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First Gameplay of Dune: Spice Wars Feels Like a First Read of the Books

Dune: Spice Wars will be available for early access from April 27, 2022. It of course feels like going over Dune. Apart from a few, quite limited tooltips.

No actual tutorial is there in the early access version of Spice Wars, and hence, your first game will appear very much like hopping into the first chapter of Frank Herbert.

What is going on? Who is this person? And what does that mean? Did my ebook download have some sort of bugged edition that is just missing out on the initial 100 pages?

Prick that layer of surface cloud and you will find something really good there. Not of the swelling gravity of Villeneuve’s movie or the oddness of Lynch’s. And definitely not of the fictitious all-traversing, religious, political, philosophical-and-everything-else nature of the books either.

Also not something that is possible to start off a platform-defining genre such as Dune 2: Battle for Arrakis notoriously did with the RTS, in 1992 either. However, it’s good! And good is typically enough for early access.

Know About Four Factions

Four sections are available there to select from, Harkonnen, Atreides, Smugglers, and Fremen, and obviously just the one map of Arrakis.

You will be able to play as a faction leader, Duke Leto for Atreides for example (no view of young Paul), and later choose some assistants from a small group of 4, who efficiently incorporate some section passives however, do nothing else which can I find: it’s good having a little control there, however, slightly like selecting a civilization and later one among the several leaders in that, in Civ. Following that, you are away.

You have one main base city that is able to protect itself quite well and then there are a few dozen areas to battle over, one of which is with a neutral village that has to be caught for you if you want to have control, and major but not all: with some sort of significant resource annexed.

Here, the most fascinating thing is how Dune: Spice Wars really plays. It is a type of 4X-RTS hybrid.

4X insofar since it is an overworld-style map that has been divided into fixed regions with fixed location settlements to blow up to, supplies to use, a most prominent place to explore (with those lovely thrumming Ornithopters, potentially the best of Dune’s beautiful set of heavy industrial), rivals to dismiss in addition to comprehensive systems of diplomatic voting, tech trees and the rest.

RTS insofar as all this strategizing actually happens in real-time with no turns or hex grids, but yet a pause and fast-forward option for assessing things over.

This is a wonderful mix, getting above all the strangely dictatorial, packed tension of a galaxy-sweeping drama.

Arrakis is an extremely small map as much as 4X games go, created to seem smaller as compared to a few regions of high winds or deep desert that are just inaccessible with regular units, restricting access to your rival’s plots such as the oceans of a Civilization game would prior to you have cracked a few techs such as astronomy or naval orienteering.

Over this small little planet, the majority of the galaxy appears to have plunged, scrambling about in extremely close adjacency for a magic resource. The most recognizable attributes of Arrakis are also done well.

Majority of the land-based units are able to prompt a sandworm invasion by walking on deserts outside the small borders of a region’s city or village, where you will have a concise alert notification for some seconds and the ground begins to move, prior to a huge terrible gob pops up and engulfs anything you left in the proximity.

For your Spice harvesters, this is exactly the same, which actually shows up over the map once you have caught a village with Spice in the region and built the correct building.

You are able to set these to automatically remind as and when hints of a worm are acquired, at the price of them developing a slight less spice, and considering just how many I lost at the beginning of the game I would recommend you to just take the hit.

After you have three or four of these in the works, and troops heading across, it is way too simple to switch off for a second too long and have to build one from the beginning; particularly with no keyboard shortcuts that I could discover in the UI to swiftly to capture you to the one in problem.

Swiftly, it becomes clear that what matters in Dune: Spice Wars is the skill to manage everything that is going on. That is regular for people who aren’t new with RTS games: the harmonization between ‘macro’ strategy and ‘micro-management and actions-per-minute – but when combined in with 4X it becomes some different type of ability.

Dune: Spice Wars

A sandworm showing up beside your army, which is already in need of manoeuvring so that your varied units are captured in an enemy’s melee charge, and probably be sucking dry of Supply, basically a type of unit-oxygen that discharges when you are beyond friendly territory and quickly kills them off once empty, in case you can not win them back to a base; then a council vote’s occurring, someone’s utilized subterfuge to begin a revolution in a village, the Harkonnens are at it on the far wider.

It is a heady combination of a fast and snail-paced sighting, learning the 4X tactics of espionage, and choosing how, or whether, to use your valuable council votes, whilst also ordering troops in the time-to-time.

It’s an Issue Initially Though I Doubt Few Dune Fans Would Have It Some Other Manner.

If not great, those other layers are somehow good as well as additions. Espionage is a bit confusing initially – the majority of things are in Spice Wars; it actually does require an appropriate tutorial; but in reality, pretty polished once you get it.

Agents are occasionally received over time, and are able to be assigned to many tasks – prying on a particular faction; counterintelligence; prying on definite things such as the council or other space-trade organizations whose names I would not fake to recall.

You will get intelligence over time, which can be later utilized to spend on quests – missions need you to have a particular level in some things that you have been prying on, I think earned by only having more spies targeting that organization.

Hence, the Supply Drop mission, which enables you the one-off skill to give some health and resources to units (perhaps those attempting to cross that deep desert…), requires you to have a minimum of one intelligence level in the Spacing Guild.

Those quests are later ‘activated’ as Operations – like when I select to indeed drop in that supply. It is a bit complicated- perhaps without any reason complicated, actually – though in a manner that all contribute to the fun of what espionage is regarding.

It is identical to diplomacy – there is a moderately usual trading screen, and then the Landsraad Council.

This is an occasional vote among three apparently policies that are selected randomly and are imposed each time, that are able to do things such as raise the cost of unit production for a definite faction or provide access to some special units.

You cast votes, which reconstruct completely every time, and another resource named Influence, which you can get at distinct rates in order to impact the consequences – a few among which can in fact get you to victory in the game.

I got the victory by voting myself in as Governor of Dune when I got the opportunity and nobody removed me for twenty-five minutes.

All of these things interweave in that wonderful 4X fashion, obviously. For example, Tech tree progresses appears to take place at a constant speed, therefore, it’s much more regarding selecting how to spend your time on enhancing it.

There are 4 trees – economic, military, intelligence, and a little of a general ‘other’ one – and hence, you are efficiently developing your faction’s skill as you go.

That noted I put nearly the whole of my attention on military and economic enhancements, just to be fully behind my main enemy on both in practice, whilst getting the victory in the game with the use of my vote-winning Influence – which they had way more of and I had not been considering at all.

That is possibly the main obstacle at this very initial time with Dune: Spice Wars. The AI is not splendid, with hardly a trade provided for the entire game and, on medium hardship, following the early game hardly an actual invasion threw my way outside some defensive wars and rival-led rebellions here and there.

It is also still a tiny bit foggy. I did not know what the real win condition was through the time when I began hopping around the “Hegemony” part of the resource bar halfway into my game – generally, a race to 25,000 points – and later voted my way to a sneaky finish in the council.

Yet, foggy is surely Dune alright, and all the small things are where you discover the magic with these games anyway.

Harmonizing how much spice I maintain in reserves for tax and how much I sell to CHOAM, what troops I surprise-air lift to where, which local tribes I make friends with, and how I get through that desert. It is difficult initially, though I doubt few Dune fans would have it any other way.

We will keep you updated with all the latest information until then stay tuned to our website.

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