User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 85
  2. Negative: 9 out of 85

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  1. Feb 2, 2014
    1
    I really neat idea, that suffers from imprecise control, horrible pathfinding and a difficulty curve that rolls in on itself to create a hangman's noose. For a brief moment you feel like this might be a fun little world-altering game, and then the game chokes your controller in half with endless lava flows and eruptions. As a result, the only option left is to delete this terrible game in frustration and disgust. Expand
  2. Feb 19, 2013
    6
    Certainly interesting, however the fact that the songs that were supposed to hold off the lava and water were prone to failure is a significant issue in my quest to find a game where I can simulate Atlantis. In general though, the game's levels are interesting, the gameplay complex and the backstory is at least poetic. Do note it is best to have some experience herding cats to fully be able to guide the humans, as they are are prone to walking back and forth and going the wrong way at times. Expand
  3. Feb 6, 2013
    8
    A real surprise. It's basically Populous for the 21st century. Beautiful visuals, grate musical score, fun and clever gameplay. A shame that it was longer and be a bit more than it is, but for an XBLA title its an amazing game, I would have loved to see what they would have accomplished had they decided to do a full game. Overall: A fun, challenging god sim that really does what it sets out to do rather well. Expand
  4. Feb 3, 2013
    8
    A very enjoyable game for about $15. You play the force of nature helping inhabitants survive the,... well, forces of nature. It's actually a puzzle game that uses simulation of nature for solving. It's very original, challenging, and beautiful graphics and sound. Sometimes it would have been nice not to work so fast and enjoy your creation as you work, as when you are in close up view for better detail, your work progress goes twice as slow. Also it could have served better to have a "skip" on those opening sequence cut scenes every time you had to restart your puzzle. But an extremely worthwile game to download to your Xbox. Expand
  5. Apr 3, 2012
    8
    I quite enjoyed From Dust, and was my favorite PSN/XLA downloadable game of 2011. The gameplay is simplistic and addictive, with each new level granting access to new powers and abilities, which are met in turn with new problems and puzzles. It keeps the game fresh and enjoyable all the way until the end. The water and lava physics are impressive, and the graphics are on-par with other downloadable titles. The controls take a bit of getting used to, but the game is easily manageable with a controller after a couple of hours. A series of unlockable challenges add some replayability, however I keep coming back for the open-ended sandbox nature of the story levels after completion. Expand
  6. Oct 3, 2011
    9
    I'll say this, this game is a treat to play. I usually don't play teraforming games because they're boring and usually don't have much replay value. This is the exception. The obviously shines in the graphics department with stunning water and lava effects as well as beautiful landscapes and art direction. The gameplay is simple offering me a casual game to play aside from all the FPS and TPS I buy. The game has tons of replay value with nail bitting challenges that WILL put your brain to the test. The campaign also has a free mode in the last level that pretty much lets you do what ever you want. My only gripe with the game can be with the sometimes dumb AI that instead of taking a very short and safe route that may be blocked by a puddle of water, instead they walk all the way around towards a volcano per say. Many of my guys die that way. Also the fact that fires travel a bit too fast in this game can really mess up the perfect game/strategy. Other than that the game is flawless. Beautiful art direction plus intuitive controls makes this game a hit. 9/10 Expand
  7. Sep 26, 2011
    7
    This was a game I had kept my eye on ever since it was first announced, as it seemed to be the very environmental-based sandbox game I had acquired the desire to play within recent times. Now, the important thing to consider is that From Dust is somewhat misleading in this aspect, because it isn't much of a sand-box game at all. Though I was disappointed at this realisation initially, I was still impressed at what the game turned out to be. Perhaps my misunderstanding was due to a lack of research pre-purchase, but From Dust offers a more strategic and linear experience. You start with a small tribe of men and women, and you control 'The Breath', which is essentially a glorified cursor integrated into the game's loose plot. 'The Breath' AKA you, the player, are able to manipulate the land and the sea by taking it and depositing it elsewhere. You use this power to manipulate the environment in order to provide a safe haven for your villagers. For example, your homeless villagers are on an island, and the totem they require to create a village is across a small portion of sea. Using 'The Breath', you extract masses of sand from a nearby beach, and deposit it over the water, creating a bridge for the villagers to cross the ocean and reach the totem on the other side.

