Dustforce is a game that desperately wants to be unique and it actually manages for the most part. Taken apart, it’s a 2D platformer, with an interesting idea at its core.
It’s not unusual for game studios to come up with strange ideas from time to time. Sometimes, these ideas actually make it through development and turn out to be successful, but they usually flop.
The idea used in Dustforce must have come from one of two sources. Either they tried a few hundred options for a new game and just went with the craziest one, or someone lost a bet. Maybe he said that anything can be turned into a game.
Nonetheless, the Hitbox Team studio has managed to deliver a game that is by far one of the most interesting platformers to get released in the past few years. Installation
We acquired Dustforce from Humble Bundle 6, the best collection of games released so far. The competition is fierce, with other great 2D platformers, such as BIT.TRIP RUNNER and Rochard.
The guys from Hitbox Team online provide an .sh installer package that comes bundled with all the necessary dependencies.
Just like Torchlight, the installer compiles the game for the system, so there is no need for separate packages, for 32-bit and 64-bit platforms.
After downloading the package, just open a terminal and enter the following commands. You will need the root password to install the game. sudo chmod a+x dustforce-linux-1347954459.sh
Be careful, the name of the file might vary if the developers update Dustforce. Story and Gameplay
First of all, we have to get the story part out of the way. There isn’t one. Just a simple premise: four janitors are tasked with the most important mission possible, to cleanse the world of dust and disorder.
The task may seem simple in the beginning, but Dustforce is probably one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played. He has gotten used to games that do all the work for us, but this time the developers have taken us back to a time when finishing levels was hard and beating the score was almost impossible.
The players start in a general screen that provides access to other worlds containing playable missions. There are 50 levels in total, but just a few are available from the start.
Cleaning dust from various surfaces might feel like a trivial task as first, but you will also have to make a good time.
Just like a classic platformer, the characters have the basic controls we know by heart, but with a few twists. First off all, every level has to be done as fast as possible, without braking the dust combo.
Running is not sufficient. Players will have to perform perfectly coordinated double jumps, dashes, double dashes, wall runs, ceiling runs; all of this while trying not to get killed by enemies or be impaled by spikes.
In order to open up later levels, players must complete the stages, but sometime that will be enough. A good score at the end will be needed to unlock a level.
Besides the acrobatic aspects of the game, the levels are also littered with enemies. Some are flying and other just patrol on foot, but they must be defeated nonetheless.
The characters have access to two types of attacks, light and heavy. If most enemies can be finished with light attacks, the heavy ones will be required to remove some of the bigger obstacles in the levels. The Bad
The strength of Dustforce is also its biggest problem. I enjoyed the first levels, but I discovered that it’s more difficult than I expected. Over time, this proved to be a major problem. Levels got harder and harder, and some are downright impossible to finish, unless I grow another arm.
Not only do certain areas need perfect coordination for various moves, but you often have to fight enemies. I’m not entirely certain that the later stages have been properly beta tested. One of the reasons for my failure could have been the fact I was using a keyboard. Maybe a gamepad would make more sense for a game such as this one.
Another issue is the mission selection screen. The player starts in a Nexus, a central zone which is used as a hub for other zones, but the navigation can be confusing, at first. The Good
Dustforce looks apart from other platformers, mostly because all the characters look like they’ve been hand drawn, not to mention the animations that have been done beautifully.
The differences between the four characters are not particularly important, in terms of abilities, but they have very different combat animations and sport very interesting looks. Conclusion
Dustforce is not just a pretty face, it is a challenge. Nowadays not many games have the courage to challenge the players at physical level, but Dustforce will help you remember swear words you’ve forgotten. It's hard and fun at the same time, which is a winning combination.