Dust: A Tale of the Wired West is an excellent adventure that makes up for relatively lackluster puzzles with authentic Western atmosphere and memorable characters and dialogues. Set in the 1880s in Diamond Back, you play a mysterious stranger who shows up in town one day. While exploring the town and meeting its people, you will cross a dangerous outlaw named The Kid, meet a distressed Indian tribe, hear rumors of the lost treasure, get involved in a murder and a scam, and more exciting adventures that characterized the Gold Rush days. |
The game is played from a first-person perspective. The world is fully realized in 3D, with 3D actors moving around the town in real-time. Similar to The Last Express a few years later, the world of Dust moves around in real time: people go about their business, and day turns into night. Most traditional inventory-based puzzles are quite easy, but the more challenging (and more interesting) ones are “realistic” puzzles that require you to observe people’s actions and act at the right time.
One of the most memorable things about Dust is its memorable characters. In contrary to 3D models that walk around town, characters during close-up conversations are presented by 2D digitized photographs of real actors with appropriate facial expressions. Although there are some over-the-top acting, most acting in the game is surprisingly well done and well above average. You can talk with each character at great length, and many of them have a lot to say that are optional material – anecdotes that heighten the game’s believability.
The relatively easy puzzles in Dust are offset by a decent game length and multiple puzzle solutions and endings. If you love adventure games, chances are you will love this atmospheric underdog that deserves much more attention than its sales figures suggest. Be sure to also check out Cyberflix’s superior second adventure game: Titanic: Adventure Out of Time (but stay away from their third and final adventure game – a real dog called Redjack: The Revenge of the Brethren).
Reviewed by: Underdogs