    Obviously this is the game at it's most simplistic. As you progress, the complexity increases, and you're introduced a number of things. There's other powers granted by creating villages, such as the ability to temporarily 'Jellify' water, which makes water behave like land, other elements such as lava, manipulation of plant life and natural disasters such as volcanoes and tsunami's that can destroy your efforts in one fell swoop. The primary objective remains to keep your people and villages safe by protecting them from the elements at all costs. There's also a secondary objective of spreading vegetation throughout the land, a process which happens automatically, but will cleverly still require to you to have some input in some shape or form to avoid hazards such as forest fires. The campaign is a lot of fun. However, the main thing about the game though that really, really impresses me is the dynamic nature of the environment. Ubisoft have gone through great lengths to ensure each world almost acts like it's alive. When playing other games, you see land, you see ocean, you may see volcanoes and lava, but they're just for show. You never really stop and think about it. It's this mindset gained from playing other games that will make you almost wonderfully stumble into naive error. Taking land and putting it in water to make a bridge means that the water that was there originally needs to go somewhere else. Blocking a stream in order to cross it means the stream continues to move, but elsewhere. Before you know it, you've made a nice bridge of land, but your water-level village has been destroyed by flooding because that water had to go somewhere! That stream has now relocated to block the path of the levels exit! And don't get me started on the nasty things that lava can do! You've always got to be on the ball and that's what really gives From Dust it's wow factor. From Dust is not without disappointments though. I found the difficulty curve on the campaign to be far too steep for my taste, going from tutorial-level easy to intermediate within a single level or two. While I do enjoy a challenge, I felt the challenge came too soon. I was still learning the controls and basic features while playing a level that should have really been further on in the campaign. I think this steep curve has an explanation in that the campaign itself is very short, another disappointment. I got the impression that Ubisoft rather added in the harder levels sooner, than put the time in to make a more consistent and longer campaign mode. Granted, the game boasts 50 challenge mode levels, but ironically only 3 or 4 provided any significant challenge. While I've praised the dynamic nature of the game, it's also one of it's downfalls in a way that almost can't be helped. Let's be honest, there's nothing more frustrating than all your hard work and progress being wiped away by renegade lava or water flows you took your eye off for a minute or two whilst dealing with another problem. I found some of the harder levels were only able to be completed by following a self-made structure from trial and error as a consequence of the dynamic hazards. I'd restart for the fourth time and know to put this much land here, redirect this flow here etc. It's disappointing as it removes part of the spontaneity the game endeavours. With the exception of a steep difficulty curve, relatively short length and the occasional infuriating hazards, From Dust is a wonderful little game. It looks beautiful, it feels fresh, and the environment mechanics are out of this world. Definitely worth a go.
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  8. Sep 10, 2011
    10
    A brilliant game! Truly original and very accessible. The overall design of the game is gorgeous and there is some impressive technology at work to make the behaviour of fluids believable. I played it through to the end and wanted more. My only niggle is that a little more camera flexibility would have been welcome.
  9. Sep 9, 2011
    6
    I was very much waiting for a title like this, the trial was very promising, control was smooth but somehow it didnt amuse me in the end of the day. i would have appreciated more complexity (assuming that most of the fans of this genre are used to the hardcore ancestors of this game).
  10. Aug 30, 2011
    5
    A very disappointing showing in a genre that was ripe for some innovation. From Dust doesn't advance the god game idea so much as use it as background for what is otherwise a fairly enjoyable puzzle game. The idea of each level is to lead your followers to inhabit each expansion village, then to get a small group to an exit portal, presumably in a quest to "uncover the secrets of the ancients." This simplistic story highlights how From Dust goes wrong: the god game is about creation, a concept that is entirely absent in the game. Instead, the player focuses on manipulating the environment through the use of godly powers in order to escort the villagers to progressive levels.

    The game itself downplays the idea of the player as a god. Rather than being a supremely powerful entity with a group of loyal worshipers, the opening of the game shows the villagers creating the player. The player is cast not as a deity, but as a tool that the villagers use to escort them around the map and save them from the elements. Interaction with villagers is non-existent. The most you can do is zoom in on one as they walk around.

