The premise and main gameplay theme of From Dust, you play an observer traveling with a tribe, helping them rediscover their ancestor's lost but powerful knowledge of controlling the forces of nature, and to make sure nature doesn't destroy them. You, as the observer, is charged with the task of actually controlling nature. The forces of nature at your command (varies with each level) are lava, water and earth and in addition being able to uproot the exotic fauna of the world.
The user interface is the "breath" a ball like container which can hold and discharge a certain amount of "materiel" and one of kind of "materiel" at a time. How does this ability come into play when protecting the villages? Need to stop a forest fire just dump water on it, or need to reroute a river; just dump earth. Since you are just the observer the forces of a hostile earth is just as much of a danger to you as it is to the villagers. Hostile forces of nature on various levels include active volcanoes, tsunamis, and literately shifting earth.
Since nature is a huge focus of the game, the graphics are gorgeous, dramatic and detailed, a real feast for the eyes, which is why you might want to have a powerful enough PC to handle it or you're have a hard time stopping disasters. The tribe appears as ants overhead (but can be viewed up close) and are the only human presence in the game with the exception of the ruins of the ancients. The design of the tribe itself is interesting as they herald notes of tribes in the south pacific and Africa and the one interesting feature of their attire....the big bone masks they wear.
Here is the trailer from Ubisoft just to prove how gorgeous the graphics are....and words cannot describe the mood of this game...