Dune 2 The Building Of A Dynasty (1992)(Westwood Studios) Game
Abandonware / DOS Games
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Game Description & Reviews:
This is where RTS (Real-Time Strategy) began - a game based on the novel (with some modifications) which remains a legend to this day.
Dune 2 is the tale of the struggle of three factions for the domination of the planet Arrakis: the noble House Atreides, the mercantile House Ordos and the ruthless House Harkonnen. The player can choose to serve any of the three - a choice that affects both gameplay and storyline.
Regarding gameplay, Dune 2 pioneered RTS, and thus presents many basic aspects of the genre. Hence, the player can build factories, produce troops, vehicles and aircraft, and command the ground units to move, attack, retreat etc.. (It should be noted that the 'retreat' option - despite being very useful, is generally lacking in many RTS games.) The main resource of the game is 'spice' which is collected by harvesters and turned into credits in refineries which in turn are used to purchase buildings and weapons. Buildings can also be upgraded to produce newer units.
It is a tribute to the sheer brilliance of the makers of Dune 2 that it includes a number of features that are still lacking in many RTS games to this day. One of these is the Mentat - the player's advisor, who, in many respects, personifies the House. The Mentat does not merely provide instructions, but also comments on weapons, buildings and indeed, the various factions, thereby adding depth to the world. The Mentat of House Harkonnen in particular is quite a character: 'You do not like rest and relaxation anyway. I think you would prefer to crush the Atreides.' (True enough.)
Another feature that Dune 2 possesses, but which is lacking in most subsequent RTS games, is the overall strategic map which displays the progress of one's House on planet Dune between the various missions. There is also the spaceport which enables one to purchase units directly (without building them in the factories) for a variable price - another feature that was quite ahead of its time. Last, but not least, one must mention the Sand Worm, a creature that has a nasty habit of consuming troops and tanks on the dunes... without suffering indigestion apparently.
Dune 2's graphics and sound effects are respectable for the era, while its introductory animation is one of the best for a DOS game. Replay value is not lacking, insofar as one can play all three sides, although there is no multi-player or skirmish option.
Overall, anyone who has even a minimal interest in RTS games owes it to himself to play Dune 2: The Building of a Dynasty, at least once.
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