Dune 2000

aka: D2K
Moby ID: 331
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Dune 2000 is a remake of the classic Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty, updated for Windows. In this real-time strategy game, you can play one of the three houses: the noble Atreides, the insidious Ordos, or the evil Harkonnen. Each has different sets of units and tactics while maintaining an overall balance. The Atreides have air superiority and rely on their honor and alliance with planet natives, the Fremen. The Ordos rely on guerrilla tactics and superior technology, as well as mercenaries. The Harkonnen just go brutal, with no care for lives of their own troops or destruction, as long as they are victorious.

Unlike the original, the cutscenes happen after every mission, with a live-cast this time, like already seen in Westwood Studios' Command & Conquer franchise. A 16-bit colour mode is the default setting, setting the game's graphics on par with the Command & Conquer games that came before it, while an 8-bit colour mode is available as an option in the game's settings.

Everything from the original is back: sandworms, the spice, the Fremen, the known structures and the map of the planet, and even the intro cinematic is an enhanced live-action/CGI version of the original one.

Spellings

  • חולית 2000 - Hebrew spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

125 People (92 developers, 33 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 69% (based on 28 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 83 ratings with 10 reviews)

An unfairly trashed game

The Good
First, I've always liked the Command and Conquer system. Despite its faults, I have consistently enjoyed the games, and this is no exception.

I loved the original game, and after hearing what I did, I prepared to be dissappointed. I was surprised by how much I liked the game.

Now, the graphics. The graphics are pretty damned good, especially the worms.

The briefings are well acted for a computer game.

My favorite part is the length. This a long game, with many different choices. This also increases replay.

The Bad
Well, the pathfinding is bad, but that's it.

The Bottom Line
A criminally trashed game.

Windows · by emerging_lurker (160) · 2000

Lame cash-in attempt

The Good
Dune 2000 is a remake of Westwood's classic PC game Dune 2, the game that launched the real-time strategy genre. With Westwood's notoriety for re-packaging and re-releasing games it was inevitable something like this would happen. Sadly, many opportunities were wasted when Westwood put down their copy of How to Butcher Classics 101 and crapped out this instantly forgettable game.

Like in Dune 2 you can play as one of three factions (Atreides, Harkonnen, and Ordos, although there are many other nonplayable factions) and must fight to control the precious melange spice. Dune 2000 is mostly the same as Dune 2, and a few elements have been derived from Westwood's later games like Command & Conquer: Red Alert. There's the same kind of interface and graphical engine, and many of the classic Dune 2 gameplay conventions have been scrapped in favor of a more C&C-ish design (for example, the way the radar works). Dune 2 purists may not enjoy these changes, but overall they're for the better. C&C was little more than an expanded version of Dune 2 anyway, so there's nothing unfamiliar here.

The original Dune II is crude by present-day real-time strategy standards. Mounting a large-scale assault was a cumbersome matter of individually selecting each unit and ordering it to proceed to the enemy's base. Westwood was kind enough to implement band boxing to make Dune 2000 a little more modern, although unit production queues remain absent. Otherwise, the game plays much like it did in 1993: You lay foundation for a base, build structures, mine spice to earn cash, avoid the sandworm, build a lot of units, and attack the enemy. It's true that several gameplay elements of Dune 2000 remain rather interesting - particularly the starport, which allows you to pay up front for reinforcements at the fluctuating market price, usually less than what you'd pay to build your own. But for the most part, Dune 2000 is a simple game.

Production values on Dune 2000 are very good. In the original the story was told through simple animations and text messages, but in Dune 2000 we have full-blown FMV cutscenes that seriously could have passed as deleted scenes from the David Lynch movie. The revised artwork is for the most part good, and also with a lot of effort spent on making things look like the movie. The units and buildings could have been taken straight from celluloid. The sound effects have all been resampled, and there's some good professional voice-acting (including the guy who would later play Gimli in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies). And native Windows and TCP/IP support is always welcome.

The Bad
Dune 2000 is very disappointing. I don't know what I expected, but it had to be something better than this.

Quick question: what's the point of remaking a game? To update a classic experience to modern times. Then why does Dune 2000 feel so much like a game released in 1995? The graphics are dull and repetitive (there's only one bland desert tileset, and the three sides in the game look almost identical), the AI simply sucks (trike rush = guaranteed win), the controls are skeletal (you can group-select units but there are no waypoints or anything like that). Whatever opportunities a remake may have presented Westwood went the lazy route and produced a game that feels dated and tired.

