Dune Spice Wars is a new RTS based on the recent movie, which originated from the novel by Frank Herbert. The universe of Dune is no stranger to the video game medium. Given the epic scope of content that comes with this IP, it’s ideal for an RTS game. Obviously taking place on the desolate planet of Arrakis, Dune Spice Wars comes with different factions for players to choose from. As of right now, there is; The Smugglers, House Harkonnen and House Atreides. There will be more factions coming down the pike in the near future. Assemble your troops and seize the Spice before the sandworms obliterate your army. Players will be able to send out recons to gather intel from opposing forces, manipulate people through politics, and even just flat-out assault each other’s strongholds. Spice is a resource that enhances humankind in all manner of ways, thus also having the ability to unlock the secrets of interstellar ventures.
There is no doubt that carnage will ensue in the fields of Arrakis in Dune Spice Wars. Players will craft their own adventure via their factions. The story can unfold in a number of ways and it’s up to the players how they want things to go. Political favoring plays a pivotal factor in this game. Players will vote on what to do in terms of strategic warfare throughout the terrain of Arrakis. Diplomacy is one angle that players can go about in this RTS, of course, if they’re feeling bloodthirsty enough, they can ignore it completely. This RTS will have dense 4X elements which will entail a hefty number of hours of gameplay. This new licensed title comes with hefty customization and minute details involving how players can create their army. There is a lot to balance with Dune Spice Wars, providing an experience that can forge a solid RTS adventure.
So, what are 4X elements, exactly? Apparently, they are an obscure genre of RTS games that also have light turn-based RPG elements intertwined into the mechanics. The term basically means, “exploit, expand, explore and exterminate.” These features are all layered together in Dune Spice Wars creating a seamless gameplay experience. Everything unfolds in real-time in this game, however. There isn’t much turn-based gameplay in Dune Spice Wars, despite its 4X format. Naturally, the main goal of this title is to harvest as much Spice as possible and ultimately conquer the lands of Arrakis. There is essentially a “risk and reward” layout to this game, which will give players tense moments on what to do at any given time. Sending troops out into the sands can be effective. However, the noise will draw Sandworms to their vicinity, devouring them whole. This also holds true with the Spice Harvesters, as well.
Players will also be able to air-drop troops at any point on the map, providing a nice alternative for placement. It’s also one of the only ways to avoid Sandworms completely. Even though the world of Arrakis is essentially a giant sandpit, there are very distinct regions to consider. One, in particular, is the “Deep Desert” region. This part of the world is harsh toward resources and they will drain quickly. Hence, players will need to build up their army and garner XP before venturing out there. There is plenty to explore when it comes to this map, and obviously, some areas are best left untouched until later in the game. The standard RTS fare still plays a factor with Dune Spice Wars, however, let’s not overlook the political manipulation layer in this game, as well.
One political and economic factor that players will need to deal with will be the “Spice Tax.” Players will need to pay Baron Harkonnen this tax periodically throughout their playthrough. This isn’t absolute, of course. Players can make deals and try and weasel their way from paying this tax. They can even plot and overthrow the Baron if they’re cunning enough. However, if this plan falters, there will be heavy repercussions. Players can also set things up to where their opponent won’t be able to pay their taxes, forcing the Baron to set his eyes on them. This can ultimately spell their defeat, letting Dune Spice Wars have a little bit of a Monopoly angle to it. Choosing whether or not players should store up on Spice or convert it into currency will be a constant juggling act throughout this game. Both are equally important for upgrading troops and building structures.
Politics also come into play depending on how lenient or aggressive players are. Additionally, voting on situations in the Landsraad can also be utilized in order to garner some mercy if a players’ resources are thin. The various factions all come with pre-set political leanings which can be adjusted over time. The game looks nice enough through its design. Even though making a game that takes place in a giant desert, there is enough variety to the terrain that gives it a certain richness to it. Dune Spice Wars isn’t an adaptation of the most recent movie. In terms of design, there are some similarities to it. This game is more loyal to the book and all the details related to it. This game is very much its own Dune experience and it captures the spirit of this IP fairly well. There is definitely a lot of care put into this game and the developers are obviously fans of this title.
The developers are nearing completion with this game and it’s not far from its release date. Dune Spice Wars seems to have all the bearings for a rather decent RTS outing. The detail in this game is dense and the political layer that is intertwined in it gives it a new take on this sub-genre. Players who enjoy 4X RTS titles might want to give Dune Spice Wars a try when it is released later this year. When it drops, Dune Spice Wars will be available for PC only.