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In borrowing conventions from earlier games, Westwood managed to make its latest project interesting enough and enjoyable enough to be worthwhile for virtually anyone who's ever liked another game of its type.
Emperor: Battle for Dune is the latest in Westwood Studios' long line of real-time strategy games and the spiritual successor to its early '90s game Dune II, which single-handedly defined the genre. Like Dune II, Emperor is based upon the famous science fiction universe found in the Dune novels by Frank Herbert and in the 1984 movie by David Lynch. As in its predecessor, Emperor lets you assume command over the military forces of any of three distinct factions that are fighting to gain ownership of the desert planet Arrakis and its invaluable resources. The game emphasizes fast, intense skirmishes over complicated tactical decision-making, and it features an impressive 3D graphics engine that really helps bring the fiction of the game to life. Emperor also gives you a lot of options and a lot of replay value, between its three single-player campaigns, its skirmish mode, and its robust multiplayer features. The battles in Emperor are intense and visually stunning. Emperor may be Westwood's first fully 3D real-time strategy game, but fundamentally, it plays much like its predecessors. That is, you view the action from above the battlefield and typically must establish a base of operations and then start producing a variety of units with which to destroy all of the enemy's forces and defend against any retaliation in the process. To fund your military efforts, you'll need to earn money--specifically, by harvesting and processing the invaluable chemical known as the spice Melange. An in-game tutorial quickly explains all this. Actually, unlike in most conventional real-time strategy games, ......
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