Dune 2000 - the beautiful but forgotten RTS (Topic)

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Dune 2000 - the beautiful but forgotten RTS


“Imagine a universe where Patrick Stewart enters the battle holding a pug in his arms, Sting plays a nutcase covered in baby oil, and Freddie Jones milks a cat in an unusual way ... Of course, we are talking about the movie" Dune "1984 filmed by David Lynch "- recalls PC Gamer.

Dune is an intriguing and complex story about time and space, courage and betrayal, and ultimately the fate of a guy who must unite the universe. In 10191, two great houses battle for control of the desolate, sandy planet of Arrakis. The mysterious spice Milage is grown there, and the war is financed through its sale, giant worms that feed on tanks crawl under its surface, and its local Fremen warriors keep a secret in their tribe.

The gaming universe of Dune first appeared on PC in the 1992 small adventure game Cryo, however, undoubtedly a Westwood Studios masterpiece of 1993, Dune II made this universe best remembered on PC. Dune II: Battle for Arrakis, or known in North America as Dune II: Building of Dynasty, played a key role in shaping RTS as a genre and laid a solid foundation for the beloved Command & Conquer, which came a year later.


And then in 1998, overshadowed by the success of Command & Conquer and Red Alert, Westwood released the forgotten, but beautiful Dune 2000. However, at that time it was well deserved due to the fact that it did not have those mandatory elements that were established for the genre after its release Command & Conquer and Red Alert. Dune 2000 is just Dune II: Building of Dynasty powered by Command & Conquer.

The Sands of Time

So why is it worth playing today? I recently watched Lynch's movie again, and it got me thinking about how I would like to plunge into the strange universe of Dune and possibly replay Dune II. Unfortunately, after watching a couple of YouTube videos, I gave up on this idea. I just forgot how complex the mechanics were - having to select each unit individually and manually select "move" or "attack".


I didn’t think about how it will all look on a 4K monitor ... Maybe it’s better for me to go through it on a calculator? But will I enjoy this kind of gameplay? Should you even try to make the 25-year-old game work on a modern PC?

The answer to all these questions was Dune 2000. Back in 1998 it represented something more than a reconstruction of the Dune II. It is more efficient and could have been launched today.

Although the game is not available in digital stores today, you can easily download a version such as Dune 2000: Gruntmods online, which simplifies game settings and allows you to run it on modern systems in 4K.


Craft Beard

The cherry on the cake is that the game still has those ridiculous videos with live actors that are in the company for each of the available houses. The game begins in Bene Gissereth with the story of Emperor Corrina's concubine Lady Elara Moray.

I am drawn to play as House Atreides, not because they are noble heroes who liberate oppressed natives, but because I want to see the beard of John Rhys-Davis.


When the game started I noticed that unit animations weren't as good as C & C, and moving them uses fewer frames. And although everything is quite playable, my screen resolution for the first mission is so high that when I got to the edge of the map, I realized that this was not a closed area, but just its end.

As in the case of the second Dune, there is a third house in the game - "Ordos", which appeared from the book "Spatial Guild". Dune 2000 also has smugglers and mercenaries, with some you can alliance. Fremen wars so close to their hearts are also returning, they live in caves among the rocks, setting up an ambush on enemies. And finally, of course, there is the Emperor and his ruthless warriors. They look like your units, but they wear purple outfits to add drama.


On "hard" it becomes quite difficult to play by the fourth or fifth mission. You often fight against more than one house, plus you are always attacked by mercenaries or freemen.

The enemy AI unforgivably hurls wave after wave of mixed unit types at you, which means you need good protection from both infantry and anti-tank defenses.

Thanks a lot

Each house has its own special unit, which becomes available at later moments of the game and reflects either the history of the house or the original origin. Every time a unit like this, for example Harkonnen's House Destroyer, appears, you scream “Your mother!” Excitedly as this creature moves towards your base. This one is like a Mammoth tank in C & C, only several times larger and deadlier.

House Ordos, which specializes in stealth, has a Deviator tank based on the illegal Ixian technology as a special unit. He shoots projectiles that turn alien units to his side. In my house, Atreides, as in the books, is a Sound Tank that emits a sound wave and breaks equipment.


I thought and realized that I have an advantage over other special units and gathered my army, including several Sound Tanks at once. Alas, my confidence evaporated when, during the attack on the Ordos house, sound waves destroyed my own equipment, standing between me and the enemy. Friendly Fire, three-story mats and I'm taking my equipment for repairs.

Maps in the game are simply large-scale and the last missions can take about several hours to complete, and given the fact that there are three houses for each of which has its own storyline, the gameplay stretches for a long time. And although the variety of battles does not shine, you should expect the largest tank battles, which will easily surpass Command & Conquer and Red Alert.

Worm Holes

Unfortunately, the game has one specific problem - it lacks stationary anti-personnel towers. However, it encourages you to be proactive and resourceful in how you defend yourself. You always control the army, and don't just build the turrets and they do everything themselves. One of the best ways is to simply crush the enemy infantry with tanks and then counterattack the remaining units from behind.

Part of the C & C, Dune 2000 benefits immensely from having cliffs and bridges on its maps that really help make each mission more interesting. Random enemy damage, Ornithopter bombardments, and of course sandworms feeding on tanks keep you on your toes. However, you do not expect any missions to start with a 20 minute commander guide.


Of the minuses of the game, I would single out the fact that you do not have a lot of variety in units, except for one special tank for one house. However, you are not prevented from capturing enemy technologies and using them against the enemy.

Dune 2000 is a bread and butter RTS - for me it means building a base, collecting resources, exploring the fog of war, a little tricky tank management and destroying everything that can be seen. If you are just a fan of the movie and its universe, Dune 2000 is well worth your time.

The Topic of Article: Dune 2000 - the beautiful but forgotten RTS.
Author: Jake Pinkman