    It feels like something went wrong midway through development; as if there were a ton of ideas floating around that would have made a great game, but that most of those ideas were cut due to budget concerns and the need to keep to a release schedule. As an example, each time you complete a level, a small cut scene plays showing your villagers going through a cave and emerging on the other side. Each time, it's the same exact cut scene. Another example is the reward that the player earns for activating various "bonus shrines" and covering the play area with foliage (two optional challenges in each level): rather than rewarding players with something that will help in subsequent levels, or even something to spruce up the user interface, or any number of other rewards, completing these optional 'quests' unlocks... the tooltips for the various powers and game objects. Most of my complaints stem from disappointment - I expected something that built on the concepts laid down by the Black & White series. Instead, what was delivered was a respectable, if somewhat lazily executed, puzzle game. A couple of finishing touches would have gone a long way.
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  11. Aug 25, 2011
    10
    I've bought today this amazing game and I'm completely satisfied. It's really intuitive and before buying it I was not convinced if it was a good idea to buy a god game for console.. because I thought it was the kind of game for pc. Now after playing it for about 2 hours I can say that moving with joystick is easy and surely it's not such hard as I thought. Fantastic game.
  12. Aug 18, 2011
    7
    This games concept is where it really shines, beyond that it gets repetitive pretty quick. I would've liked to see a little more done with the concept. Would've got an 8 if it wasn't for being a UBIsoft product that forces you to register an email address and make a Uplay account in order to play, and also for being a port to pc without any real upgrades (no options aside from resolution and refresh rate for graphics). Worth the money. Expand
  13. Aug 6, 2011
    8
    From Dust gives the player a unique take on the God Game genre we haven't seen since Populous. I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys the classics.
  14. Aug 5, 2011
    10
    Graphically, From Dust is absolutely mind blowing. The realism of the physics when interacting with water, sand, and lava really add to the immersive experience. Gameplay-wise, it plays well for the most part. The controls are simple, easy to get acquainted with, and very unique. The game increases in difficulty quickly, but once you complete a stage, you can go back to it and play with the level like a sandbox. There are a million ways to solve each stage, so no two playthroughs are alike. Being both a tense battle with nature, and a relaxing god-game, I felt From Dust to be worth much more than I paid for it. I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys physics-based games, or sandbox god-games. Not for someone who want's an action-packed thrill ride. Expand
  15. Aug 3, 2011
    9
    It's been a while since the game was released, but I wanted to wait until I was done with the whole game before talking about it. This is for anyone who's been on the fence about this game for a while.

    For anyone who's been on the fence about this game, I highly recommend it. As a matter of fact, From Dust is without a doubt one of my favorite acrade games of all time. From Dust looks
    comparable to other titles. I was really expecting something along the lines of Black and White, but when it's in action it felt totally unique to me. The game offers 13 territories, which doesn't sound like a lot but many of them take a good deal of playing to 100% complete. I usually spend around an hour on each level between the sandbox fun and actually beating the level. Beyond the 13 territories there are 30 challenges which start off easy enough but quickly come to live up to their name. The difficulty curve for these can be pretty sudden but a few of them can teach strategies that can help in the campaign.

    From Dust is clearly focussed on the gameplay over the story. The only driving force for the game is fun and the wonder of what the game could throw at you next, which was enough for me given the novelty of the game. The story is mostly contained among written components referred to as the memories of the tribe. They detail the origins of the world and describe a world that's merely a reflection of music. Although than can be tedious to read (especially since the font is illegible on a standard definition TV), doing so deepens the world and occassionally offers hints and secrets about certain territories.

    The sound and visuals couldn't be more spot on. Water looks visceral, volcanoes menacing, and deserts hot and dry. But what really makes the game so beautiful is how good of a job the graphics do of portraying the evolution of the territory. No single territory in the game ends looking the same way it began. Volcanoes spread stone and fire, villagers spread palm trees that attract creatures, landscapes change, and I could stare at the game's many tidal waves all day.

    The lore of the game is very imaginative, and not only does it tell of a world of music, but every action and power you use in the game has it's own sound. It's very subtle but quite immersive and creative.

