Dune: Spice Wars, the next video game to be set in Frank Herbert’s classic Dune Universe, will release for early access on PC later this month.
The strategy game, which combines real-time base-building and 4X mechanics, is being developed by Northgard studio Shiro Games and will hit Steam with an early build on April 26. This early access period will initially only include single-player skirmishes, with multiplayer coming later.
Publisher Funcom Games has also confirmed that the fourth and final faction in the game will be the Fremen – the native peoples of the titular planet – who join House Harkonnen, House Atreides, and The Smugglers.
Dune: Spice Wars pits the four factions against each other for control of Arrakis and its coveted Spice Melange. You’ll be building your military power, expanding your political influence, infiltrating your enemies, and overseeing resource production to take hold of the planet.
Each faction has particular strengths and weaknesses, with the Fremen pitched as a flexible army than can endure Arrakis’s harsh environment. They can traverse vast distances quicker than other factions by riding sandworms, and need to resupply less often. You’ll be able to use invisible Infiltrators to stealthily attack enemies, Fedaykin for guerrilla warfare, and Kulon Caravans to hide allied troops.
If you’ve seen Denis Villeneuve’s recent Dune film adaptation, or read Frank Herbert’s acclaimed novel, you’ll also recognize a bunch of characters among its ranks, including Chani Kynes, Stilgar Ben Fifrawi, and Liet Kynes.
The Dune universe is no stranger to video games. Cryo Interactive’s 1992 Dune real-time strategy game was an ambitious title that borrowed ideas from point-and-click adventure games like The Secret of Monkey Island. We reckon it successfully showed there was a future for the IP in the world of video games.