Dune: Spice Wars seems to have had an enviable early access launch, with no disasters and a largely positive response from players—at least the ones who can be bothered to leave Steam reviews (opens in new tab). Funcom’s now building on that launch with a series of updates, starting this summer, that have been teased in an early access roadmap.
First on the docket is multiplayer, which will let you fight over Arrakis in co-op or free-for-all modes with up to four players. Also coming this summer is another playable faction and a new victory condition, though who’s about to enter the fray remains a mystery.
Later in the year, players will get access to spaceports, ships and more advanced units, along with new buildings where they’ll be constructed. Another update will then add more value to your councillors. At the moment, you select these characters at the start, each giving you a passive bonus, and then you just forget about them. The bonuses might as well not be attached to characters at all. Eventually, though, you’ll be able to make them agents who you can use in your sneaky schemes, or you can send them out into Arrakis to fight.
All of these updates are due in the next 3-6 months, but the announcement notes that the roadmap is not exhaustive and more improvements will be contained within each update, including new features that have yet to be revealed.
I love Dune and I love a bit of 4X shenanigans, but so far Spice Wars has done nothing for me. Nothing in the roadmap screams “I must reinstall Dune”, but maybe I’ll be tempted back by some of the unannounced features. In his early access impressions, Wes said that what it really needs is more Dune (opens in new tab), and I’m in complete agreement. There’s just not enough personality in the factions, or enough to differentiate them, so it doesn’t really feel like Dune yet.
Hopefully that will change over the next 6 months.