It surprised me that I had not heard much about Dustforce, an indie game developed by Hitbox Team, and released for Windows, OSX and Linux in 2012. It was later released on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita in 2014, and in all that time we some how missed it here @ The Buttonsmashers.
So what is dust force?
The simple answer is that it is a platformer that is very similar to games like super meat boy and SpeedRunnes.
The Game requires fast reflexes, and expert mastery of the mechanics, and controls to complete some of the harder stages. It makes learning these mechanics and controls really easy and intuitive through a series of tutorials after booting it up the first time. Unlike numerous other games that force you through a tutorial you don’t think you need or otherwise make it optional. Dustforce makes it a part of the progression. The tutorials are a part of the game, you can think of them as their own stage, and by completing them you learn how to progress and ultimately complete that stage. After you do that you are presented with multiple stages and pathways. After that, the choice of which stages you beat first and where you go is completely up to you. I found this sense of freedom to be is so refreshing in a modern platformer. With the freedom allotted to me I feel the need to complete all the stages in a given area during my play-through of the game. and that my friends was a very refreshing feeling. I played as I like, as much or as little as wanted, and that I hold highly responsible for why I played it for so long.
Dustforce succeeds where other games in this genre have failed. It makes getting back into the game quick so that you don’t loose interest in some crap loading screen, and each stage is littered with a generous amount of checkpoints so that you always get that feeling that this next try may be the one that I beat this stage.
Dustforce’s ability to put you back into the action would not be quite as impactfuly with out it tight and responsive controls, which allow for some amazing spectacles of twitch platforming magic. These controls are also fully customization and compatible with controllers and Keyboard, no matter your preference you will be covered. They can also be changed at anytime in any stage, so If you find that you don’t quite like thefeel of your button input, then change it on the fly and get back in the action. The game leaves you with no conceivable down time to get you bored or otherwise distracted.
At this point you’re probably all wonder, “hmm all these good stuff about this game, I wonder what it does wrong”. Well you won’t be finding any of that here. The game boasts a really gorgeous art style and some of the best chip-tune music I’ve encountered in recent years. It’s an all out awesome package, and I don’t see any excuse why everyone shouldn’t have this gem in their steam collection.
Dustforce is all in all a full package of platforming goodness at it’s best. If you have a steam account and you don’t have this game then you’re doing gaming wrong.