From Dust: E3’s Finest Trailer?

The mask says it all, really

The most arresting E3 trailer for me so far is the new’un for From Dust, the Populous-esque game from Another World/Out Of This World creator Eric Chahi. It seems to take the god game ball dropped by Lionhead/Bullfrog and run with it to about a hundred strange and wonderful places. I have no idea how any of these remarkable world-reshaping powers work in practice, but I almost don’t care. I’m simply happy enough to watch it, goggle-eyed and dreaming fondly of the things only video games can do.

Out this summer for download on PC, as well as various toyboxes. My plan is to hook this up to my ancient projector, beam it onto the ceiling and just watch it for about five hours straight.

Here are some extra screens, just because it’s wonderful.


  1. Uglycat says:

    Next up: Dungeon Keep4r!

  2. Valvarexart says:

    It does look tempting indeed.

  3. Giaddon says:

    This does indeed look amazing, but it seems strange that it’s due this summer (so sometime in the next three months?) and yet no one (outside the development team) has any idea how it plays.

    • timmyvos says:

      I’ve read some previews in some magazines and apparently it works like the miracles in B&W 2, you have to use things like wind to solve problems and unearth artefacts, at least that’s what I read in the previews.

    • Giaddon says:

      Hmmm, OK. Like a sequence of puzzle challenges? I guess we’ll find out soon. Thanks for the info!

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      B&W2 isn’t really about reactions though, if you go on the wiki for From Dust then you can see that this game is more about different elements of the environment interacting. So I suppose, for example, you will have to provide an area with enough water for vegetation to grow (without drowning your people) to stop a major mudslide that you have been warned will happen at the end of the level. The premise sounds fun, but we really do need to see a video of it in action. I have high hopes/dreams.

  4. skinlo says:

    It does look epic, in a way this is the game I’m most looking forward to. Even if the gameplay if not great, I’ll probably just buy it to create islands.

  5. Flobulon says:

    Eric Chahi is so hot right now.

  6. Vexing Vision says:

    The screenshots are extremely pretty, but I found the trailer to be of rather amateurish cut.

    I definitely want to see some non-cut-up gameplay though, pronto!

  7. Teddy Leach says:

    Burn it. Burn it all.

    I also can not believe you have nothing to say about the header image.

  8. Zarunil says:

    Please don’t suck! This game looks amazing!

  9. Astatine says:

    Not sure the gameplay will be my cup of tea. But I love the art style. So. Much. <3

  10. Linfosoma says:

    It indeed looks fantastic. Who’s actually developing this though?

    • RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

      Ubisoft Montpellier. Most importantly the guy from the demoscene that works there who made this run on all platforms.

  11. Iokanaan says:

    “PEGI …12!”, the man said surprised. that was the first nice thing about the trailer.

    • Berzee says:

      Yes! Love me some PEGI 12 :) It’s hilarious now that you point it out, but slightly sad that it can be so hilarious.

    • westyfield says:

      Long have I admired the PEGI man, he always sounds surprised that the game managed to scrape a 12 rating.
      “PEGI 12? I wouldn’t let my 12-year-old play it!”

    • boldoran says:

      First thing that came to my mind too.

  12. Stuart Walton says:

    I always wondered what a 3D World of Sand would be like. Now I know, and it has ickle people in it too!

  13. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Please let this be good, the world needs a Populous-like game.

  14. HexagonalBolts says:

    It does look incredible, the only very worrying thing is that it’s due out in a matter of weeks if it does release in ‘summer’ and we are yet to see a single proper actual ‘gameplay’ video, where they show us someone actually playing through the game and the game being fun. So far it’s nothing but very pretty. I really really really hope it does live up to my dreams of a populous-like game though.

    • Iokanaan says:

      well, there is quite a lot of gameplay footage in this video. I think it’s comparable to B&W: ‘gods hand’ intuitive gameplay. and god doesn’t need a HUD.

  15. Hexanol says:

    I was hoping this would turn out to be a voxel engine, but looks like the terrain is heightfield-based… there’s a limit to what you can do with technology like that.

    • RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

      Of course, but currently, running a similar water simulation in 3d in stead of 2d might make your computer explode. Besides ,playing around with this kind of shallow water simulation is a lot of fun as well.

  16. Anton says:

    I hope this is not region restricted. This looks awesome!

