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Emperor-Battle for Dune

Wednesday, July 18, 2001 by Caspian

Emperor-Battle for Dune
Overall: 4
Graphics: 5
Interface: 4
Multiplayer: 4
Call me an old-timer, but I still love installing the original Westwood classic "Dune 2" & it's sequel "Dune 2000". Gamers who remember these gems will recall the great blend of story and gameplay...and yes, it's back with a vengeance!

Emporer gives you the choice between playing as three distinct "houses" (much like the original) with the possibility of aligning with 5 sub-houses which provide specialized units to the player. Very nice, gameplay is affected quite differently dependent upon which sub-houses you align with.

The story, for those unfamiliar with the 'Dune' world (shame on you), takes place on the desert planet Arrakis. Several 'houses' are involved in a power struggle to control the region, and therefore control the 'spice'. Spice is thought to be the essence of life, it enables extra-sensory powers for some, and for others provides a suitable 'high'. Spice is everything you need, want, and can ever hope to attain...get the picture?

Of course, there are other lifeforms which need the spice. Sandworms. Take great care when crossing wide expanses with units in this game, sandworms have voracious appettites, and love the taste of an infantryman's flesh.The action is hashed out in the typical harvest/build/conquer strategy that seemingly all RTS's have built upon, but it never really seems tedious. Partly due to the dynamic zoom feature. I found myself taking control of a single 'Fremen Infantry' unit, zooming all the way in, and embarking on suicide raids on enemy encampments...with great effect. This is truly where this game shines. Usually in such a game, you build your forces up, sometimes spending hours to stockpile tanks, infantry, and aircraft while only transiently 'playing' the game. Dune makes it possible to actually play while stockpiling. Just grab a single unit (or small group) and zoom in to control them individually and more effectively. Great fun!


The graphics are top-notch. The implementing of a 3d world should bring this franchise back to life. Even on my old fashioned Voodoo2 the game world looked awesome, can't imagine what it'd look like on a real video card! I'm sure it's breath-taking.


The game interface is for the most part unchanged from it's predecessors. Anyone familiar with "Command & Conquer" should have no problem adapting.

Multiplayer (if any):

Haven't had a chance to 'scout-out' the multiplayer, but I'm going to assume it's similar to the earlier games and therefore should be fun and quite addicting. Especially considering the removal of so-called 'super-weapons'. "Dune" & "Dune 2000" both had outrageous, unbalanced super-weapons that were capable of tearing up half your base with one shot...not too fun! They've been taken out and replaced with more benign weapons of mass-destruction to balance the gameplay a little.


This game is a MUST for Dune fans, and a SHOULD for any gamer...I highly recommend!

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