Aug 06 2009
Regarded by many as the first “real-time” wargame, Dune 2 Battle for Arakis, slipped into the gaming market quietly. Being new to the PC market at the time, I saw a review of the game and picked it up. It was my first game for the PC, and highlighted just why I entered the PC games market. An extraordinarily high level of gameplay greeted me. This is the driving force behind Westwood’s highly successful wargames. Even with Dune 2 the interface was very easy to use, instantly drawing the player in. This fantastic gameplay mixed with good graphics and fantastic sound, created a game of intense addictiveness.
Dune 2 is based on the novel Dune, and has many of the features from the book. The game is based on the planet Arakkis, which is the only source of the spice melange, which is created by the local inhabitants, the Worms! These worms are massive 500 metre long creatures, and yes they do make an appearance in the game, gobbling whole units in one attack. A somewhat interactive terrain, which sadly lacks in some of the more modern clones. The three factions in the game (known as houses) are, Atreides, Harkonnan and Ordos. Each with some varying units, thus styles of gameplay and of course differing speech. I would love to meet the woman behind the Atreides voice, mmmm. Games were fast paced and frantic, with people gaining fast and precise mouse directing skills in quick time. The objective is to collect the natural spice, build your base and smash the enemy, I completed the game in 1 week of almost non-stop battles. I remember saying to a friend that I would kill for a multiplayer version of Dune 2, It wouldn’t be long.
With few real faults, the game’s success inspired a sequel Command & Conquer, which can’t be a bad thing, right? For my first game for my PC, it was a fantastic introduction to the PC world. And by the way Dune 1 was in fact an adventure game, totally different to its predecessor
Thanks to Roger Ovington for that review