Dune MMO Trailer Shows Excellent CGI but Not Much Else


Developer Funcom debuted its new Dune MMO trailer at Gamescom this week. Unfortunately, it was a two-minute display of pretty CGI without any gameplay. But what did we learn from the trailer?

  1. CGI hair looks better and better every year
  2. The title of the game is Dune: Awakening
  3. Dune: Awakening is an open world survival MMO
  4. The game takes place on Arrakis
  5. There are massive sandstorms and massive sandworms

So far, Funcom covered all the bases. The game features what Funcom describes as a “vast and seamless Arrakis” where players will “build shelters against sandstorms, maintain your stillsuit, and master the old ways to walk even the deepest deserts.” The developer aims to merge the “grittiness and creativity of survival games with the social interactivity of large-scale, persistent multiplayer games” to deliver on this ambitious idea.

One of the appeals of MMOs is the scenery. If you’re going to spend hours and hours walking around a virtual world, it is in the best interests of the developers to make the virtual world aesthetically pleasing.

World of Warcraft has flaws, but the designers and developers were successful in forging a world with interesting, varied environments and biomes that offer great vistas everywhere you go. The scenery makes exploration worthwhile because I want to see what’s over the next hill.

Dune MMO Trailer Shows Massive Desert Landscape

How will Funcom craft one massive desert biome to make different territories of the map interesting or memorable?

Funcom says we’ll explore ancient biological testing stations and wander the halls of abandoned sietches, as well as scavenge wreckage from fallen spaceships. Unmapped areas contain secrets and riches to discover and the massive Coriolis storms can physically change the planet’s landscape.

It sounds like certain areas will be static while others will be procedurally generated. A healthy balance between the two allows for intentionally designed areas with character and memorability as well as areas that are constantly changing to breathe life into the virtual desert planet.

And what would a Dune game be without spice melange?

As a planet dweller, you’ll hunt for spice blooms to deploy your spice harvester. And while the harvester is doing its job, you defend it from raiders and rival factions. Funcom states “massive battles shift seamlessly from foot to vehicles and from ground to ornithopters in the sky.”

There’s no reason to get hyped up at this point because all we have to go on is text on the website. But it is promising and Funcom has a good track record to show they can tackle an ambitious project like a Dune MMO. Most recently, the developer along with Shiro Games released Dune: Spice Wars, a Dune RTS with 4x elements, into Early Access this year. The developers captured the essence of Dune and it’s safe to say people like the game so far considering the Early Access title has over 4,600 reviews with an overall rating of Very Positive.

This new Dune MMO trailer didn’t bless us with a release date. But you can sign up for the beta on the website and wishlist the game on Steam.

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