Dune Spice Wars offers a slower-paced RTS with 4X elements, launching sometime in 2022

For the first time in 20 years, we’re getting a new Dune RTS game. Based around Frank Herbert’s Dune universe, Dune Spice Wars will be a real-time strategy game that has 4X elements. While we don’t know the exact pricing yet, nor the release date, the developers released an FAQ over the weekend to answer some questions that the community posed after the title was announced last month. So, what will Dune Spice Wars be? Let’s take a closer look.

Dune Spice Wars will offer unique gameplay

Let’s start things off by talking about what the game is. Dune Spice Wars is a real-time strategy game with a twist. The pace is slower than normal RTS titles, you can pause and fast-forward, and there are exploration, territory control, economic growth, combat, politics, and spying principles available to you. This combines your typical RTS gameplay with 4X elements that deliver a unique experience for all.

You’ll be able to construct buildings within your base of operation. However, you won’t manually place buildings on the ground since the game is on a much larger scale than a typical RTS. A unique part of the game is that every aspect has been developed from the ground up, with no old components being reused or recycled from previous titles.

For now, we know of two houses to play, which include Harkonnen and Atreides. There will be two additional factions launching with the game and a fifth being added during Early Access, with more to come as the game goes on. While there are other Houses that were used in previous Dune games, the developers here are starting with Frank Herbert’s books. This means they’re sticking to canon factions and will explore more as the game matures.

The game will feature procedural map generation with different options for size, wind strength, sandworm activity, and more. There will be deep deserts that are used as “kind of a blocking feature” and you’ll have to develop technologies to “survive longer in the desert” or “build a network of airfields.”

There will be multiplayer coming as a major update during Early Access, but as it’s a big chunk of the development time, it might not be ready at launch. Similarly, there will eventually be a campaign, but it won’t be available at launch either due to the size and scope of what it’ll take to build.

One nice thing is that there are no DLC plans at this time, meaning the development team is aiming to make an “enjoyable, feature rich, and complete” title ahead of the full release. Once it’s out in the wild and all ready, they will consider DLCs in the future if they “can find a good reason” for it.

9to5Toys’ take

While I’ve never dove into the Dune universe, Dune Spice Wars looks oddly intriguing to me. One thing that’s kept me away from some RTS titles is the lack of being able to pause and how fast-paced they can be, but Dune Spice Wars aims to change that up. The elements look interesting, gameplay looks fun, and I’m excited to see what comes of it. We’ll know more as the year goes on, and there’s no official price or release date set yet, so only time will tell whether this title can dethrone Civilization as the go-to RTS or if it’ll be more niche for Dune fans only.

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