The characterization of a massively multiplayer online game, or MMO, is self-explanatory. Or is it? By definition, it means a large number of players on the same server — hundreds, thousands — and a big open world that continues to evolve. So will Dune: Awakening, an upcoming open world survival MMO by Funcom, hit the spot?
We obviously don’t have all the details just yet, but let’s speculate. The game aims to create a massive and immersive experience set in the desert world of Arrakis. Dune: Awakening revolves around exploration, politics, intrigue, combat, and survival. Players start off stranded and only armed with a knife. The desert is hot and they are thirsty, but the only water available is located within enemy camps. Once survival is ensured, players progress to amass power; the game also offers an array of customization options.
In Arrakis, there are sandworms, massive creatures attracted by vibrations and noise, which players must be cautious of. There are also sandstorms, another looming threat — forcing players to find shelter or suffer their effects. According to what we know thus far, the shifting sands of the desert reveal and hide areas constantly, creating a dynamic and ever-changing landscape.
The central aspect of the game is spice management though. Players consume spice to level up their skills and abilities, unlocking new options for character progression. However, excessive spice consumption leads to addiction, which adds another layer to the system. They must balance their desire for enhanced abilities with the risk of becoming overly reliant on spice.
Furthermore, players are able to form groups, join guilds, and engage in PVE and PVP. The combat system is described as "combined arms," incorporating a mix of melee combat, ranged combat, and vehicular combat. Something cool about the game is that its seamless open world can reportedly support thousands of players, enabling large-scale battles and interactions, so the gameplay loop involves exploration, gathering resources, crafting, and customizing bases.
Dune: Awakening emphasizes accessibility while maintaining tension through survival mechanics, and the developers say they aim to strike a balance between difficulty and player enjoyment. It’s obviously going to be an MMO, there’s no question there, but what I find most intriguing is the whole spice wars thing. I’m not sure if the entire game taking place in a desert biome will get old, yet Dune: Awakening might be unique solely for having the player focus on changing the world rather than working towards being the very best.
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About the Author
Matthew “dinofries” D'Onofrio is a writer, content creator, podcaster and — most importantly — a gamer. With such a strong passion for video games and a severe case of FOMO, it's no surprise he always has his finger on the pulse of the gaming world (And won't shut up about it). On the rare occasion Matt's away from a screen, you'll find him strumming away on his acoustic guitar or taking care of his cat Totoro.
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