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Dune: Spice Wars is the first Dune RTS in 23 years: and it will be here very soon. Releasing in Early Access on April 26, the game is based on the Frank Herbert novel, though does take some inspiration from Denis Villenueve’s recent movie version. If you’re unfamiliar with the material let me tell you: it involves wars over spice.

Alongside the release date, the game’s fourth playable faction was revealed: the Fremen. They’re more at-home in the harsh desert environments, have less chance of attracting the dreaded sandworms, and can form alliances more easily with NPC factions that are scattered across the landscape. The faction is designed as a guerilla army in opposition to the imperium, essentially, and its playstyle involves rallying together the disparate other inhabitants of Arrakis against the invaders.

(Image credit: Shiro Games)

“With so many massive Dune fans in the studio, the excitement I see every day of working with this universe is very real, and we hope this comes across in the game” says Sebastien Vidal, CEO of Shiro Games. “With all this passion for the source material, and all the know-how we’ve gathered from making Northgard, we can’t wait to put this game into players’ hands.”

There’s one more faction due following the game’s release, but we’ll be able to tell soon enough whether this was worth waiting for (it seemed pretty good in a recent hands-off preview version). Besides Dune: Spice Wars, publisher Funcom is also developing an open-world survival multiplayer game set in the Dune universe, though nothing’s known about that yet.

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