Where is the Sequel to From Dust?
It’s always curious to me which games get sequels and which don’t.
I mean, obviously Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty are going to get a sequel. They aren’t called “annual release” games for nothing, and the established fan base(s) is so large at this point that it basically funds itself.
But in terms of smaller, indie or downloadable games? Now there you get a real tossup between conceptual strength and practical market return. Which is a smart way of saying, how good the game actually was and whether or not it really made any money.
Unfortunately one of the games from the last couple of years which hit hard on the former and not so much on the latter was From Dust.
For anyone who hasn’t had a chance to experience it yet (shame on you for missing yet another downloadable in a world of gaming options), From Dust was basically the elemental equivalent of Lemmings. You are tasked with protecting a community of villagers from the rampaging elements which threaten their existence at every turn. While not able to manipulate them directly, by ordering them to certain locations and helping them gain wisdom and strength you influence their lives in much the way that a god would. And like any good god, you spend about 90% of your time keeping waves of lava and tsunamis at bay – not to mention floods, forest fires and the occasional exploding tree.
It’s a hard game to put into words, but its concept was tight and its gameplay was fluid – keeping you in control of your villager’s lives without getting in their way and pointing you in the right direction without being too insistent about it. More than anything it gave you so much freedom to shape the world, and the sheer physics of the way the land and the water interacted were a joy to behold. Needless to say the graphics were just short of amazing and unheard of in a 10-15$ downloadable title.
But despite my glowing reviews (which realistically no one probably read) From Dust’s lack lustre sales have yet to manufacture sequel material.
The console sales were actually popular enough for Windows version to be released, but in typical Ubisoft fashion the DRM included and the mismanaged frame rate and controls quickly soured the PC audience to one of the best console downloadable games of the last few years.
So where is the sequel to From Dust? Well in reality I know. It’s in the “not quite popular enough” pile with a bunch of other amazing games which just fell short of the “lots of money” mark.
Which, as I thought I’d remind people, is a damn shame.