    Now I know everyone has been complaining about controls but Neither I nor any of my who bought the game EVER had issues with controls; start to finish. Maybe the critics are just bad with analog sticks? I don't know, but the problem wasn't the controls but rather the lack of control combined with literally the most piss stupid AI I've seen in a game for a long time. I just can't give the game a 10/10 with kind of issue. The game always has you sending villagers running from point A to point B but you have absolutely no control over the path they take: which is always 100% of the time going to be the worst possible one. villages run into boiling streams of lava, they more often than not run straight up to some sort of bridge or ramp I've constructed and just stand there calling for help and not moving. I've literally had to restart entire missions because the AI glitched and wouldn't move anywhere.

    From Dust is an amazing and artistic game, and I loved it through and through except for this one huge issue I had with AI. It didn't ruin the experience but it can take you from marveling at majestic volcanoes to being glad your villager just earned the tribal darwin award from running straight into the very volcano you were just admiring. All in all, checking this game out is doing yourself a favor, trust me
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  16. Aug 3, 2011
    9
    This is a great game from arcade worth the 1200 MS Point price tag if it was 800 it would be a straight buy. it does have its flaws, AI can be a little on the dumb side, sometimes flummoxed by the smallest puddle and the controls have a slight fine adjustment problem, when you need to move a little they move a lot. But those are the only problems. Challenges are fun and interesting, sometimes quite compelling! The story is great, focuses on establishing a village then protecting it, while securing other villages in order to open a portal at the end. Good idea, does need some slight tweaks though. Expand
  17. Jul 31, 2011
    8
    In From Dust the player is pitted against the extreme forces of nature in order to advance your tribes. This game is a breath of fresh air with nice graphics and excellent ideas. Well worth 1200 MS points.
  18. Jul 31, 2011
    9
    I played through the demo and immediately got the full game and then stayed up until 4am playing it. It has a nice difficulty curve, a solid sense of progression and the ability to completely change the landscape by terra-forming with rivers or lava or just good old soil is awesome. Ignore Bily 84, he has reviewed the wrong game, THIS game is very, very good. The only reason I haven't given it a 10 is mainly to do with the camera controls but only on occasion and frogwipe is correct to say that sometimes, not often though, placing a pile of soil or lave atc can be tricky to get it in the right place. Thankfully, the physics often correct this for you as the grains of sand or droplets of water flow to roughly the place you wanted anyway. I have already recommended From Dust to friends, now I recommend it to you! Expand
  19. Jul 30, 2011
    10
    Brilliant execution. Amazing tech, addictive, gorgeous visuals and elemental simulations working hand in hand with game play. All I hope is there is more DLC levels to come soon.
  20. Jul 29, 2011
    10
    I enjoy every bit of this game. It offers a challenge and it's a great way to get your mind working. The graphics are great and it runs very smoothly. I have yet to have a problem with this game. I recommend this game 100%. I hope you will enjoy this game as much as I do.
  21. Jul 28, 2011
    8
    After reading a review of this game, I expected something which would be compelling and offer me a sandbox strategy with a bit of a twist. I was pleasantly surprised once I had downloaded, that the game is a very good all-around game. The ideas behind the game are extremely good, taking me back to a similar mechanic to the populous, although with less focus on societal development, and more focus on surviving in a harsh environment.

    I downloaded this game quite late at night, and found myself compelled to continue playing until it was complete. I then began on the challenges the next day, which hinted at different ways of approaching some quite linear problems. As these problems didn't actually occur in story mode, they seemed a little redundant, and on playing through story mode a second time, some minor annoyances surfaced: First, the tutorial levels are compulsory, and unskippable. Although this is unnoticable on the first playthrough, I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated that it's taking me from what I want to be doing (building a bridge, for example). Once you have played through the game once, the second time is also very predictable: you know what to do first, in such a way that you can guarantee that you'll succeed the level. The second-to-last level, arguably the toughest, became a simple case of algorithmically following instructions. Another small flaw is that the shortcut for 'dropping everything at once' can be a little temperamental when you really don't want it to be.

    One or two of the powers also seemed a little redundant. For example, I barely used a power that destroys material, whilst the ability to do a certain something to tsunamis made this fundamental threat almost redundant.

    The story mode can be completed within an evening. It's enjoyable to try and do things a different way, although this can be a little repetitive without a random map feature, more levels, or some aspect of multiplayer.

    In all though, the gameplay and style of the game is compelling, and has a comfortable difficulty curve (and also has some rather infuriating time-restricted challenges), but replayability could be vastly improved by having more complex and challenging levels, with some element of randomisation.

