV shows/movies turning into video games being released on a regular basis. Looking forward to trying this one out!:)

jfoelker
jfoelker

Def checkn' this one out!!

Smoothus
Smoothus

The creator from Another World? Genius.

CruiserCaptain
CruiserCaptain

I have been waiting for stuff like this on PS3. I hope it turns out well.

dalua360
dalua360

This game seems cool, but I'm too lazy to try it! I don't have patience enough. LoL

pelvist
pelvist

@mer1in79 It was, but the other name for it is what the game was called in north America. In fact in Japan the same game was called "Outer World". Also id like to add that the game was original designed and released for the Amiga and Atari ST systems, and was not a PC DOS game until a year later. You could say that the Amiga and ST where PC's tho TBH.

awwitz
awwitz

man ,this is something new, even though it borrows most world creator sims. i hope there's a morality arch, though.

dstv
dstv

@iman79 i guess you'll be buying it on day one? oh and btw you misspelled "losers"

Tanares
Tanares

Looks beautiful. I've not seen a downloadable game with such visual appeal before!

krisroe_213
krisroe_213

will be buying this; has me intrigued

mer1in79
mer1in79

"The brainchild of game developer Eric Chahi, creator of the classic PC action game Out of This World". i thought the game was called Another World?

iman79
iman79

Game for loosers

dstv
dstv

Its not an FPS!!!.....yesss

coop36
coop36

Been watching this game for awhile now. Looks like a simple fun sim.

LAnoirFAN
LAnoirFAN

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

blackhermit
blackhermit

looks interesting. some may be afraid of tedium that may build up (even for a god), but that doesn't happen with me.

monkeypants
monkeypants

If these vids are indeed from the xbox version, these are some pretty incredible visuals. Pretty impressive for PC too, but way to squeeze horsepower out of the 360 if that's the case.

megakick
megakick

IMO this look 100 times better then minecraft. This should be f2P on the PC.

LegendaryEpoch
LegendaryEpoch

I love that you are able to manipulate everything in the environment from the ground up. That alone makes this a definite buy for me. Looking forward to some interesting and cataclysmic interactions with the villagers. ;)

pelvist
pelvist

Its also out for PC on the 27th of July. The preview video is wrong.

sircyrus
sircyrus

Looking forward to trying this one out.