Dune: Spice Wars, by Shiro Games, has an intimidating tradition of great RTS games to live up to, and a recent FAQ posted on the game’s Steam page has given some more light on the game’s aim.
Shiro’s insistence on Dune: Spice Wars’ hybrid nature was the thing that struck me the most. It won’t be turn-based like Civilization or other 4X games, but it will be slower-paced and larger-scale than a normal RTS, with an emphasis on economics, politics, and spying. These are “elements that make it a true 4X game while not detracting from the fundamental RTS experience that gamers would anticipate,” according to Shiro.
This seems like a good fit for Dune’s high-politics intrigue, but I’m interested in how long an average game of Dune: Spice Wars will go. An RTS match can be completed in minutes, however, a 4X run can take hours or even days to complete. In that range, where will this hybrid game fit?
Here are the latest details from Dune: Spice Wars
The FAQ also clarified what features Dune: Spice Wars will offer when the game first launches in Early Access. To begin with, there will be four playable factions, with a fifth planned for later in the Early Access period. So far, only the nearly obligatory houses Atreides and Harkonnen have been disclosed. Shiro says that multiplayer and a campaign will be added later, but that instanced PvE will be the sole option available at launch.
The more I see of Shiro’s Dune, the more enthralled I get. It has a striking graphic style that is unlike any of Dune’s earlier adaptations, and the hybrid 4X/RTS gameplay has a lot of potentials. When Dune: Spice Wars launches in Early Access later this year, I’m expecting to get my “one more round” fix in one of my favorite science fiction settings.