In this preview we will talk about Dune: Spice Wars, a real-time strategy game set in the very famous universe created by Frank Herbert
If you are a lover of science fiction you will certainly know Dune, the very famous series of novels of which several film adaptations have also been proposed. Obviously, given his fame, several have also been published over the years dedicated video games at work and, after the release of the latest film by Denis Villeneuveis about to arrive too Dune: Spice Wars.
This new title, in development by Shiro Gamesis one real-time strategy with 4X elements and will be available in early access from the 26th of this month. We had the opportunity to preview Dune: Spice Wars and in this article we will share with you our first impressions of the game.
Dune: Spice Wars is set on Arakkisan extremely inhospitable desert planet that is rich in Spice, an incredibly valuable substance found only in this place. An asset of such great value has obviously attracted the attention of some of the most powerful factions in the universe, which have now settled on the planet in search of profit.
In fact, in this title at the beginning of each game you can choose to use one of the four factions which are currently present on the planet: the Atreides, the smugglers, the Harkonnen and the Fremen. Each of these factions boasts troops and unique structures and, as if that weren’t enough, they also own several bonuses that distinguish them. For example, the Fremen, the natives of the planet, are able to use the dangerous creatures that infest the planet to their advantage, while the Harkonnen family can take advantage of the intimidating presence of their army to increase the productivity of the villages. These particularities make each faction more geared towards a certain style of play and contribute to make subsequent games very different from each other.
During a game of Dune: Spice Wars your only goal will be to impose your superiority over all other factions in play. There are several ways to succeed (more on that later), but first you need to create an empire and to do it you will need resources. The economy of Spice Wars is based on a large number of physical and non-physical goods who perform various functions, such as workforce, water, authority, influence, information, money, and so on. Among all the resources of the game, however, there are two that will be essential to make your empire flourish: the plascretea material necessary for the construction of buildings, e Spicean extremely valuable resource that you can sell and that you will have to donate every month al Landsraad (a kind of government council) in order not to incur penalties.
At the beginning of a game, however, you will only have a handful of resources and yours capitala fortified city that will allow you to create Ornithoptera (aircraft useful for exploring the map) e recruit soldiers. Once you have created a small army and explored the surroundings a bit, you can finally attack one of the many native villages present in each region and conquer it to start generating resources.
Once you have gained control of a village you can in fact start bcreare of the structures. Each village starts with two slots available to create buildings, but if necessary you can also buy more. Exist many types of structures and each of them will provide you with different benefits. For example, some buildings could increase your influence, accumulate water, or generate workforce.
Generally you will be free to build buildings according to your needs, but to be able to obtain as many resources as possible you will have to study the conformation of the territory. In fact, each region has gods modifiers passive and by using your Ornithoptera you can also discover the presence of natural resources useful within them. For example, you might come across mines able to increase the production of plascrete or volcanic formations perfect for generating energy. Furthermore, some natural resources such as i spice fields they will allow you to create unique structures connected to them.
Once you have colonized your first village you can finally start producing some resources, but obviously over time you will need more and more and for this reason you will need expand. In this title, except for the unique abilities of some factions, the only way you will have at your disposal to grow your empire is to conquer neutral cities or those of other factions. To do so, however, it will not be enough for you to send a powerful army to besiege the village, but you will also need water to provide sustenance for new citizens and a fairly high standard of authority to allow you to subjugate them.
Unfortunately, however, the more villages you subjugate, the greater the authority you will need to conquer a new territory. Furthermore, the cost of annexation will increase considerably also based on the distance and the type of region. Indeed, despite the game map being randomon Arakkis there will always be some special regions able to offer great advantages, such as the polar region which is characterized by the enormous presence of water. Gaining control of these unique places will allow you to gain great economic benefits and will also greatly increase your level hegemony.
Hegemony is a score that can be increased in several ways and will allow you to unlock many unique benefits based on your faction. Also once you have accumulated 2000 points you can finally build in your capital. The facilities in the capital are extremely expensive, but they offer gods unique benefits which will be essential to be able to get the better of the other factions.
However great and powerful your empire may become, however, you must always submit to the will of the Landsraad. This government body will in fact present every month three bills several able to significantly affect your game for thirty days. Some of these laws are general and will affect everyone equally, while others will target a specific faction.
Fortunately for you, however, the bills will not be approved randomly, but through a grading system. In fact, each faction has the possibility of vote to approve or reject a proposaland are even able to propose the faction they prefer as the target of a specific law.
However, not all houses in the game have the same power within the Landsraad. To vote for a law in fact you need to spend your “Landsraad standing” pointsa value that is assigned based on the faction you are using and that may vary over the course of the game. For example, the Atreides family starts with a very high “Landsraad standing” score, while the Fremen instead will not have even a point available. Fortunately though voting can also be influenced by using the influence resource and exploiting the unique skills of some factions.
In addition to this particular system of laws in the game there is also a very classic diplomacy system. In fact, during your game you will always have the possibility to contact the other factions for to propose treaties or to barter resources. Unfortunately however at the moment this system it is still very unripe. In fact, the diplomatic choices at your disposal will be very few and moreover the factions will always be too happy to trade with you even while you are behaving in an openly hostile way towards them.
To win in a strategy of this type you will have to subdue all the other main factions and to do this you will have several methods. Of course, you can build a large and powerful army with whom destroy the capitals of the other factionsbut if you want you can also use ad a less direct approach. Focusing heavily on espionage for example, you can unlock assassination operations which will allow you to eliminate your opponents without excessive bloodshed. Furthermore, if desired, it is also possible to achieve victory with a less violent approach. Accumulating hegemony points and maintaining control of a large number of villages you can in fact be elected by the Landsraad as governora charge that will allow you to automatically win the game if you can keep it for 60 days.
Thanks to these methods of winning you will have the opportunity to experiment with different approaches in each game, but unfortunately in the long run it will end up boring a bit. Despite the differences between the various factions and the different ways of victory in fact all the games will end up being very similar to each other, especially in the late game. Obviously this lack of variety is entirely understandable, given that at the moment the title is not yet complete. Despite this, however, we still wanted to point out this problem that we hope it will be resolved during early access.
As arid and barren as it is, the planet of Arakkis is extremely fascinating. The endless dunes and rock formations of this inhospitable world will immediately allow you to relive the typical atmospheres of the various film adaptations of Dune and, especially at night, they will offer you scenarios as desolate as they are enchanting. All this is also accentuated by the very simple artistic style used by the game, which among other things contributes to making the title very light and playable even on not too performing machines.
During our test we had the opportunity to try the game for a long time and unfortunately we came across several bug. All in all we did not find too serious problemsbut some problems such as the inability to complete secondary objectives or to initiate diplomatic negotiations they have created quite a few annoyances for us during our games. Obviously, however, as we have already told you in the previous paragraph, Dune: Spice Wars is not yet complete and consequently problems of this type are supposed to be fixed during early access.
Now the point of our preview has finally arrived where we take stock of Dune: Spice Wars. This title on balance is a very valid management strategy, which is distinguished by the presence of original mechanics and a good level of complexity. Unfortunately at the moment it suffers from a bit of lack of variety in the long run but, considering that it will be …
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