The original game was released back in 1981, which made it one of the first commercially available role-playing adventure games. It was developed by the legendary Westwood Studios, and it was one of the first games to make use of the now iconic RPG elements such as character development, exploration, party-based combat, and the factions that would later become common in the genre. The game was a huge success, and it spawned a couple of sequels, a board game, and a card game, before it was eventually re-released on the PC in 2001.

As a child of the 1980s, I have a soft spot for old-school games. One of the most nostalgic consoles to grace my collection is the Sega Genesis. That love affair started in 2001, when I found out about the long-lost sequel to one of my favorite games: “Emperor: Battle for Dune.” I immediately bought the game for my Sega Genesis on eBay. When I got home, I watched my favorite YouTube retro gaming channel, C64 Retro, and learned a few things about the game. I also discovered that the game was one of the few video games that focused on the “spice” of the Dune novels and how it played a large part in the story.

In 1982, Dune won the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and in 1984 was the winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel. It is regarded as one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time and was the basis for the 1984 motion picture adaptation. In 1999, Dune was also made into a role-playing game by Fantasy Flight Games, which was re-released in 2004 by The Adventure Company.

RETRO – Arrakis, also known as Dune, is one of the most barren desert planets in the universe; nothing grows and not a drop of rain has fallen for as long as anyone can remember. There is something, however, that makes the planet the subject of fierce and bloody battles It is nearly saturated with Spice, a substance needed for space travel, human life extension and consciousness expansion. Three aristocratic families of the Empire are engaged in a life and death struggle to gain control of Arrakis by destroying the other two. The noble Atreides, the devious Harkonnens, and the treacherous Ordos are not indifferent in their methods, for he who masters the herb masters the universe.

After Star Wars and Star Trek, Dune is slowly becoming one of the most popular universes for PC games. Frank Herbert’s original novel and David Lynch’s film based on it formed the basis for Cryo’s strategy once and Westwood’s four times. Also in development are the cryogenic, online playable game Dune Generations and the adventure game Dune. Since the Emperor just came out: Battle for Dune aims to prove to Westwood that they are still worthy of adapting the most beloved work in science fiction literature. While the basics of real-time strategy haven’t changed much since the famous Dune 2 game, this game features the new 3D rotation and zoom engine, with effects worthy of a spectacular 1984 movie. But the test is the food: Let’s see if Westwood has managed to create something in terms of gameplay that should wake up players who are tired of traditional RTS.

Usul, we have a wormhole that even God did not see!

But before we talk about that, let’s look at the program changes. Westwood’s new 3D engine really deserves praise: It surpasses games like Dark Reign 2, Operation Moon, or Z : Steel Soldier, the finest real-time strategy game yet, is the Emperor’s version. The sand dunes sprinkled with red herbs are so realistic you’d almost want to run your fingers over the fine dust particles. Being a wasteland, the variety of landscapes certainly doesn’t compare to Age of Kings, but no other game has portrayed this environment so beautifully. Some missions take place on planets of rival families – unfortunately the scenery is less detailed (especially on Kaladan, the planet of the Atreides with its huge lakes and green forests, more detail could have been included): the designers seem to have focused mainly on Arrakis. But the giant worm makes a great impression. This monster lives in the depths of the planet’s sands, and at every loud, monotonous sound it bursts to the surface to devour its hapless victim (who may turn out to be a giant herb collector) with its hideous mouth. Previous Dune games have tried to give the worms an atmospheric look, but compared to this game they are just earthworms! We don’t always get to see the monster in its entirety: Most of the time it only swims halfway into the sand, but sometimes it comes out from under the sand with its huge mouth wide open and swallows half the army! In the early days of the game, when I only had a few dozen units on the battlefield and my opponent didn’t have entire armies yet, I was constantly amazed at how well the folks at Westwood know how to optimize the code. Then, as the action heats up and the battle continues, more and more tanks, laser cannons, walking mechas, and other vehicles collapse and explode into the air. word-image-4083

Tell us about your house, Usul!

