Great game that brought a fast paced version of strategic gaming to the masses.
Dune 2 for better or for worse, revolutionized the strategy genre. Before the advent of rts games, strategy was limited to just about the wargaming audience, an even more uptight audience than the regular adventure-fanboys, and who sat atop their thrones content with being the ones that played the "thinking games" and not those run-and-shoot "kiddie games". Enter Dune 2. Once again, for better or for worse, this game changed the rules for every strategy game by providing an excellent real-time strategy package that combined simplified versions of such classic concepts as resource management, unit hierarchy, etc, etc. without overwhelming the players.
Essentially Dune 2 toned down the anal-retentiveness of regular strategy games, added the fast-paced action only real time can deliver, and throwed in some spiffy details like a storyline, a "fake" campaign and of course, the Dune lore. This product translated into a travesty to most "serious" wargamers, but for the rest of us it proved to be the right amount of "thinking" to ease us into the world of strategy games, while not forgetting about action, presentation, and heck...FUN.
If there's something true that can be said about Dune 2 is that it was a romp to play, something wargamers had lost a looooong time ago in their sea of phases, turns, morale management, etc.
Another hot spot for Dune 2 was of course it's presentation, which was another area forgotten by most strategy games. Most people consider Dune 2's graphics quite bad, but they were ages above what was available to most wargames, especially if you consider most had only hexes, some dots and lines, and text. Dune 2 provided quite a lot of eye-candy and glitz to make the action even more pallatable. And I'm not even gonna bother describing what a milestone such things as voice-feedback and the great sfx represented to the genre.
Well, I DID say for better or for worse right? What I meant by that is that this game introduced the rts genre, and.... it also introduced the rts genre...if you know what I mean... :)
Quite frankly I like to take time to think instead of frenetically moving the mouse as in an epileptic attack when playing strategy games, but hey that's me! :) Yet I am still able to recognize that there is a lot to like about the genre.
Other than that there's only the issue of being able to select only 1 unit at a time, but I guess that those were the limitations of the time...
The Bottom Line
So it's strategy light... so What??? Dune 2 brought strategy to the masses and didn't forget to ad a lot of fun and excitement in the process, while taking time to singlehandedly define a genre... for better or for worse ;) Not bad for a sequel, huh?
Dune 2 may not be the holy grail of gaming and it's ...shall we say "pop", roots are certainly questionable, but it still deserves the respect it has. If you have never played it before, you owe it to yourself to at least check out were it all started.