interesting asymmetric factions, but single player is flawed
Having played the original Dune 2, its remake Dune 2000 and this game, it's definitely an evolution of the latter two whereas Dune 2000 was merely an updated remake. Emperor features quite a few interesting units and does seem to capture the feel of the Dune universe, at least in game.
Multiplayer will probably result in interesting fights due to the asymmetry of the three main factions and their sub houses, unfortunately I haven't been able to give it a try.
The well-over-the-top acting between maps is a bit distracting, something I suppose you could expect from most Westwood RTS games. If done better it would help suspension of disbelief though, something that Emperor unfortunately doesn't really offer because of this and the problem below.
An interesting new feature that could've worked out very well if implemented correctly, is that a house invading your territory will - like you - have to roll in an MCV and limited starting units and actually build up its base from scratch. The flaw in this being that you can easily destroy that MCV with the scattered forces you start with, after which you have 'repelled' the invaders and won the map. In short, half the maps (the invasions) are over within about three minutes, which is quite a pity.
The Bottom Line
If you stumble upon a copy in the bargain bin, or like the Dune universe, give it a go.