Duniverse / Games / Emperor : Battle for Dune

Fan Reviews:

This is one of the best strategy game i've ever play, its highly dertail compared to some other games, e.g RA2.
But there's one thing that i still don't know after playing Dune for so long: What the hell is spice? And how does it enables you to travel through space?
- Devastator_mech

Very good game but it cant beat dune2 at all!!!
- LPC-Disco_Inferno

The best game I've ever played! It's much better than Dune 2000. And the movies are great
- Gunseng Harkonnen

This game is so good! I can play it for hours.
- InDIgo176

exellent Game! Good Graphic! Intel cpu and chipset require to get into high performous, even on my P3600E and P3BF and 512 Ram, Goeforce II Ti all FX on high still got 35 f/s
- Allen Pan

The multimedia aspect of this game is superb. Great graphics, great music, great cut-scenes. But the game is just plain TOO SLOW. Just the installation quite literally took ALL NIGHT to install. I'm using an 855 MHz Athlon, and setting the graphics to low-quality, and the game is still crawling slower than a TS Mammoth MkIII. It looks like the game is very dependent on MMX, which means it's not too friendly to AMD CPU's. So if you've got an INTEL Pentium III or higher with lots of regular & video memory, this will probably be a fun game. But for me, this game is just loads of frustration and not fun. I went back to playing Red Alert 2. Can't wait for Yuri's Revenge.
- Tetley

The Graphics was never experienced in any other westwood games currently. Its Zooming in and out and turning 360 degrees was superb, If you want to see how the buidings be built, just Zoom In, if the enemy launches and attack, just zoom-out to control all your units. It has also very good, interesting units, like the Ixian projector tank which was very useful if you want to get rid of enemies in your base. The sandworm looks more cute, with its head sticking out like a shark's. Most of all, the fremen Fedaykin can control the sandworm! There is this Emperor worm which is very huge! Using a P4 and 64MB graphic, it was the best westwood Game ever.
- Kevin Lim

beautiful looking game, but, boring,boring,boring.
- Keri

I'm gona keep it short i think Westwood did good they filled the flaws from the previous Dune games with elements of c&c. So you have the amzing grafics and the planet Arrakis plus a c&c gameplay. What more do you want.
- Ikhebne Grotelul

Emperor Battle for dune its a great game the graphics are cool but i cant play it because it freezes up on me everytime i tried to play it u should make your games no have so many system requirements not everyone has all these requirements i dont have 4 of these requirements so try to make your games computer friendly and have programs avabile to the gamers to fix there games onling instead of spending all there money to fix it if im making no cent is because im angry i spent 35 dollars to buy a game i cant play because the damn thing freezes up
- dragon