  17. Jubacat says:

    Trailer was great and the game looked intriguing. Unfortunately my heart sank when I saw it was on 360 & PS3 also.

    • Vandelay says:

      I know! I hate it when other people can have nice things too!

    • Catalept says:

      It’s an established fact that God uses a keyboard and mouse. If this game is being released on console, it can only be a demigod-sim at best.

    • Baboonanza says:

      To be fair, there are legitimate reasons for being disappointed. Console hardware is ancient in PC terms, and for a simulation-based game such as this the pitiful amount of RAM in particular is going to be a big constraint on the design.

  18. Rond says:

    This game looks like it was made ten years go, then someone remembered about it now and decided to slap some bloom and whatnot on it. Ace art style though.

    • skinlo says:

      Not really. It doesn’t look worse than Morrowind.

    • Rond says:

      Eight years, then?

    • RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

      You wouldn’t have been able to run this game on your home computer 8 years ago :P. Not because of the graphics, but because of the terrain simulation.

  19. Ovno says:

    Oooooooo I want it, I want it, I want it….

  20. noggin says:

    Tis lovely but…

    “Looks literally too amazing to exist”?

    That’s silly!

  21. The Army of None says:

    I gotta say, this is probably the game I’m looking forward to the most. The new Deus Ex game looks nice, and I’m sure TOR will be passable, but this looks splendid.

    • wodin says:

      I saw the leaked beta demo of Deux being played and it looked terrible compared to nearly all other AAA fps games out at the moment…it really did look old…

      This however looks very good…I loved populous and they other game they did but can’t rmemeber the name…so if it’s as good I’m happy…

    • DiTH says:

      I played the Deus leak on max settings and it certainly looked 2011ish in graphics.But gameplay and quests are 2000ish.

  22. Coins says:

    It looks great, but. Has anyone even played this thing? How can those sites give glowing reviews if they haven’t?

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      Part of the problem of the amateurish sections of games press is that they go batshit insane over how great something is before it’s released and then say its weak sauce after the review embargo. It’s been a problem for a long time.

  23. PanzerVaughn says:


  24. killmachine says:

    totally looking forward to this game. actually i played black&white 1 recently, got bored pretty fast though. but i like the sandbox god games. you know, just kick back and watch the little men do what they do and sometimes intervene if i want to. thats my game.

  25. Drake Sigar says:

    That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

    You know, aside from Natalie Portman.

    • Jeremy says:

      Seriously, I’m not even a guy that gets crushes on women in movies, but she’s the one I have allowed myself to have a crush on.

  26. Jeremy says:

    I really hope this delivers on it’s promise.. ever since playing Black and White, and having it not quite meet my expectations, I’ve wanted a good sandbox god game. Too long if you ask me.

  27. mkultra says:

    Am I missing something?

    • Brutal Deluxe says:

      Yep. Apparently so am I. But then perhaps I was just jaded by all the quotes at the beginning to pay any real attention to it. I love how they have to have a quote “Beautiful and Unique” over some footage.

      Erm, I’m not sure what to make of this footage. Ah, so it’s beautiful AND unique? Right then.

      Also it looks like Patapon in technicolour and 3D.

  28. A-Scale says:

    Did they have to use comic sans?

    • Hedgemonster says:


      Not sure what you’ve been watching, but there is no sign of the dreaded Comic Sans font anywhere in this video, or in any other From Dust video, as far as I can tell.

  29. Felrose says:

    Game play video here: link to

    Looks a lot more like Populous than Black & White.

  30. Vinraith says:

    Let’s hope the gameplay lives up to the visuals! This has real potential to be great.

  31. gwathdring says:


  32. gwathdring says:

    Also, no. No it doesn’t look literally too amazing to exist. If it literally looked too amazing to exist, it wouldn’t exist. Literally.

    Seriously, when did literally start meaning the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to? I missed that memo in middle school English classes.

  33. Ultra Superior says:

    love letter to the nature, sandbox, shaky environment ….. natives to play with….. hmmmmpfff…..

    take some toys, garden hose, box of matches and a heap of sand. Do whatever you want with it and look how much fun will you have.

    In other words, it looks artsy and boring.

    • Hedgemonster says:

      @Ultra Superior:

      Really? Is there no part of you that is even remotely interested in this game, which is in genre that we haven’t seen much of in recent years (i.e. god games à la Populous)? Does it being “artsy” also make it boring to you? What do you want, more shooters? Seriously.