That sums up the main problem behind Dune 2000, it was dated before it even got out of the gate. Even the trifling revisions to the graphics and interface seem almost like insults. It would be like if id Software released an update of Doom using the Quake 1 engine and said "Hey look guys, now you can enjoy your favorite game with slightly better graphics AND THE ABILITY TO LOOK UP AND DOWN! Now give us 20 bucks!" I call this a cheap and blatant attempt to to exploit one's devoted fans, or anyone else who falls for this particular brand of snake oil.

Now, this wouldn't matter so much if Dune 2's gameplay was amazingly good to begin with. But despite it's historical significance Dune 2 has not aged well. The game is clunky, difficult to play, and horribly unfair. The new multimedia elements can't hide the fact that this is a 1992 game in 1998 clothing.

The Bottom Line
This game is a rip off, plain and simple. It's a graphical mod for Dune 2 with a few new features. If you want a true remake of one of the greatest games ever, you won't find it here.

Windows · by Maw (833) · 2007

a shame, considering its from 1998

The Good
Its easy to get into gameplay, graphics are nice and useable. Keeping an Overview is not difficult. Interface is okay.

The Bad
This game was released at roughly the same time as Starcraft and thats why it sucks. Making a game about Dune without incorporating the depth of the novels and the movie is idiotic. Compare it to Starcraft: There you cant wait to go on to the next mission because you want to know what happens next. The storyline is absolutely captivating. Dune 2000 is just lame. Graphics are not bad but definitely out of date, sounds are not bad, but dont create much atmosphere. As a RTS it was already out-dated, as a Dune-game its worse than the dos-version from 1992 (which is still great today).

The Bottom Line
If you need a windows version of the dos-RTS, buy this. If you are looking for a classic RTS, take Starcraft instead.

Windows · by Tomthesecond (26) · 2006

[ View all 10 player reviews ]

Trivia

Continuity

There are references to Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty, of which Dune 2000 is a remake: the manual says that the mentat Ammon of House Ordos was executed. Ammon was the mentat who assisted the player in the Ordos campaign in Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty. This makes Dune 2000 seem like a sequel and not just a remake.

Fremen language

There is some Fremen language heard in the videos. For example in the Atreides campaign, when Noree Moneo gives coffee to Kari, he says "Subakh ul kuhar" (Are you well?). When he mentions the Fremen hostages, Kari says "Tahadi al-burhan! Taqwa!" (Ultimate challenge! Price of freedom!).

Frank Herbert created Fremen words as corrupted versions of modern Arabic, showing how they will evolve in the future. For example "subakh ul kuhar" is from modern Egyptian "Sabah El Kheir".

German version

In the German version, death cries were removed and the blood which shows up after killing an infantryman was colored black.

Online servers

The game's online servers were migrated from the official Westwood Online infrastructure to the community-run XWIS (XCC WOL IRC Server), under approval and sponsorship from EA's German office on 20 October 2005. The Westwood Online domains have acted as a redirect to XWIS services since then, requiring no additional steps from the user to access the servers short of registering an account.

Sequel

The game Emperor: Battle for Dune is a direct sequel to Dune 2000. The beginning of Emperor: Battle for Dune shows the Ordos ending sequence from Dune 2000. This the first game by Westwood Studios in which the victory of the evil side is made part of the canon.

Universe errors

Although the game is based on the Dune universe and follows its background, the scenario doesn't fit in the timeline established by the novels. For example, there was no emperor Frederick IV, and Arrakis was not the place of war between rival powers. The Atreides campaign mentions Duke Leto, indicating that the timeframe is that of the original Dune novel. In Leto's time, the emperor was Shaddam IV.

While the House Ordos is inspired from the Dune Encyclopedia, their insignia seen in the game is not the one shown there, but the insignia of House Wallach.

In the Atreides cutscene where the Fremen Kari is introduced, Noree Moneo tells the player: "She's Naib... Fremen Death Commando". In Herbert's novels however, the Death Commandos are called Fedaykin, not Naib. A Naib is the leader of a sietch and is typically male.

Information also contributed by Boston Low.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Brian Hirt.

Additional contributors: MAT, Jeanne, Henry Aloni, Crawly, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, lilalurl, Plok.

Game added October 28, 1999. Last modified March 3, 2024.