Written by  :  Iron Lord (44)
Written on  :  Mar 25, 2016
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars
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One of a kind

The Good

"A beginning is a very delicate time"...

The Bad

I didn't want this game to end!

The Bottom Line

Based on Frank Herbert’s masterpiece and influenced by David Lynch’s unfortunate film, this strategy-adventure lands us on the surface of Dune. This desert planet has a unique asset, Spice. The Spice is a substance with extraordinary qualities. It is essential for space travel. It is also a powerful narcotic that prolongs life and expands consciousness. The honorable House Atreides, has just accepted the Emperor’s offer and arrived on Dune to mine Spice for him. The savage House Harkonnen, the long time rivals of the Atreides, are also on the planet. They are already in the process of mining. Dune has also an indigenous people, the Fremen. They are a mysterious nation that lives under the Harkonnen’s ruthless rule. We take the role of young Paul Atreides. He is the son of Duke Leto who is the head of the House. Our goal will be to ensure the steady flow of the Spice and to force the Harkonnen away from Dune, with the help of the Fremen.

The game features sensational graphics. They are of superior design quality and very generous in color. The expressive character portraits and the atmospheric decorations are their most good-looking elements. The circle of the day is also nicely represented, with the beautiful sunsets as highlight. Travelling, shown from first person perspective, soon gets repetitive but it is still a nice touch. The game’s high technical status is also proven by the sound quality. Complex and seductive themes increase the feeling of authenticity and give a certain depth in the playing experience.

“Dune” is a unique blend of adventure and strategy. The first moves the scenario forward and the second determines the future’s safety. Through the game’s adventure nature, we will follow a rather linear course. We will meet several people and visit many places on the planet. We will not encounter any difficult situations, as we are always appropriately hinted. It is all about talking to the right people and being to the correct locations. Now, the story unfolds in an enchanting way. Superb spoken lines, sudden events and twists make a very addictive environment. We keep playing “just a little more” in order to see what is next.

We enter the strategy area of the game every time we look at Dune’s map. There we give orders to our troops and inspect their attributes. Early in the game, our main task will be to meet the Emperor’s increasing demands in Spice. Later on, we will start fighting the Harkonnen and finally attempt to change the planet’s ecology. We will have to make important decisions such us on where our men harvest for Spice, the training they receive, the equipment they use and the attacks they make. Through statistics we are informed on the areas the two Houses control, the Spice they mine and the number of men they have. Attentive reading of the manual is necessary, there are some very interesting tactical elements, not easily apparent.

Some times, adventure and strategy come very closely together. Adventure actions affect strategy ones and the opposite. It is then that the gameplay simply takes off. Some other times we are overwhelmed with events and swift determination of priorities is needed. Without being that difficult, the game requires several hours of solid and methodical playing to come to its end.

With its powerful simplicity and high production quality, the game reaches an entertaining level that we do not see very often, even today. With ease, it carries us in its world and binds us with it. If someone decides to engage with this game, undoubtedly a beneficial choice, I humbly advise him to prefer the CD version. This one offers several new characteristics, such as sequences from the film and an impressive travel depiction. But above all, it contains full speech support for every character of the game. The voices are extremely well selected and convincing, they express different emotions and mentalities brilliantly. It is no exaggeration to suggest replaying the game just to hear them.

“Dune” is a triumph of elegance and style, a real classic strongly recommended for everyone.