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Written by Daniel Westerstal   
Monday, 26 December 2005

Westwood released Dune 2000 in 1998 as a remake of the original Dune II. The expectations were huge but did the game meet them? Read on to find out.

There are currently three large commercial productions based on Frank Herbert’s novel, Dune. The adventure game with the same name, Dune II and Dune 2000. Dune II were the very first RTS game ever created. For Dune 2000 Westwood had a lot of pressure to pull out something good and as innovative as the original.

Graphically the game has certainly been updated, but it’s not looking as good as it could have been. The standards were much higher in 1998, and even with the technology back then it could have been looking better. The cut scenes are however very nice, as always in Westwood productions. The units in the game are similar to the ones in Command&Conquer, which were released two years earlier. However they have managed to model some of the units more identical to the Dune movie and novel.

The environments are really no surprise; it’s all made of sand and rocks. Every level has the same theme and there is virtually nothing that changes, it gets boring after a while. I would have wanted more villages, maybe some waterholes and so on.

Dune 2000 features a couple of game options, you can play the campaign, train for multiplayer games and play multiplayer games (using LAN or the Internet). I’ve always believed that Westwood’s specialty has been to create dynamic and interesting campaigns. The campaigns in Dune 2000 don’t disappoint, but they don’t really get you excited either.

When it comes to the computer AI I don’t feel that Westwood has changed much either. I must say that I’m not at all impressed by the AI. Sure the computer can sometimes think of some cunning moves, like trying to flank you. Most of the time the computer just runs for it straight into your base and gets mowed down on the way. You can for example attack an enemy unit without the other enemy units reacting at all. The sound effects in the game doesn’t add much. They are however what you might expect from any RTS.

Playing Dune 2000 is very similar to playing Command&Conquer. The overall layout and controls are the same and so are the units. I think that there are some neat units in the game, no question about it. I especially like the helicopters with their special rotors.

Dune 2000 was perhaps a good idea, to update the old classic Dune II. However I think Westwood haven’t made the effort to do anything special. They have taken bits and pieces from previous production and put them together. It’s just like any other RTS (god forbid) and it’s one of the weakest games the company has released.

Related: Command&Conquer, Command&Conquer: Red Alert, Command&Conquer: Tiberian Sun, Warcraft 2, KKND
Developer: Westwood
Website for Game: N/A
Publisher: Virgin Interactive
O/S: Windows 98/ME/XP
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 1998

Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, 2 X CD-ROM
Tested on:
Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB RAM, ATI Radeon Graphics Card, Windows XP

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