Game Review - by Jean-Paul Gagnon
This is a real time strategy game along the lines of "Command and Conquer" that uses the mythology developed by the seminal series of books written by Frank Herbert. Not just your usual fare, this game reaches into previously unexplored regions of gameplay to deliver an engaging gaming experience that rivets the player to the his seat and entertains on a number of levels.
Players can choose to command the armies of three different houses (clans of different planets in the galactic empire.) The noble House Atreides, the evil House Harkonen, or the mysterious House Ordos. During the course of a goodly number of missions, players have the chance to establish a powerful presence on the Planet Arrakis, also known as Dune. The house, which proves most powerful in the course of this battle for supremacy, will be awarded control of Arrakis and the spice, which is produced only there. He who controls the spice controls the Universe.
Single player game, takes one memory block. Can be played with a controller or a controller and mouse. Players can network play using the I/O port. The option menu allows the playing of music tracks and allows players to view helpful text describing different types of strategy.
Players are in command of a spice collection unit. This involves the construction of a main base and refinery factory. From here players can choose to train troops, build vehicles or await money to pour in from the spice collection activities. Each mission has a different objective. Some include protect the base, recruit native Fremen to aid in the struggle for Dune, or search and destroy the enemy. The variety of maps creates interesting strategic possibilities. The style of play proves quickly addicting and the possibility of attack from the huge sandworms that populate Dune make the action fast and furious.
The graphics leave a little to be desired. The style of game makes the overhead view somewhat limiting at times, but it is what you would expect from a game of this type. The cut scenes however are well acted and visually stunning. Science fiction fans will recognize a number of the actors and appreciate the inside jokes from the book series.
The sound is a little lacking but the game lends itself well to listening to your stereo at the same time. There are audio warnings of danger but if you are paying attention to your men's position you should have no problem. Some of the music tracks are quite nice but nothing really stands out in my mind as being of a superior quality sound. The sounds of battle can grow weary rather quickly and the only other reason to leave the music on is to find out when your men die. "Unit Lost:" "Unit Lost"
A great game to play if you are looking for something a little different. Don't expect too many differences from other "Command and Conquer" style games, but the Dune setting does add a lot. If you are a fan of this genre of games then this is a definite addition to your collection. If you like the books or the movie "Dune" than this game is designed to please. I heartily recommend it; just don't blame me if you get sucked in more than you had intended.