“Dune: The Battle for Arrakis perfected the Real-time Strategy genre commonly found in Command and Conquer, etc.”

Dune 2: The Battle for Arrakis

by Westwood Studios

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Control of the planet Dune is a top priority for any faction that has aspirations of ruling the universe. That's why three Houses are engaged in a bloody battle, each knowing that Dune is the key to building an insurmountable federation. You can choose from any of the three Houses, Atreides, Harkonnens, or Ordos, and see if you can lead your people to victory. You'll face nine unique levels full of enemies, natural obstacles, and the unknown as you try to fortify your position and gain control of the planet. You'll have to build and defend your base, but don't forget that the only way you'll win this war is to attack your opponents. Finding the right balance between attacks and defensive maneuvers can mean the difference between victory and defeat, so plan your strategy carefully.

In case anyone is unfamiliar with the gameplay, here's how it goes. You have a very small base and a few units to carry out your duties. You have to expand your base and eventually build a refinery. From there, machines known as Harvesters will look for nearby spice, return to the refinery, and get your money. You then use this money to expand your base, build more units, and eventually overcome the enemy base in the area. That's pretty much it... except for the first two missions (in which you have to obtain a certain amount of spice to proceed), the overall objective is simply to destroy the enemy.

You first expand your base by putting down bricks to prevent corrosion, then placing your building of choice on top. You are a bit limited in where you can build your base (only on rock, not on sand) but that's usually not a big problem. First you need a windtrap to provide power... the more you expand, the more windtraps you need. From then, you can build the aforementioned refineries. Each level introduces something new…as you get farther, you can make Outposts (activates the radar in the lower-right corner of the screen), Barracks and Vehicle Factories (for making units), Repair Facilities (take a guess), Starports (for buying units on the market), Spice Silos (to store excess cash), and eventually the Palace, that lets you use the house's special power.

Each house is a bit different... the maps change in all of the campaigns, and there are differences in the units. While it isn't huge at the beginning (the Harkonnen don't believe in the small, speedy Trikes, for instance, but can build Heavy Troopers), eventually each house gets it's own really powerful unit to play with. So there's plenty to see and do in Dune.

Dune: The Battle For Arrakis features:

  • Three houses to choose from
  • Based on the hit PC version
  • Build and defend your base
  • Work toward world domination

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Although most of the game is action, there's a sufficient amount of strategy too. There's some resource management, and also some battle tactics. For instance, the best way to take out an enemy base is to make a bunch of units, send them over to take out the defending enemy baddies, all the while making new vehicles. Once all of the defenders are gone, send in the newer troops to help the old ones destroy the enemy's Construction Yard. From there, they can't rebuild any of their structures, so you can pretty much go on to destroy their vehicle plants or whatever. You can even destroy the enemy Harvesters, if you wish to stop their spice income.

The visuals are just fine...they're of a good size, so you won't lose them. Most of the scenery is just desert and rock, and while it gets a bit old after awhile, it isn't really that bad. There are really only five music tracks that play during the game, but they're all excellent. And the voices that were kept in sound great.

Dune 2: The Battle for Arrakis system requirements:SystemP-200.

Systems: Win9x Windows 9x, Windows 2000 WinXPWindows XP.

Game modes: Dune 2: The Battle for Arrakis supports single modeSingle game mode .

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Dune 2: The Battle for Arrakis news:

2005-07-26 Dune: The Battle For Arrakis added.

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