Every once in a while it’s nice to play a game that’s outside of your comfort zone. Today’s main course was a god game. What’s a god game? Well it’s a game where you are god. You command the elements and can terraform your environment and destroy foes with a flick of your wrist. On second thought that describes a lot of games. Ah well.
Having played Black & White/2/Battle of the gods/Creature isle/Populous & Spore (to name a few) I consider myself well versed in this genre. When offered the chance to put my omnipotent skills to the test my only question was “what platform?”
The game looks phenomenal. I was very impressed by the textures and the amount of animations that filled my screen with no slowdown. From tsunamis to lava flows, each item is done beautifully and that makes it easy for you to immerse yourself in this world. The stages themselves are relatively small compared to a standard RTS so you won’t find yourself getting lost in a strange area of the map.
The sound effects heralding incoming disasters or signaling your manipulation limit are perfect. The music however is very generic and while the choir music is appropriate for a god game it’s also predictable. The voices overs are well done however and the foreign language being spoken lends the game some mystique.
If you have ever played a god game before then you know what to expect here. Help your tribe to survive and thrive and you’ll win the game. There’s very little to work with here. Worshippers in a god game tend to be of the uneducated (cough) pre-industrial sort whose motivations are relatively simplistic.
Controlling the elements is extremely simple. Pick up an element or drop an element. One element tends to cancel out another. Water cancels fire, fire destroys earth and earth displaces water. Besides terraforming to create a paradise for your peoples there isn’t much else to it. There are various abilities that enhance these skills but they aren’t crucial to gameplay. I played the PC version of this game and although I’m not sure how this is affected on other platforms I will say that the mouse acceleration is CRAAAZY! One little move and the cursor flies all the way to the other side of the screen. This may take some getting used to.
The game is pretty easy from a technical standpoint. Ensure that your tribe has earth for crops, ensure the earth has water for irrigation but not enough to flood and protect the land from fire. This pretty much sums up ALL the gameplay. Yes there are variations on this however in the end it’s rock paper scissors. I kept playing this game hoping that it would add something to mix it up but alas it all was for naught.
This game isn’t challenging or exciting. To some it may be relaxing or empowering. To me this game felt like a game of chess, a little forethought and a bit of strategy go a long way. I will say this game allowed me to experience firsthand how it feels to be chess’ original platform…bored.
- Nice graphics
- Intuitive gameplay
- Mouse controls can be a bit sensitive
- Bland soundtrack
- Can get repetitive
From dust was developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and published by Ubisoft. It was released for Microsoft windows and on Xbox live and is available now for $14.99 and 1200 Microsoft points respectively. The copy played for this review was a digital download copy on the PC.