From Dust PC Port Sparks Player Backlash

The PC port of From Dust was released yesterday, and almost immediately players began complaining about various issues. One of the most common issues is with the game’s DRM, which requires an Internet connection to even start the game.

As screencapped by Rock Paper Shotgun, it was initially stated that the DRM would require only a one-time activation on the Internet; afterward offline play was completely feasible. This post was quickly removed after release, and then reinstated with a disclaimer stating it was being fact-checked. Now, a pinned topic exists on the Ubisoft forums stating that the DRM actually requires an Internet connection on launch, but afterwards can be played offline—an entirely different system than the one initially stated. This has raised a huge concern from players who purchased the game thinking they would be able to play offline, and players with spotty Internet connections are having trouble even launching the game.

Unfortunately, these are just the start of a long list of problems with the PC port. In addition to the problems with DRM, there are also issues with the game crashing or not running properly on supported hardware. The supported video card lists are also remarkably small, excluding Intel integrated graphics, Mobile versions of any video card, SLI and Crossfire setups, Eyefinity, and the new combination CPU/GPU bridges. This means playing on a laptop, non-gaming grade desktop, or the most powerful type of gaming desktop is not supported. In fact, if you have more than one graphics card, the recommendation is to play with only one. That means you have to either find a software-based means of disabling SLI or Crossfire (I know you can do this with SLI, but I’m unfamiliar with Crossfire), or open your case and pull your extra cards to play this game.

These problems are topped with the fact that there is no graphics configuration menu in the game and no configuration files you can edit. In fact, one user that had scaling issues with Eyefinity had to resort to a registry hack to fix the problem. Additionally, the game is capped at 30 FPS. Unfortunately, even if there were a graphics menu, it wouldn’t help the countless people who the menu refuses to load for, not to mention the people that experience immediate game crashes.

All in all, the problems are so bad that a petition has been started on the Ubisoft forums, and many people are asking for a refund. This is on top of the numerous posts and topics with outcry over how bad this port is.

We’ve reached out to Ubisoft for comment, but as of this writing, we haven’t heard a response.

Analysis: This is pathetic on all levels. Ubisoft essentially lied about the DRM, catching themselves only once it was too late. To top it all off, the countless crashes and bugs encountered by people on supported hardware are ridiculous. The first recommendation being given is to update drivers, but in a large number of cases, this doesn’t fix the issues. Compile this with how the game doesn’t support high-end gaming systems, doesn’t have a graphics configuration menu to change any settings, is capped at 30 FPS, and essentially doesn’t support laptops either, and you’ve got what I’d call the shittiest PC Port of the year. That might be too nice! I haven’t honestly heard of a port this bad in several years.

To be fair, though, you can change the game resolution—but only if you know your way around the Windows registry. A+ work as always, Ubisoft.

Joshua Moore

About Joshua Moore

Joshua has been a gamer for a long time, starting back with the NES as a child. Since then his interests branched from game systems to general electronics; an avid fan of technology and computers, Joshua graduated with honors from the University of South Florida and now holds a degree in Electrical Engineering. His favorite games include Valkyrie Profile, BlazBlue, Left 4 Dead 2, and Ocarina of Time. Additionally, he attends various BlazBlue tournaments and tries to pick up other anime or air-dasher fighters whenever possible.