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Dune: Awakening MMO Will Let Players Team Up With Characters Who Are Dead In The Book

Funcom's upcoming survival MMO will take place in an alternate timeline to that of Frank Herbert's novel.


Funcom's upcoming survival MMO Dune: Awakening is still largely shrouded in mystery, but fans now know when exactly it takes place in the timeline of Frank Herbert's sci-fi universe, and the answer is in an entire timeline of its own.

In an interview with PC Gamer, Dune: Awakening creative director Joel Bylos revealed that the game will take place several years after that of the original Dune book, albeit in a separate timeline where events have played out differently.

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Now Playing: Dune Awakening Reveal Trailer | Gamescom ONL 2022

"It's similar to the books, but we've gone with an alternate history, like a 'what-if', if you want," Bylos said. "We worked closely with the Herbert [family] and Legendary [Pictures], and we found a point, a single point, the single pebble that starts a landslide."

Bylos wouldn't reveal what exactly that "pebble" that shifts the timeline is, but said the decision to have the game take place in its own alternate timeline was so that players could interact with characters that die early on in the Dune novel. Characters like Duke Leto, the leader of House Atreides and the father of series hero Paul Atreides, is an example. He is a critically important character in the Dune universe who is assassinated about a third of the way through Herbert's original 1965 novel, but he'll be alive in the game. That will obviously have huge ramifications for the war between House Atreides and House Harkonnen for control of the universe's most resource-rich planet.

By helping "a certain group of people," and jumping "through a lot of hoops," Bylos said, players will be able to align themselves with the Duke and House Atreides. Bylos wouldn't reveal what other characters or factions players can team up with, but Bylos did confirm that Funcom plans to support the game post-launch with more characters.

First details on what Dune: Awakening's gameplay will consist of were recently revealed by Bylos, who said the game will be taking inspiration from Valheim for some of its survival game systems. Players will need to avoid attracting sandworms, seek shelter from sandstorms, and maintain their water and spice levels to succeed in the harsh desert of Arrakis. The planet's sandstorms will periodically reveal or cover up locations on the map, which will allow for players to get there first to lay claim to the location's rare crafting schematics.

Revealed last year at Gamescom with a cinematic trailer, Dune: Awakening does not currently have a release date, but interested players can sign up for a beta test on the game's official website.

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