Dune Awakening

Dune: Awakening Looks Surprisingly Great

It had me shouting Lisan al Gaib!

During Pax East 2024, Funcom invited me to a special closed-door preview of Dune: Awakening. I did not get to play the game but did watch early, unfinished gameplay and was given a ton of information, which I can share.

When I say the gameplay wasn’t finished, I mean the shaders were off in some cutscenes, and you could tell it was an early build. Funcom prepped us by saying it was an early build far from the final project, but it gave a good glimpse into what you would expect. I recently watched the first movie, and before you even say it, I know it came out a couple of years ago, but I didn’t have time to check it out. The movie was great, and it truly excited me to see the second one and the Dune: Awakening preview event.

Dune: Awakening Took Me By Surprise

Fans of the franchise will even notice a familiar scene at the beginning of the game, leading to a very in-depth character creator screen. I’m not much of a character creator, but I respect games that give the player base a lot of choices.

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After the character creator screen, the trailer dropped us right into the action. Dune: Awakening is an MMO, so expect survival, harvesting, crafting, base building, and combat mixed in with lots of co-op. It is PvP, but destroying each other’s bases isn’t necessary. If you die in the open world, people can loot you.

In the transmedia world of Dune, we know water is necessary for survival, so what is more perfect than ensuring your character isn’t hit with heat stroke? Before getting a suit that replenishes your sweat in water, you must stick to the shade as you cautiously observe your water meter. Awakening has a dynamic day-night cycle, so if you are out during the day, not only can worms and enemies kill you, but so can the sun.

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Arrakis Looks Like An Exciting Place To Escape

You can get water from plants found in the open world. Unlike in the films, Dune: Awakening takes the plant life from the books. At the start of your playthrough of the story portion, there are worms but more of the small variety, but if you’re caught out in the sand, you better run if they find you. You have a sound meter on your screen that will show you the noise you’re making and when they can hear you. There are land masses and rock formations you can jump onto to avoid them. Harvesting and crafting play a massive role in Dune: Awakening and base building, so make sure you collect all the resources and mine for minerals.

Later, Funcom showed off the traversal system in Dune: Awakening, which can also be used in combat. The video showed a suspender belt that can jump from high places or get you to high places quickly, like a grapple. Some vehicles can be used to get around the world that you will need to build to use, and friends can help you build them as well.

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You will also need to gather spice, a resource everyone in the game will be after, so watch out for other players who might want to steal it from you. The weapons in the game are either gas or spring-powered, so there are no ballistic weapons in Dune: Awakening. If you have been hurt or suffered heat stroke, you can be revived by other players or revive yourself using water.

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There is a class system that Funcom says they’ll share more about in the future, but they did let me know there will be one in Dune: Awakening. Spice is needed for currency and abilities; you will need currency to build your base. Your friends can help build bases with you by purchasing the needed parts. You can map out the whole base you want to build and purchase parts of it as you have the funds to complete it. There is a social hub in Dune: Awakening, but the developers will go into more detail later.

In Dune: Awakening, you will have an ability and technique tree and either have to accomplish certain portions of the game or use spice to purchase upgrades. I was told the idea behind Awakening is not focused on raids and destroying other bases but rather on building up your resources in the world. There is even a guild system, but at this time, that is all the information they’re willing to share, but it is in the game. Your base is off-limits in PvP, so leave it in your base if you have anything on you. If a sandworm kills you, though, you will lose everything.

From what I saw, I think Dune: Awakening is shaping up to be something I want to try, as I genuinely enjoyed the movie and the world of Dune.

No release date has been announced yet, but you can sign up for the beta on their website.