It was roughly 9 years ago that Westwood, still a relative unknown in the field of game development, shook the gaming world by bringing the RTS genre to the masses with the then ground breaking title Dune 2. Westwood have now once more returned to Frank Herbert's desert planet of Arrakis, in order to bring us the true sequel to their 1992 gaming masterpiece.
Ever since the infamous Tiberian Sun hype machine was destroyed amongst the strong public disapproval of Westwood's lack of innovation to the genre that they arguably created. The Las Vegas based developers have been seen to be "behind the competition" when it comes to the further development of the RTS genre. The gameplay in the 1998 release wasn't a world away from that of the original Command & Conquer, graphically it wasn't much to look at, and many of the supposedly "revolutionary" features mentioned in countless interviews during the games elongated development period failed to materialise. While the likes of Homeworld and Ground Control were scaling new heights with the use of 3-D technology, Westwood remained entrenched in its 2-D battlefield. Which only further added to the increasing feelings of dismay regarding the once touted "Kings of RTS" and their refusal to make the jump to that beautiful, yet hardware demanding third dimension.
It's been a long time in waiting, but they've finally made that jump. Gone are the horribly unattractive voxels of old, to be replaced with the visual splendour that is the all mighty polygon. Ohh yes kids, they have seen the light. Graphically Emperor is a joy to behold, from the meticulously detailed units, to the superb environmental effects. Tt cannot be denied that Westwood's latest foray into the RTS genre provides an eye candy feast that even the most jaded games player will tuck into. The most delightful sight that will leave you in silent-awe of the Emperor game engine for some time, is the arrival of the maker itself, the giant sandworm of Arrakis: Shai Hulud. You won't even care that this monstrous beast has just downed half of your attacking force in one bite, it really is that glorious a sight to behold.
While Emperor may be the first 3-D RTS created by Westwood Studios, this hasn't by any means resulted in a huge change in the fundamental gameplay structure, that was first viewed in the likes of Dune 2 and Command & Conquer. The construction yard still remains as the focal point of any successful base, and you still harvest natural resources in order to finance your growing army. Emperor does offer an alternate resource system on all maps not set on the spice planet of Arrakis, in the form of a regular income of funds which each player receives at simultaneous points in the course of a multiplayer encounter. While this does offer some variety to a player's acquisition of wealth within multi-player games, it's a poor substitute to the traditional resource system. And has resulted in most online players actively avoiding use of the non-Arrakis maps due to the inadequacy of this alternate resource acquiring method.
As with Dune 2 you have the choice of three distinct houses to play as in Emperor. The Atreides are an honourable yet highly ambitious house whose troops are unquestionably loyal to the ruling Duke Achilles, and will serve him in all that he wishes, even if it means their own death. House Harkonnen's military strategy is strongly based around the use of brute force, they are a wicked and ruthless people who will stop at nothing in their march towards the imperial thrown. House Ordos is primarily motivated by the acquisition of wealth and power, they specialise in the use of mentally subversive technology, which they use to turn their rival houses forces against one another.
Along with the 3 main houses in Emperor, you have the option to ally yourself with two sub houses in order to further strengthen and customise your army. These sub houses can be accessed in single-player as well as multi-player mode, where you gain the alliance of a sub house via participating in missions in which they require your services.
The units featured in Emperor are a great cause for praise as far as Westwood are concerned. Each of the games three Houses have access to an impressive array of original and flexible units to unleash upon their enemies. From the lightning fast Ordos Laser Tank which is best suited to hit-and-run attacks against enemy forces, to the hulking behemoth that is the Harkonnen Devastator; while slow and unwieldy it has the ability to obliterate enemy buildings in a mere matter of seconds. What impresses most about Emperor's unit balancing is that no one unit or tactic can bring you outright victory. A combination of several different unit types is vital in Emperor warfare, as every unit has its fatal weaknesses.
The nature of the campaigns featured in Emperor has been a much-publicised addition to Westwood RTS. As in Emperor you direct your own path along the entire strategic map, choosing which available territory to attack, and just where to attack it from. While this admittedly does grant the player some much-needed freedom along their military campaign, it's only a very small step that has been taken here. The primary objective in the vast majority of Emperor missions is to claim the chosen territory, there are occasionally secondary objectives included in order to make the mission more interesting, however this cannot hide the fact that most of Emperor's campaign missions feel much like glorified skirmish matches. This results in a repetitive and incredibly predictable singe-player campaign mode, which could have been so much better.
Throughout the Emperor campaign the story is, as in all modern day Westwood RTS', is told in a series of FMV sequences. While these have been criticised in the past for the truly feeble acting performances featured within them, those in Emperor are simply not deserving of such a verbal lashing. The B-Movie quality acting of yesteryear is not apparent in the Emperor FMV; instead it has been replaced with a quality of acting that wouldn't look out of place in your average science fiction series. While Westwood still have a long way to go until the acting quality in their titles reaches Oscar-winning level, this is a welcome improvement.
One area that Westwood titles have always impressed in has been the game soundtrack, the score featured in Emperor is without question their best work yet. Each houses musical score was composed by a separate musician, giving them each their own unique sound. The Atreides music is a very dramatic, orchestral affair. While the Harkonnen score is primarily guitar based and extremely fast-paced which no doubt be favoured by the beer-swilling head-bangers amongst you. Lastly the Ordos score is a toe-tapping blend of dance and electronica, which wouldn't be at all out of place being played at your average nightclub.
While Red Alert 2 is on it's way to becoming a veritable multi-player classic. Emperor has failed to attract the required amount of RTS aficionados on Westwood Online to make this a foreseeable possibility for the future. Many theories to why this is so have been thrown around since the games mid-June release, ranging from poor-firewall support, to crashing problems at the load screen. All of these problems and more, as I write this still remain as such, until they're resolved in a future patch the Emperor online experience will continue to resemble that of a visit to a mid-western ghost town.
Conclusion
Westwood haven't made any drastic changes to their fundamental RTS game-structure, which to some will come as a slight disappointment, but not of course as a great surprise. While not exactly setting a new standard for the RTS genre, Emperor is an addictive and intrinsically "fun" game to play, and continues Westwood's tradition of well-polished and enjoyable RTS games for yet another year.
I fear however that the public's patience is quickly growing thin with Westwood, as we continually wait for them to make the next huge leap forward in the RTS genre that we all so desire. But will their corporate masters allow them to take the risk that such great change always entails?
8/10
Written by Jonathan Southwell aka Piter de Vries
- Piter de Vries

Dear Reader,
First, let me state, this is my opinion of the game, if it does not coincide with your opinion, and that irks you, too bad. =) Now, on with the review. Well, Emperor is a different kind of RTS. I am glad to say I found it refreshing and fairly innovative in certain areas. The best thing they did in this game, in my honest opinion, is allow you a choice. No more "go here and do what we say", you actually have a choice. Go to one territory, and you're helping the Fremen fight the Harkonnen, go to another, and you could be destroying an Ordos fortress and whatnot. Then both of the other major houses get a turn to, so you'll find yourself having to defend your holdings. This also means, losing a single battle is NOT disaterous. Finally a game where you can lose, and still end up winning. =) Another innovation I rather enjoy is the ability to take the fight to the other houses Home Worlds. I can finally kick the Baron Harkonnen's tail once and for all. =) The gameplay is fairly balanced, and even infantry can do well in battles, most notably, the Ordos mortar infantry. The one thing that annoys me about this game, as it did in Dune 2000, is the actors. I'd rather just have a voice going along to text. Michael Dorn (Star Trek: TNG's Worf) just dosen't strike me as a very good candidate for Duke of the Atreides. =P The game is very well done in my opinion, and I throughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Dune or RTS'.
Peace out,
Ares
(P.S. The Sub-House system is pretty cool too. =P)
- Ares Dauphin (Stuart Sopko)

Site created January 15, 1998.
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