Dust, blood, and vengeance.
Like a fairy tale gone horribly wrong, we are thrust into a beautifully rendered world of blood thirsty animals, literally. In the wake of his wife’s murder, our hero, Dusty is apparently forced to seek ultimate revenge. Though the game’s narrative never explains why she was murdered but that doesn’t seem important, because, vengeance.
If story is your fancy, I’m not sure you will find much here, though the game doesn’t suffer greatly in its absence. At the same time, it can be hard to justify the characters motivations. They seem to be doing things just to do them, or because they are awesome. Though if you approach the game knowing that the narrative is essentially a train track, guiding us from one level to the next. We can discover a beautiful, fun, and at times, innovative title.
Each character has motivations in joining the cause, as vague as Dusty’s own
I think Dusty Revenge shines once the party system is introduced. Combining ideals from the likes of tag team Fighting games and games like Trine. Using party members to blow through obstructions in the levels, or to snipe characters from windows, you help guide Dusty from A to B. Overcoming situations he couldn’t have handled alone. Each character has motivations in joining the cause, as vague as Dusty’s own, though it is still a fun mechanic.
Though the game isn’t perfect. While the 2D, hand painted aesthetic, is great it does play havoc with the animations at times. Dusty Revenge is at it’s core, a brawler, and it’s good at that. Though the controls aren’t quite where they need to be. Turning in a split second, is nearly impossible, and required. This left me to face one way and back into a corner, or be forced to fight the controller rather than the enemies.
While there wasn’t a lot of story to chew on here, the level design did seem to have a bit more flavor. The game has an apparent wild west theme, and executes this well, but also at times, gets a bit more organic, and colorful, proving some escape from all of the dust and blood. The soundtrack was also great, really helping establish the western, grind house, sort of vibe the art and story was heavily pushing.
Overall the game makes for a solid block of entertainment, though it does lack polish. Conceptually the game is there, and the art style is great. PDDesign Studio has really captured the broad strokes well, creating a centimatic feel, though, as always, the devil is in the details.