Dust: An Elysian Tail Review
Contender for winner of the world record title for game fitting the most genres, this action adventure RPG side-scrolling casual 2D platformer will blow your mind with it’s supreme greatness.
let’s cut to the chase and get this out: I absolutely love Dust: An Elysian Tail. Every aspect of it is of such high standard that it is literally astonishing. From the moment the intro began, I knew that this was going to be something special. And the extremely pleasant surprises just kept on coming.
The player takes on the role of the mysterious warrior, Dust. A cute, yet hard-as-nails young chap who has awoken in a strange land, to find that he has also lost his memory. Lucky for him, he soon meets his faithful companions:
Twitch Fidget, an insanely adorable talking cat with wings (or similar) Nimbat, and Ahrah, a talking sword. Of course.
Once introduced to his new pals, Dust must explore the strange land he has awoken in, discover secrets and defeat fearsome foes. Along the way, meeting the indigenous folk, who invariably need our hero’s help.
The first thing I noticed about Dust: An Elysian Tail was how absolutely gorgeous it looks. The colours are bright and vivid, and the hand-drawn art itself, a real joy to behold. The ambient soundtrack mesmerises and encourages immersion into the magical world. And baby is this game immersive. It takes real talent and skill to effectively break the fourth wall in any form of art or entertainment, and the developer, Humble Hearts LLC, has achieved this magnificently with strokes of genius. It didn’t take me long at all to feel emotionally invested in the protagonist and begin caring about his story.
The overall effect of playing Dust: An Elysian Tail is that it puts a great-big smile on my face. That it manages to do this whilst providing a compelling story, gorgeous visuals, soothing soundtrack and addictive, exciting combat is no small feat. Combat is a main feature of the gameplay, and the challenge of learning new moves and stringing together combos has kept me totally engrossed. Not only that, but, there is a lot of genuinely funny humour in the game; an aspect which a lot of writers get painfully off-target.
It’s an incredible fact that this wondrous treasure was created by just one person. Unbelievable but true. That Dust: An Elysian Tail is ten times better than a lot of games developed by huge teams is notably impressive, but I really don’t want to focus on that. Remarkable an achievement it is, but it should not detract from the merits of what would still be an incredibly accomplished game even if it were created by a dozen people.
Dust: An Elysian Tail really does seem to have it all. The multiple genres which it fits are all there in the game. And all executed impressively well. I cannot even think of another game that includes levelling, crafting, skill progression, magic, combo-based combat, fantastic visuals, superb music and a compelling story. I’ll probably think of even more positives in a minute too. If it seems that I am oozing fan-boy love for this game, that’s because I am. A game this good deserves to have fan-boys (and girls).
Dust: An Elysian Tail is an accomplishment not to be missed. It’s also an unusually brilliant game.
Developer: Humble Hearts LLC
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: 24 May 2013