As you might expect, the plot is a far cry from Frank Herbert’s original work, which is machine heavy, but graphically excellent. Again, we’re about two hundred years before the first Dune novel. The ruler of the kingdom that we know from the previous part becomes the victim of a villainous act: The priestess Bene Gesserit kills him with a poisoned needle Gom Jabbar. The real power lay not with the emperor, but with the merchant association, in which three noble houses – the Atreides, the Harkonnens, and the Ordos – united to decide among themselves which house should rule, but only to ensure the smooth running of the spice trade. Of course, the question of who rules could be solved by a simple vote, but then there would be no game, so all three opt for the obvious solution: war and mutual destruction. Then, in the plot, we have the usual Westwood twists – a bit clichéd, but still accessible: Intrigue, fratricide, patriarch murder, secret and forbidden biological experiments, allied Fremen and Sarducers, unexpected betrayal, etc. Casting is an order of magnitude worse: For example, Red Dream 2 had at least 3-4 stars, here we have Michael Dome (he plays Worf in Star Trek) and the rest are either amateurs or known from B-movies. Anyway, I wouldn’t mind the slightly cheesy performance too much, but it’s much more annoying that this is the second time they’ve tried to copy the cast of a Dune movie on the C-Control/V-Control level. For example, the blond Harkonnen villain goes to great lengths to look like Sting, and of course we have the fat Baron and his Rabban counterpart, and on the other hand they couldn’t help but make the savior of the Atreides look like Thufir Hawat from the movie. The military details drawn are of traditional Westwood quality, but unfortunately they are few and far between: It seems that the company has become a little stingier in this area since Red Dream 2….. word-image-4084

The herb must flow

I saved the gameplay changes for the second half of the article, and there’s a reason for that: Not much news here, unfortunately. In successive levels, the main objective is the same as a thousand times before: obtain as many resources (spices) as quickly as possible, finance and build military or scientific buildings, and then produce different vehicles and units to throw everything at the enemy. Of course, they’re not sitting still either, so it’s a good idea to beef up your defenses (which are sadly minimal in the Dune series) and stock up on a variety of vehicles and weapons to effectively repel attacks – as in rock-paper-scissors logic, everything has its countermeasure. A good supply of spices is necessary. So sometimes you have to fight a terrible battle against enemies to protect or destroy your giant combine. (In this respect, the Dune and Emperor series are more dynamic than, say, Age of Kings, where there are four standard resources and unit development is much more complex.) word-image-4085

My name is a murder word

There’s virtually nothing new in Dune, but aside from the 3D graphics, the familiar RTS presentation has been spiced up with a few ideas. The main new feature in Emperor is the dynamic map: Now you don’t have to do one mission after another, you can attack in different directions! There are different enemies to defeat in different areas, with different challenges and difficulty levels. And when we return to the main map after completing the missions, the enemy houses attack each other or us on the next turn. In the latter case, you can defend yourself against them (in which case you’ll have to complete another mission) or even cede territory if, like Hannibal, you’re about to engage in a final confrontation by smashing the doors of another enemy house. I really liked that you could get your allies in non-linear missions and that they didn’t automatically come to you for a mission or two like in the old Dune games. For example, if you fight on the side of the Atreides and save a large Fremen village from a Harkonnen attack, you’ll get a new type of building where you can now train their desert warriors, starting with the next mission. Each ally has special elite units that can be deployed to devastate the enemy ranks. In the case of the Fremen, it is the Muad’Dib fanatics known in the novels and film as the Fedaykin, who destroy the armored tanks with a single roar using their sonic weapons. These elite aliens are not only good on offense, they are also good on defense: In the last mission, for example, Fedaykin defended the base almost single-handedly for a long time, hiding behind a rock and waiting for the enemy tanks to slowly approach, then attacking at the right moment, smashing them to pieces with his sonic weapon and tactically turning back. You can play as the Harkonnen or the Wolves of Ordos, who excel at biological warfare rather than brute force (fire). One of their specialties is zombified, growling, disgusting creatures: They sicken enemy soldiers, create their own kind, which then infect others. It would be very nice, but my experience is that they move too slowly, so that by the time they get into battle, they have already been blown to pieces by a field gun. Even more effective are the lightning-fast Teylaxuk leech larvae, which specialize in units and packs rather than people. When one of them approaches an enemy vehicle, it spits out a large one, immediately infects it, slowly descends, explodes, and then adult larvae emerge from the wreckage. With four or five of them, you can deal a massive blow to an enemy army, and they don’t even cost money ….. Trading house X sells weapons to anyone who pays, but is most commonly found on missions on Atreides. Personally, I haven’t found them much use: their self-destruct bombs approaching the enemy are expensive and the enemy usually shoots them down in time, and their tanks are fast but too vulnerable. There are still the Sardukars, the late emperor’s former elite troops, who will be called into the service of the three houses. The Sardukar’s special forces have a formidable reputation and can even defeat Fremen warriors, but they are weaker than the Fedaykin….. word-image-4086

Emperor?

