Coming Soon: “From Dust” and “Journey.”

Get the sand out of your eyes, two new downloadable titles are coming to PS3 and XBox this year and are must plays for anyone looking for wide open worlds to explore.

Coming out as soon as July 27th for the XBox and PC (PS3 promised sometime this summer), “From Dust” is a god-hand game that appears to take from games like “Black and White“, the PC game by Lionhead Studios who is most famous for creating the “Fable” series. You, god, must look over and care for a tribe of vulnerable villagers so that they can continue to worship and idolize you. Little has been said about the actual storyline or objectives of this game. So for the most part I’ve been ogling over the artwork…

The tribesmen in this game were designed with a heavy african style in mind. The masks they all wear create a sort of uncomfortable dissonance between yourself and these people you're tasked with protecting.

The art style of this game looks fantastic. It seems to be a mix of cell-shading and water color, and the screen shots look beautiful.

Bright colors create vivid contrasts between the elements in this game.

Unlike Lionhead’s “Black and White”, morality doesn’t seem to be a determining factor in this game. You are expected to be a good god, sorry, but that’s how it tends to work. However, they give you alot of leeway in how you want to be good. The story line consists mostly of guiding your village of worshipers to accomplish various goals while protecting them from the disasters Mother Nature tries to wreak upon them. Yep, Mother Nature’s the villain, that bitch.

This game seems to be more focused then most sandbox god games like Sims or Black and White, which I appreciate as having too much to do generally makes me shut down and do nothing. There’s a solid storyline with solid objectives along with a challenge mode which gives you an objective to complete in the shortest time possible. I’m most excited just to see this in 1080p so I can just drool over the beautiful landscape.

Did I say beautiful? I meant gorgeous! I'm amazed that a downloadable title can achieve this level of vibrancy.

I swear to you, soon as this is out for PS3 expect a review of this eye-catching game to be in the works! But for us PS3 users, this isn’t all we have to look forward to…

Dust seems to be a theme here...

Coming out at some undeclared date this summer, “Journey” is the latest title by thatgamecompany, the same company that created two of the most artistically acclaimed PS3 exclusive titles, “Flower” and “Flow“.

In “Journey,” you are a nameless being wandering through a desert seeking to reach a mountain that appears to have some kind of spiritual significance. Along the way you encounter others like yourself, however, the modes of communication are limited. You have no control over who you encounter, no names are shared, no words are exchanged. The only way you can communicate is through your movements and a number of sounds and gestures available in the game.

Beautiful cell-shading, even if it is sand. And that giant mountain over there in the distance? That's your destination.

Interacting with other players enables you to travel in different ways, potentially enabling access to areas unreachable by one person alone. I don’t want to spoil everything, but I will say the just what these people are is something of a surprise to discover. This bit of information explains quite a bit of their unique traveling abilities, but if you want the surprise to be a shocker I suggest you buy the game and find out then for yourself. The limiting of your ability to communicate will certainly play into the theme of the game, and probably cause a load of frustration on the player’s part.

It's good to know they have variety in their color pallette. An occational change of scenery will be a welcome difference from the dominant orange and white color scheme.

Two strangers run alongside each other. The glowing details on the left one's robes are likey the expression of a special ability that only partnerships will enable.

Expect these games to fetch a premium for their quality, I’m anticipating about $15 each which is the cost of most high-end downloadable games. However, these are likely games that will be entertaining you for hours if not days. Both “Journey” and “From Dust” boast incredible artwork and new approaches to old concepts. Whether it’s playing god or simply playing as a team, either choice promises to be a good one. I’ll certainly be getting both. Who knows, maybe one of those robed strangers you encounter in your travels will be me.

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Posted on July 26, 2011, in Upcoming and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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