Back in 1991, a fellow by the name of Eric Chahi created a game called Another World—or Out Of This World, as it was known in North America—and it was spectacular. Its 2D side-scrolling action wasn't remarkable in and of itself, but it was intensely, almost startlingly cinematic; in other words, the sort of thing that lends itself perfectly to the big screen.
From Dust is singleplayer only, but its copy protection requires you to be online at all times – if you’re disconnected, the game pauses and won’t let you save. I’m telling you this now because it’s ridiculous, and so I can move on to talking about the game.
Update: Re-tested, and this has changed since this review was written - the game no longer kicks you out if your connection is lost. You do need to be online to start the game, though. (Thanks John).
I’ve never played anything quite like it. It’s a game about sculpting landscape by sucking up swirls of lava, water and earth and trickling them into rivers and ridges to protect your masked tribe. It’s extraordinary, exhausting, spectacular, and frequently no fun at all.
2011's E3 is proving to be bountiful for fans of the word 'dust'. Hot on the heels of CCP's Dust 514, Ubisoft's From Dust is a god game, something in the mould of one of Peter Molyneux's world-shaping titles: Populous, and Black and White. It's also stylised and beautiful - something you might expect from the mind of Eric Chahi. From Dust tasks you with shaping the world around a tribe of mask-faced humanoids in an attempt to keep them safe from the rampaging elements. And yes, it looks like you can forgo all that nicety and just drop flaming chunks of rock on their villages. You cackling madman.