Written by  :  Mental Pyre (3)
Written on  :  Jun 16, 2008
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars

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A dated but classic game

The Good

This game is a childhood memory for me, so most of the good things I have to say about it are filtered through the eyes of a kid with an overactive imagination who was barely getting his feet wet in PC games and played so much that I had all the details of the different units from the manual memorized. (Like how light infantry use 9mm RP Assault Rifles.)

For people who are familiar with more modern RTS games won't be finding new features of course, but many of the things that are found in today's games exists here in Dune 2.

While the unit tech tree is fairly linear (each unit is stronger than the last), there is some variety as you get into the final units of the game. Building nothing but your top tanks can give you a victory, but like current games its much more cost efficient to exploit the strengths of your top few units. There are limitations how where you can construct your buildings, and you have to monitor the power requirements of your base. Also, there is an element of "hostile" terrain if you factor in the sandworms that patrol the sandy portions of the maps that will eat your units.

The music, while of course outdated, was epic for me at the time. Hearing the tracks today throws me back to those Sat mornings and still gets my adrenaline up. The quality of the *sound* is low, but the quality of the *music* is high. It's a shame that the tracks were played with the tech of the time, because I think they are really well written.

The Bad

Some of the frustrations of the game were that the different factions you can choose from really weren't that unique. Other than a limited few units and weapons, all 3 forces in the game had totally identical units. While some later games still had this, it was still annoying to suspend the belief that 3 futuristic factions with different cultures, technologies, and goals would have carbon-copy tanks and arm their infantry with the exact same rifles.

Another problem was that the tech tree could be so linear, that each mission I often only used the most powerful unit available. Weaker units had very little purpose except for scouts or baiting sand worms. The only real tactical use of your units was to include rocket tanks with whatever your strongest unit for that mission was.

I won't bother touching the predictable AI. That should be expected. :)

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that this is a classic game that is worth the play if you are into the RTS genre. Be prepared for many of the faults of the older games. The more awkward gameplay, the poor AI, and the simple strategy. However this game is definitely entertaining despite it's flaws, and worth playing!