    I'm anticipating extremely good things should DLC, expansions or a sequel be released, and my opinion is that it is satisfying to the point where this game is worth buying. If you like god sims, I recommend having a go.
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  22. Jul 28, 2011
    10
    Love this game! Has amazing graphics and I was absolutely suprised how well this game uses physics in its strategy. As a game sold on the xbox arcade, it feels like a steal for the amount of content you get.
  23. Jul 28, 2011
    8
    Don't listen to the ra-tard complaining about the delayed release on the PC. This is good game. It's original, challenging, and entertaining. I will agree to lesser degree about the controls...although not as bad as people say but it is sometimes tough to get a sand pile or build a wall precisely where you want it. But like others have suggested, you adapt and it's a non-issue after a few levels. If you like "Populous" style God games you won't be disappointed. It will be intersting to see where they take this conept (online multiplayer perhaps?) I just hope it sells well enough for them to build a sequal. I'm giving it an 8 just because the "no so percise" controls and lack of any type of multiplayer. Definate room to grow with this one and I look forward to it. Expand
  24. Jul 28, 2011
    10
    This game is fantastic. It is very original and looks absolutely amazing. You can create completely new lands by guiding rivers, or destroy you villages by flooding them. I do not know why anyone would say that this game lacks polish, it has been made very well and is well refined. "Lacks polish" is the last thing I would use to describe this game.
  25. Jul 28, 2011
    8
    This is a great little game which sadly just lacks polish. The controls are a little sensitive when you first start using them, but it doesn't take too long before you're able to move around comfortably. The art style of the game is great and the sound is atmospheric. I did find myself wanting to be able to zoom around the large maps faster than I was able to, which at times meant that my villages fell victim to the elements because I was unable to get across the map in time to put out a fire.
    The story mode is a little slow to start as it gradually eases you into your powers, though in doing so ensures that you never feel lost as for what to do. Although it feels a little broken watching the same 10 second cutscene before the start of each mission, you forgive it due to it's eerie charm. I know it's a little thing, but being able to skip this would be another little refinement that would push this from a great game to a real gem. As I write this, I've only played through half the challenge mode, each challenge taking in the region of 2 minutes to do. Whilst some come painfully down to the last second or two, the puzzles are generally very well thought out. There's rarely the feeling of frustration whilst taking them on, and often the warm feeling of accomplishment when you figure out the solution.
    Overall, I would highly recommend this game. Despite it needing a little bit of work here and there, it is still very fun, very enjoyable and very unique.
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  26. Jul 28, 2011
    10
    It's a great game pure and simple. It is a bit hard to control with the game pad but after the first few levels you get used to it and its not a problem anymore. Its well worth the money.
    These poor user reviews are whinny BS. They are protesting DRM that doesn't apply to the game on Xbox, and a delay for the PC version. Grow up, seriously.
  27. Jul 27, 2011
    9
    Great game. A true unique and original experience. And experience that should supported by any True Gamer. Pay no attention to the delusional PC FanNerds who rated the game a Zero. They have not even played the Game! How Metacritic still allows users to rate games they clearly have yet to play is pathetic. Get the trial, open your mind, and try the game. You will not be disappointed.
  28. Jul 27, 2011
    9
    Graphics are solid, game-play is quite good most of the time, and the tribe dynamics make for a good storyline. If it wasn't for all the escort missions and slow game-play periods this could have been a great one. Interesting premise, but lacks on execution.
  29. Jul 28, 2011
    0
    This game is fantastic. It is very original and looks absolutely amazing. You can create completely new lands by guiding rivers, or destroy you villages by flooding them. I do not know why anyone would say that this game lacks polish, it has been made very well and is well refined. "Lacks polish" is the last thing I would use to describe this game.
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 76 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 76
  2. Negative: 3 out of 76
  1. Oct 17, 2011
    90
    If this can even be called a game, it's a highly unusual one. Instead of doing missions and killing enemies you construct landscapes and battle for control over the always unpredictable elements brought to life by impressive physics.
  2. Sep 8, 2011
    90
    A sandbox game in its truest interpretation - nature simulated via a charming strategy game. [Oct 2011, p.84]
  3. 90
    Designer Eric Chahi is possibly absolute genius and his game is very unusual experience in all aspects. Missing sandbox mode is the only flaw in this perfect god game. [Issue#208]