REVIEW: Dune 2.
The planet Arrakis , known as Dune, land of sand, home of the spice mélange
The spice controls the empire, whoever controls Dune controls the spice…
These words are still etched unto my soul and memory since I first laid eyes on Dune 2’s mesmerizing intro sequence..
Pretty cheesy by today’s standards, but for the day that intro was something alright
It was a very well thought of with well executed animation sequences that draws you into the world of Dune, at war.
[youtube width=”600″ height=”365″ video_id=”9-2iIq8AyQc”]
From my own experience, Dune 2 the game and Dune 1 too managed to leave a much longer lasting impression in me than Dune the movie or even the book, well I got to admit I couldn’t continue reading the book I got bored somewhere in the pages but hey, if anything this proves that Dune 2 had a bigger lasting effect on me concerning this like I was saying..
This is a game for the history books, the first REALTIME strategy game released.
Before that strategy games where turn based, which means you had enough time to scratch your head and balls when it was your turn to play and the computer sat there waiting for you scratching its ram bytes and vice versa. While it is very interesting to scratch one’s balls it is I must admit not that suspenseful, enter Realtime strategy… where an enemy can rush at you at any one moment and interrupt your balls or butt scratching, very interesting stuff.
Apart form being a breakthrough, Dune 2 was a cool game in its own right.
You controlled one of the three main feudal houses that controlled the desert planet and unlike their counterparts in the movie and books, the houses are not totally pussified or retarded in this interpretation of Dune’s world. The Dune world was originally created by Frank Hurbert after getting hit by the sun in the head and who seems to have thought that the life of arab nomads in the desert is extra exciting to base a whole fucking fantasy novel over it. What with all the camels munching around and the sand one living there has stuck in between his/her butt cheeks and/or vagina, surely ya that universe must have been a blast to draw inspiration from.
Basically the feudal houses represent colonial forces, the most pussified of the bunch being noble house Atreides, Frank Hurbert must have drawn inspiration for that from the French colonial forces and let me assure you not for the whole noble aspect either.
The other houses are evil house Harkonnen and the insidious House Ordos.
Damn that was the first time I heard that word, insidious, I’m still using it til this day to describe whoever creates stupid games like the SIMS series.
The hero is the Mouadib, which is a sad similar way to pronounce the arabic word Mahdi, which is the end of days liberator of humanity in the Shia sect of Islam. Or it could mean ‘The teacher of manners’ can’t tell exactly since i dont know which type of weed Hurbert was on when he came up with this approximation of something he probably heard somewhere. Nor is the shit i’m smoking making matters any easier to understand.
And the local indigenous people are the Fremen, these live in the desert and according to the book know how to ride sand worms and want their freedom in the form of a western hero saving their ass and according to the games these are just mercenaries you can hire, which if anything is telling of the understanding perception towards them by the game developers and story writer accordingly.
And each house had a wisecracking different Mentat, a house advisor guiding you around like a pain in the butt, which reminds me of..
But I drift off topic, that was an interesting lesson of similitudes about the history of the game and franchise, but i hear you asking ‘what about Dune 2 you asshole reviewer who likes to talk too much about any bullshit just as long as you keep talking..? ‘
a noble idiot Mentat
Well, fair enough, you got me there, anyhows going back to Dune 2 the game delivered some pretty cool units and challenges to the player to overcome.
Yes indeed, you build a base and defend it and have to take out the enemy base, that’s not exactly groundbreaking material, but where all the cool fucking fun stuff happens is in the details.
It’s pretty cool to build a nice small army of tanks and lay them about neatly on the desert to then see an big sand worm coming your way and eating them all up one buy one for instance.
That’s pretty kickass, so move your armies to sold rocky ground, and only move them as you are invading the enemy !
You move them one by one mind you, back then selection of multiple units was as common as the IPod was in the 80s or as common sense is now in found on youtube video comments.
Then you had to keep harvesting the spice since it’s the only source of resources you got, and it’s pretty damn limited resource at that too and your harvesters were the favorite tasty meal of sand worms also. Those touches made the game beyond excellent.
Plus the game never was really clear about whether or not you can get to kill off that annoying god damn stupid sand worm for good by opening a huge amount of fire on it, pretty smart touch.
For base defense you had to build a gazillion turrets to keep you protected, temporarily.
And there were many cool units for each side to choose from which made this awesome.
The battlefield would get scarred all over with all the fire getting exchanged…
war is the answer
The Atreides had the ability to hire and deploy Fremen warriors anywhere on the map in an instant. House Harkonnen had some big doomsday tank that was a nightmare to fight off and blew up taking everything unlucky enough to be near it when you did eventually managed to survive it and destroy it. House Ordos had one fucking annoying special missile launcher support truck that converted any of your units it hit temporarily against you…
Sonic tanks, Siege tanks, placing your infantry on high ground to avoid vehiciles running them over, Harkonnen troopers resistant to vehicles crushing them, saboteurs, flying carryalls, deadly spice mines.. damn Dune 2 had it all, every unit made sense.
In the end whatever side you chose, everyone sides against you and the emperor comes himself in person to kick your ass cuz apparently you cant outshine emperors without pissing them off. Of course in the last level you make him eat his shorts aptly.
And as if that wasn’t enough to keep this game lodged in your brain for a very long time, the artwork of the game was really good. You had a database of all weapons in the game with pretty cool animation which had new entries with each level you could browse.
It was both difficult yet challenging in an entertaining way, unlike anything at the time with cool background music, interesting new gameplay and very neat artwork.
All wrapped in a very nice package for you by sweet sweet gameplay.
Dune was a mystery planet even if it’s just a desert, and you could be part of all that carnage between the houses who couldn’t give less of a fuck about the mysteries of the planet and where only there busy killing each other to secure its oil resources, sorry I meant its spice mélange..
here I go drifting again..
Pretty interesting stuff, I also remember someone modded that game and created Super Dune at the time, which was pretty hard to play and if I remember correctly. It let you play as the dreaded imperial Sardurak troops of the emperor also as well as the Fremen directly.
For the time I didn’t even know if the word mod was even invented!
To enjoy the full glory of this game you needed a 386 cpu and like 600kilobyte of free conventional memory on DOS which was relatively as easy to pull off at the time as pulling a nice lubricated elephant out of your ass.
How the hell do I remember all that stuff ? easy, who the hell can forget any of that concentration camp stuff if he lived it even if he was a little kid!
Messing around with config.sys and autoexec.bat files and memory expanders really messes up your brain neurons let me tell you that.
This article is living proof of it.
Anyhows Dune 2 was definitely worth it all, it was great game at the time and a genre setter. Even til this day I can’t criticize it, for its time it was pretty damn near perfect.
nearly as perfect as those damn lips in Dune the movie
That was the first of two RTS games done by Westwood studios that shined, the other being Command and Conquer 1, the rest of their RTS games being utter rubbish crap, some fun some not. For instance Red Alert was pretty fun especially in multiplayer mode for a rubbish game.
If Dune 2 taught us anything it’s that good games come only a few times but you can always make enough money off them at first to launch you as the developer into a bright career of slacking around and producing shit game products thereafter just based on the success and rep you managed to gather from you first successful title.
Now as for as gamers, it taught us not to fuck around with sand worms.
Pretty nostalgic stuff.
the mysterious desert Fremen people
review originally published by Roy on our sister site www.gamebuzz.me