Frank Herbert's Dune

This is a PlayStation 2 game I've wanted for quite some time. I'm a huge fan of "Dune" and the games that have been based on it - "Dune 2" is the classic that started the Command and Conquer genre of real time strategy games, and even the original "Dune" on PC and Sega/Mega CD was a decent adaptation of the novel. This game, however, is pretty damn bad. Going by the tutorial level, it's a third person action game where you focus on stealth to take out Harkonnens and explore, flipping switches, getting stabby with your crysknife, zapping with the lasgun, and enjoying poor camera shenanigans. Once you start the game proper, however, get ready for pain.

The game starts in medias res, at the point in the story where Paul and Jessica have crashed in the desert. If you're not familiar with the "Dune" novel, the movie or the miniseries, let's just say that's quite a way into it. The intro doesn't really tell you all that much, so you're dropped right in it if you're not already familiar with the story. None of this really matters, however, as one of the first things you have to do in the game is dodge a giant sandworm that's chasing you. Sounds exciting? yes. Looks exciting? yes. Playable? Fuck no. The camera is facing behind you so you can see the worm chasing you, but as a consequence, you can't see where you're going, and you're meant to be avoiding bits of deeper sand which bog you down. After about 15 minutes of trial, error and frustration, I gave up. If the tutorial represented the best the gameplay was going to get, it really isn't worth perservering past the awful worm bit.

The game's pretty rare, most Cryo releases are, but this one is rare for good reason.

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