    • Igor Hardy says:

      I’m kind of in the middle. The visual design looks really impressive, but gameplay wise it seems like it wouldn’t have a chance against the “garden hose” experience Ultra Superior described.

      But hey, it’s only a trailer, and a rather vague one too.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      @Hedgemonster – No, I meant Artsy in a good way. I certainly like those screenshots, but it seems a bit dull content and gameplay wise.
      Like some Nvidia techdemo or physics benchmark (Look at all that water!).
      Not like a game that will keep you interested.

      @Igor Hardy – exactly.

    • Acorino says:

      I dunno, always imagined being God would be fun.
      So I hope this will be a fun god game in the vein of Populous.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      It’s really hard to put masks on ants, though.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      When I was little I once tried to make sinking mud in the back garden with a hose and a flowerbed and some toys.

      That was indeed fun, and having matches would have made it a perfect day.

  34. terry says:

    This footage has been kicking around a while, I thought. It does look pretty, though.

  35. satsui says:

    I came all over the place.

  36. TuesdayExpress says:

    So, RPS-y chaps: if they’d solicited you for a quote, what would it have been? I was hoping to see some bizarre quote from Alec or Quinns. Surely you could have done better than the blandly hyperbolic “looks literally too amazing to exist”, or the stunningly cardboardy “beautiful and unique”?

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      I literally had a good laugh at that Destructoid quote.

  37. Jae Armstrong says:

    You know, people keep telling me I should be raving over this, because I am in love with Populous: The Beginning. But honestly? I couldn’t care less about the whole terraforming God thing. That is exactly not the thing I loved about Pop3.

    What I loved about Pop3 was building little wooden hut villages full of cute little early Bronze Age people who would wander around on their own gathering wood, form little circles talking when idle or sit and listen to preachers, and the way they would fight like, well, like it was a fight. A brawl. A rumble. And just generally acting like they were little people rather than video game constructs. Also walking a fully charged shaman into an enemy village solo and dropping a dozen world shattering spells in the space of thirty seconds. That never got old.

    I’ve yet to see any proof that this is going to be anything like that beyond superficially.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      What, you never set up your village on a huge artificial plateau to make it invincible to volcanoes and enemy attacks? That was the best thing about the game!

    • MadMatty says:

      I used to have fun playing populous 1 & 2, i have fun just forming the landscape aswell as launching armageddon on the opposing tribe. I used to plant tress all over the enemys territory, then set them alight so they made huge forest fires burning all their houses along with the trees.
      You were supposed to plant the trees around your own houses, to make them prettier (+ more mana) but they were such firetraps, i ended up using them as a biological weapon MuaHAHAHAHAaha.

  38. FRIENDLYUNIT says:

    Out “this summer”?
    Alec I’m very disappointed in you. I thought this sort of nonsense was only instigated by our famously inward looking North American games publishing executive types.

    No false modesty please. I’m sure you know RPS is quite the successful website and has a readership distributed all around the globe, even down here in “the colonies”.

    Or perhaps RPS automagically detects my hemisphere and I should be impressed rather than disappointed? If so you have my abject apologies for my lack of faith.

    • Vinraith says:

      Ha ha, you live on the wrong side of the planet!

    • Burning Man says:

      I believe it’s more along the lines of ‘A little too far down’.

  39. cytokindness says:

    All heightmaps for the land – there won’t be a single overhanging rock or texturally detailed surface in the game. Bleh.

  40. Shadrach says:

    I am so getting this, if not for the gameplay then at least for the visuals and art style!

  41. hungrytales says:

    Coming to OnLive?

    Apparently: link to

  42. dogsolitude_uk says:

    May sound strange, but I’ve been looking forward to this more than Skyrim or Deus Ex 2, though mildly concerned about Ubi’s DRM.

    An old, passé fear perhaps, that’s soooo 2010, but a genuine and heartfelt one nonetheless.

  43. Wisq says:

    I was ready to sadly ignore this, until I finally remembered that Ubisoft ditched their awful DRM. So, yay!

    (I’m pretty sure that’s not the sort of thing most companies want when they talk about building “brand recognition” and the like. Sheesh, guys.)

  44. cpy says:

    Oh yeah i loved populous games, even black and white, this will be awesome game for summer.