Dune: Awakening, Funcom takes us to Arrakis in survival MMO

After the announcement at the Gamescom 2022 Opening Ceremony, let’s gather what we know and some ideas about Dune: Awakening.

Presented at the opening of Opening Night Live at Gamescom 2022, Dune: Awakening gave the impression that this is a really big project, which pushes us to first pay attention to the situation with this interesting game from Funcom. On the other hand, the Norwegian company has been releasing hints about this project for some time, making it clear how important it is in the complex economy of the label in question, increasingly leaning towards MMOs and survival. As it turns out, these two genres are the building blocks of the new Dune, which seems to be in direct continuity with Conan Exiles in terms of design and structure, showing a linear evolution of Funcom’s game concept, including the fact of using an important and well-established licensed fictional Universe.

However, in this case we are almost touching religion: handling burning material such as “Dune” is not easy, especially for an experience that cannot be based on a fixed and prevailing narrative, but must offer a certain leeway and more appears less strict construction of the story.

On the other hand, the attraction of a big return of the series thanks to Denis Villeneuve’s new film is the perfect opportunity to build a big game on Dune, and, in fact, the main source of inspiration, admittedly, is the new film. than the entire expanded universe of the series Frank Herbert books and successors. Thus, we can imagine that a happy medium is obtained, with visual suggestions given by the beautiful sets of the new film and perhaps a deeper reconstruction of the social, political and economic dynamics of Arrakis, which will probably have to refer to literary material, with mixed approach it looks really very interesting.

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Let’s try to summarize Everything we know about Dune: Awakening.

First Encounter with Dune

Dune: Awakening, the character that appears in the teaser looks like Paul Atreides

Dune: Awakening, the character that appears in the teaser looks like Paul Atreides

Traditionally in the video game market, Teaser trailer in CGI which accompanied the announcement of Dune: Awakening during the opening of Night Live of Gamescom 2022, revealed next to nothing about the game, confining itself to a highly evocative but very obscure introduction to what the actual gameplay would be like.

In the video, we see the character as a kind of ideal main character of the story (who obviously won’t be Paul Atreides, but will definitely look like him in general terms). In its brevity and vagueness about the content of the game, the trailer nevertheless plunges us into the reference world perfectly at once, beginning with the Litany Against Fear of the Bene Gesserit that accompanies the video (“I should not be afraid. Fear kills the mind. Fear is a small death that brings with it total annihilation,” etc.).

Giant sandworm from Dune: Awakening trailer

Giant sandworm from Dune: Awakening trailer

Everything else Ingredients expected from a film adaptation of Dune: a Coriolis storm in the distance, ornithopterans in flight, a blue-eyed protagonist from a long exposure in La Spezia, a stillsuit and, of course, a giant sandworm appearing below. desert.

The final phase of the video also includes the option to mount a worm in a typical Fremen initiation rite, which could also introduce an effective game dynamic to control movements on the desert open world map. In any case, aside from the gameplay references, Funcom seems to have done a great job on reconstruction settings and characterization of the game world, based on the tradition of “Dune”, which arose already with the release of the very first illustrations.

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open world survival MMO

Dune: Awakening trailer protagonist getting ready to ride a sandworm

Dune: Awakening trailer protagonist getting ready to ride a sandworm

It’s hard not to find common ground with Conan Exiles in this Dune: Awakening that feels like a true evolution of the ongoing game. The genre seems to match, as well as the construction of a wide and open map, in this case focusing primarily on the desert biome, which in any case also represented an important part in the game of the famous barbarian. Dynamics survival on the other hand, they are perfectly associated with the most inhospitable and dangerous planet in the universe, which will push us to face various environmental threats, human enemies (Harkonnens) and various creatures. Similarly, the ubiquitous presence of precious material like La Spezia is itself already central to survival and control dynamics, as also happened in the old Dune II: The Battle of Arrakis that effectively shaped 1992’s Modern RTS. This defines a dual dynamic of gathering resources and managing them to protect against external threats as well, or the basic elements of a survival sandbox to which additional game mechanics are added.

These are also the central moments highlighted by Funcom as core elements of Dune: Awakening, at least according to the press release and materials available during those hours. New IMO allows players to explore the dangerous yet exciting surface of Arrakis, discovering sitches, settlements, abandoned wrecks, and more in an ever-changing environment that also changes with the weather. Once you’ve built your own base, you need to start harvesting spices by using your own harvester and trying to defend it from attacks from creatures, NPCs, or other players.

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Dune: Awakening is one of the first concept art released by Funcom.

Dune: Awakening is one of the first concept art released by Funcom.

It is possible to develop and advance our character by acquiring new skills different, which involve the direct consumption of spices to increase performance and special abilities in various directions. At a higher level, it will also be about entering the social fabric of the game and asserting your power in the Landsraad, which will have consequences in the general and permanent world.

We still know very little about this, but judging by first information released from Funcom, Dune really could be a great base for a survival MMO. Putting the pieces together, the composite picture demonstrates how amazingly the universe created by Frank Herbert already contains the seeds of a possible reinterpretation in this vein of a video game, while the setting is designed to have an extraordinary charm and has been deposited decades into the conventional imagination of science fiction. The room is really great, it remains only to see it in action: in the meantime, you can register on the official website of Dune: Awakening to apply for participation betawhich should start soon.


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