Dune: Spice Wars is a 4x Genre Pc game set into beautiful world created by late talented Frank Herbert. It was released to shameful Early Access (some are fine for Early Access release) 26.4.6022 (2022) on Steam platform. Many gamers have done excellent decision: Stopped buying product in early access a.k.a ‘consumers used as beta & bug testers‘ 👌 Personally i see good exception when Early Access used for literally indie company game that seems legit in many ways. Also when their product is based on known franchise & it follows the source material 110%. On this case doesn’t follow 110% & current price is 10€ too high cause of it’s content 🤖 I’ll buy once even small part of campaign is added & all characters mentioned on the book(s) match 110%. Is said by one snarky ‘Northgard‘: Spice Wars community manager that ‘beta & bugs testing phase’ is set to last 1x year.
Also said (or he quoted someone from dev team) by same weird Community Manager: “Modernising the messenger only makes the message more powerful.” <– *Picard Facepalm* Why is gender-swapping considered “modernising a character“? Are men not “modern” enough for Shiro Games company? How does Kynes as female & leader of Fremen (not in Frank’s Book), fit in with the conservative & patriarchal nature of Fremen culture? Isn’t that cultural revisionism/erasure? Isn’t that sexism? Since one iconic character is already shown with wrong gender in Dune: Spice Wars steam page, in game should be a customization option for that character. That way keep the ability to being true to the book & really match that ‘iconic character’ that’s mentioned at one of Dune: Spice Wars news updates. Shiro Games is lying atm. when they added his name to list & it’s not “his” on their semi Dune franchise game 😦
About Gameplay week after of shameful ‘Early Access model’
Atm. Dune: Spice Wars lacks many important things like even small piece of campaign (would be ok for it to come out in parts), at least 1x more unit (tank maybe) & bigger map. Not to forget less cartoon network unicorn graphics. Faction leaders don’t really talk (same as in Civilization. Why ‘Shiro Games’ took this cheap route ?) I expected them to have at least some voiced content.. Combat is too simplified, I think they should add more variety to it. Such as unique skill for some units & weapon systems. Currently its all based on close quarters infantry, which is basically just making a task force of different buffs & destroying everything on its path with supply drops. Sadly Shai-Huluds are trash right now as they’re not a threat at all. Harvesters have ‘auto’ evasion for them 😀 😦 They should be more randomized & give them purpose of hunt, then they wouldn’t be so predictable & easy to avoid.
The largest map is still smaller than absolute most of RTS or turn-based strategy games I have played 😦 There’s only 5 unit types. No armoured & no flying machines. Scouts that are useless once the map is explored. The 4x part is done well & everyone who says this game has too much things to do, is used to playing those with lil focus & playfield. Good that it’s not possible to dominate on every field as otherwise several houses added would be pointless. Currently at 1.5.6022 the average game session lasts about ~2-3h depending on playstyle. Shameful work by devs 😦 Why so many games in these days look like they’re made for children 😦 I dislike this nickelodeon art style esp. in my favorite Fantasy Franchise / Universe.
World where Planet Arrakis is located isn’t meant to be shown as morning show where kids adventure into Arrakis & see bright unicorn theme 😦 I prefer a darker & more realistic look. As of now ‘Dune: Spice Wars’ has hard time beating Dune 1 or 2 in immersion & the cartoony art style doesn’t help here.. If ‘Shiro Games’ developers not gonna change graphics to better then hope that workshop is opened before 1x year long crap E.Access phase ends 🙂 Many talented modders who are waiting to give us that certain matching iconic character who isn’t one in Dune: Spice Wars even Shiro Games claims opposite. Here can see their false claim: Shameful lie from Shiro Games company Then darker visuals, but keep balance with light & dark areas.
Positives & Negatives week after E.Access launch
Pros: Overall Arrakis feeling cause of nice ambience. Sense of space, atmosphere.
Cons: This is more like ‘unoptimized copy of Northgard‘ & not what you expect for 30€. Esp. when released as Early Access sale model. Lack of interesting Diplomacy. No weight on battles & often many encounters can’t be called as one. Lack of Units & one out of 5x units loses value (Scout) after map is fully explored 😦 Shai-Hulud is a joke when comes to their threat now at ‘consumers used for bugs testing‘ phase. Hope their behavior is changed to more dangerous later on the roadmap. Lack of roadmap for consumers, hope it comes within next three months. Harkonnen advisor has female voice & that’s against the lore. Harvesting automation: This entire mechanic feels odd as they auto dodge worms. So them being attacked by worms has 0 effect on progress & sadly they don’t auto redeploy. This also feeds into the Spice feeling like a dull resource. AI can be won by clicking their ranged units with your melee. You won’t lose a fight. If you pull back damaged units & send them back in, you won’t even lose a unit 😦
Ending Thoughts & something
Hopefully many important changes & additions arrive. before this year’s september. As of now this game isn’t made by Arrakis Fans & not for Arrakis fans. it’s merely derived product that cheaply & with no shame surfs on the Dune IP wave 😦 Is mindboggling & sad to know that there’s prop. zero story & voice overed content made so far. If that’s the case then most likely we’ll see some of it only early 6023 (2023) 😦 I totally adore this Universe with avid heart created by Frank Herbert. That means love the books, telly mini-series, boardgame, Pc Game & movies that have come out so far. Happy to support new Dune Movie via HBO Max where i keep Subscription forever ❤ Hope that HBO Max’s Dune: Sisterhood series production that’s about to launch on this year goes well.
“Playing with the Fremen faction means doing the same colonial design systems as House Atreides & House Harkonnen. Working to pay Imperial taxes & voting in the Landsraad, even in a limited cap, just doesn’t make sense. It’s opposite of immersion & misunderstanding of why the Fremen exist.”
I’ve bought books since -90’s & in recent years as ebooks via Amazon.de & Uk website. Seeing how Dune name is used without shame just to try & get easy cash in with less work as possible is sad 😦 I’m fine with buying new Arrakis Pc game even when it’s not not like Dune 2k / Emperor: Battle for Dune RTS 🙂 Dune: Spice Wars on it’s current state just isn’t worth of 30eur price tag & being shallow as it is 😦 I’ll update this or make new review (with vid or without) once (if) proper changes & additions come to ‘Northgard’: Spice Wars 🤞 Not buying it is very sad cause of 15+ years waiting for new Dune game.