Last update there is February 15, 2022
The universe dune of Frank Herbert is appreciated fans for many reasons. It is a dark and imaginative vision of the future, filled with family intrigues, policies that divide and conflict. His themes resonate with our own era. Dune has been adapted to many media, including movies and television series. The first video game Dune appeared in 1992, 27 years after the publication of the novel. Now, the Shiro Games developer and the Funcom publisher bring the world of Herbert to the genre of real-time strategy with Dune: Spice Wars.
I attended a Dune Practical Demo: Spice Wars and I saw several minutes of told gameplay. The real-time strategy seems to be an obvious choice for dune, with its homes at war and emphasis on the economy of spices. Dune: however, Spice Wars is not in real real time. It also includes classic 4x game elements. It’s a rather rare mashup, but it works well.
In Herbert’s fiction, a resource called spice is the most valuable substance of the universe, making interstellar travel possible, among many other uses. In Dune: Spice Wars, your task is to collect and control spices on the desert planet Arrakis. You play as a member of the home atreides or Harkonn House, although other factions can be available. Using emblematic ornithoptera, you explore the planet trying to locate spices. As you play, you take control of a territory of more and more broad outposts. When resources are exhausted, you use strength, trade or diplomacy to conquer new parts of the planet.
However, opposing factions are not the only threat to success. Gigantic sandworms of the planet can decimate your strength. The environment is also tough and the soldiers will die cold if they stay too long on the ground.
Dune: Spice Wars has a lot of depth. Even from our short demo, it was clear that players will have to handle many systems. 4x game fans will appreciate the layers of economy and espionage, while real-time strategy players will connect with the construction, exploration and basic fight of the game. Developers noted that games will last Between 3 and 5 hours and there are four possible victory conditions: diplomatic, economic, military and political.
Dune: Spice Wars is played on a card that divides the difference between a realistic realistic environment and a strategic view. For example, units and buildings are not at scale. The skirmishes between units take place in real time as in a classic RTS game. There is also an aerial card, based on a grid, which shows important territorial information.
Arrakis is very similar to the cinematographic adaptations of Dune. The developers have shown impressive visual keys like sand storms and sandworms that are approaching. However, we had only one overview of the planet. There is definitely a number of places to discover with a variety of biomes and environments. In addition to spices, developers emphasized the importance of two other resources. One was plaster, an essential building material. The other was, without surprise, water. The construction of wind traps to harvest atmospheric water is an important strategic element. By the way, espionage is also treated as a resource.
A number of well-known novel characters appear in the game, strikingly illustrated in the full menu and game information systems.
Given the nature of the source material, the kind of strategy game seems to be a perfect choice for dune. Real-time hybrid mechanics and 4x seems both unique and well mesh. The short demo definitely stitched my interest in the next early access and ongoing development. Dune fans and fans of good strategy games should put Dune: Spice Wars on their radar.
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