Dune II: Battle for Arrakis, played a pivotal role in the formation of real time strategy as a genre, and laid solid foundations for the beloved RTS game Command & Conquer released in 1995. Dune II offers no multiplayer or skirmish mode. Instead, the player has the choice between three campaigns consisting of nine mission each. Follow-up missions can be selected on the campaign map, which indicates the progress of each noble house. Dune II is a spin-off of the Frank Herbert novel and Ray Lynch movie Dune. However, instead of playing out young Paul Atreides adventures, you must instead command a military force to take over Arrakis, the planet also known as Dune, the only planet known to have a organic substance called Spice. The spice extends life, increases psionic powers and is the center of the entire economy.
The emperor of House Corrino named Frederick IV is hopeless for the harvesting of the valuable drug and the spice only can be found on the planet Arrakis. The emperor needs the spice to pay off all of his debt caused by wars with family members. You the player have a choice in wich house you represent to help the universal Emperor. You can choose between House Atreides, the good guys who are wimpy but well-intentioned, House Ordos, who are ruthless and profit-driven, and the evil House Harkonnen, who delight in violence and brutality. Each house has its own unique variations in units, buildings, and special abilities. This makes for some excellent variety and some dynamic mission designs.
Each mission starts the player with a construction yard or a mobile construction vehicle that can be turned into one. Once deployed, it gives the player access to other structures. Building is only possible on rocky terrain, not on the ubiquitous sand. Troops are produced in the barracks, trooper training facility, light and heavy factories, and high-tech factory. Every house has access to special hardware. Once a palace has been build, the Atreides can summon Fremen natives to their aid. House Ordos has the Deviator launchers gas-filled missiles that have a certain chance to brainwash enemy units. The evil Harkonnen have the Death Hand missile, a nuclear cluster missile launched from the palace.
Some strategy is required in Dune II, but in an admittedly limited sense compared to later games. Units don’t have a specialty; infantry don’t get a boost to attacking other infantry and tanks don’t have a significant disadvantage against rocket troops. however, Dune II is still an amazing game for some very good reasons. Its innovative, addictive gameplay set the bar for all future RTS titles to come. With the addition of excellent graphics, a well-composed sci-fi soundtrack and voice acting. Dune II is rightfully considered a classic. The game was released on many platforms such as the Commodore Amiga, Sega Mega Drive, MS-DOS and Acorn. You can find modern open-source remakes for Windows, Linux, MacOS, MorphOS and AmigaOS 4.1.