Article by Kieran Burt.
Dune Awakening is an open world survival MMO developed by Funcom, and it looks amazing. Set on Arrakis, it finds the player trying to survive the harsh desert world, and against other players.
At Gamescom 2022, a cinematic reveal trailer showed off the harsh desert, centering on the player character talking about fear being the mind killer. But as frequent players of MMOs and open world games will know, it’s a lack of levels that is the mind killer. A lack of levels will prevent players from conquering Arrakis for themselves and controlling the flow of spice.
The trailer starts off with Ornithopters buzzing across the screen, panning across to reveal a deadly sandstorm. The character looks down to reveal a House Atreides spice harvester being swallowed up by a sandworm, with it continuing to rise to attack the main character.
These elements hopefully tease the deadly world players will walk into, with the conditions on Arrakis being perfect for players to find a way to survive in. It seems like the players will be allied with the Fremen, the aforementioned spice harvester indicates that the Atreides are in control of the planet.
It’s unclear how much the story of Dune will impact the story of the game, whether the Harkonnen’s and Sardaukar will be an enemy or factions that players can join. This could allow a player to utilise vehicles operated by the various factions, such as the heavier Ornithopters that House Harkonnen operate.
The trailer also reveals the ultimate beast that players can try to defeat or tame, the Sandworm. It would be an amazing status symbol if players could ride the beast, and use it to attack others. It would surely be a huge undertaking, but it would be worth it.
The game takes inspiration from both Frank Herbert’s novels and Dennis Villeneuve’s 2021 film. The use of blue spice for example, comes from the book, and was changed for the film. This helps to keep both the original concepts that Frank Herbert came up with, without alienating people who haven’t read the books.
Dune Awakening doesn’t have a release date as of yet, and will come out on PC, Playstation and Xbox Series X|S.