A more complex tactical map, more branching gameplay, and four allies improve Emperor’s gameplay over its predecessors, but I’ll summarize the notable new features mostly in terms of the truly stunning 3D graphics. What’s missing? For example, the fact that you can’t increase your unit’s immunity or attack power, or create a stronger unit behind a field wall, is still outdated compared to Warcraft, Age of Kings, etc. The AI isn’t very good either: I left my marauding units paralyzed until the enemy defensive gun fired on them. The machine is also not known for its tactical insight: On most missions, she just went forward like an idiot instead of going into reserve after a while or attacking in a different direction. I’m sure the few innovations and the 3D graphics won’t impress those who are already bored with the terribly repetitive RTS genre. I also don’t understand why they can’t, for example, mix the territory-taking part of Crown Defender with real-time combat. (The current dynamic map may be an attempt to do this, but it’s still a pretty bold move). And the dear Americans certainly wouldn’t stop evolving if they were presented with at least a slightly more sophisticated menu of strategy games. But for the current game market, there is no better analogy than the Dune series: Like spices, the dollars should be invested as quickly and as little as possible ….. -BadSector- (2001)

Professional:

+ Beautiful 3D graphics with lots of effects + Dynamic map, allies + Excellent gameplay….

Against:

– …but we’ve seen it a thousand times before – We can’t improve units and defenses – Somewhat simplified Publisher: electronic arts Developer: Westwood Studios Style: RTS Date of publication : 12. June 2001. RETRO – Arrakis, also known as Dune, is one of the most barren desert planets in the universe; nothing grows there and not a drop of rain has fallen since time immemorial. However, there is something that makes the planet the subject of fierce and bloody battles: It is almost saturated with Spice, a substance needed for space travel, extension of human life and consciousness expansion. Three aristocratic families of the Empire are engaged in a life and death struggle to gain control of Arrakis by destroying the other two. The noble Atreides, the vile Harkonnens… Kaiser: Battle of Dune – To Spice Forever! RETRO-2001] Kaiser: Battle of Dune – To Spice Forever! RETRO-2001] 2021-06-20 Gerpai Gergely (BadSector) I’m sure the few innovations and the 3D graphics won’t impress those who are already bored with the terribly repetitive RTS genre. I also don’t understand why they can’t, for example, mix the territory-taking part of Crown Defender with real-time combat. (The current dynamic map may be an attempt to do this, but it’s still a pretty bold move). And these dear Americans certainly wouldn’t stop evolving if they were presented with at least a slightly more sophisticated menu of strategic games. But then, there is no better analogy for the current gaming market than the Dune series: Like spices, the dollars should be invested as quickly and as little as possible …..

Gameplay – 7.8
Graph– 8.2
History– 8.2
Music/Audio – 7.8
Environment – 8.4

8.1

FINE

I’m sure the few innovations and the 3D graphics won’t impress those who are already bored with the terribly repetitive RTS genre. I also don’t understand why they can’t, for example, mix the territory-taking part of Crown Defender with real-time combat. (The current dynamic map may be an attempt to do this, but it’s still a pretty bold move). And these dear Americans certainly wouldn’t stop evolving if they were presented with at least a slightly more sophisticated menu of strategic games. But then, there is no better analogy for the current gaming market than the Dune series: Like spices, the dollars should be invested as quickly and as little as possible ….. User evaluation : Be the first!The game is based on the science fiction novel by Frank Herbert, released in 1965. The most important aspect of the game is the turn-based combat system. At the start of each round, all player can choose the action that they want to do.. Read more about emperor: battle for dune steam and let us know what you think.

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