Command and Conquer gameplay meets the Dune Universe.
I must admit I am not a fan of the Dune series but I was a big RTS fan when I played this game.
The story for the game is 3 factions are fighting for control over a desert-like planet named 'Arrakis' because Arrakis is rich in a resource called 'spice' and spice is one of the most valuable resources in the known universe.The reason spice is so valuable is it gives whoever consumes it special mental abilities.
Dune 2000 was developed by the developers of the older Command and Conquer games,which explains why it feels and plays very similar to the older Command and Conquer games.Winning is a matter of building huge numbers of units and swarming the enemy bases with them.Even though Dune 2000 has fancy units and high tech weapons of mass destruction such as bomber aircraft and nuclear missles,the amount of damage done by airstrikes and nuclear missles isn't enough to make much of a difference to the outcome of missions since you'll have to wait a while for your next airstrike/nuclear missle strike to be ready.
The most effective way to win missions in Dune 2000 is building lots of tanks and sending them to the enemy base.However,Dune 2000 takes this to the extreme because the CPU will use the same strategy and you can spend lots of time building 30 tanks and the CPU will do the same thing but all/most of your tanks will get destroyed when your tanks engage the CPU's tanks or when your tanks attack the CPU's base which will be heavily defended in the later missions and also you'll need to deal with multiple bases.Basically you'll be trying to wear down your opponent by sending big numbers of tanks and trying to destroy their unit producting buildings and construction building when possible.
Another problem with the gameplay is the factions are unbalanced.Since winning missions depends on rushing enemy bases with massive numbers of units,the Harkonnen have a huge advantage because their Devestator tanks have the best armor and most powerful weapons.The 2 other factions(Atreides and Ordos)have weaker tanks that are cheaper to build but if they allow the Harkonnen to build large numbers of Devestator tanks,the Harkonnen will be unstoppable.Also,the units on the lower part of the tech tree will become useless in the later missions(such as trikes,quads etc.)because a Devestator tank can destroy trikes and quads with one shot.
In theory the units in Dune 2000 sound good,but in reality they don't add enough balance.The Atreides bombers(Ornithhopters)can easily be shot down by antiair weapons.Ordos Saboteurs are infantry that can blow up an entire building if they can enter a building but most likely they'll get killed by enemy base defenses before they get even close to entering a building.Atreides Sonic tanks can shoot sonic waves that kill large numbers infantry over a wide radius but their armor and weapons are weak against tanks and in the later missions you want tanks that are effective against tanks.Missle tanks are effective against Harkonnen Devestators but all 3 factions can build them so the Atredes and Ordos don't gain an advantage from them.
However,despite all these flaws,Dune 2000's gameplay was fun for it's time.Dune 2000 was released in late 1998 when most RTS games focused on the 'strategy' of building lots of tanks and attacking your enemy's base with them.Even Command and Conquer Red Alert(which was released 2 years before Dune 2000 and which was still very popular in 1998 and which is regarded as one of the best RTS games of all time)focused mostly on building lots of tanks and rushing your enemy's base with them.I can see why people refered to Dune 2000 as a Command and Conquer clone,but it's still a fun one,especially if you can appreciate the Dune universe and the style of Dune 2000's units.Unfortunately,this game was released not long after StarCraft and during a time when all the talk was about StarCraft and there was no way a dated RTS game such as Dune 2000 could compete against StarCraft.
The giant sandworms that move around under the desert sands of Arrakis and that will occasionally come towards your units and will attempt to eat them(swallow them whole)adds a bit of a unique feel and excitement to the gameplay.Your units can destroy sandworms but the sandworms can withstand a lot of weaponfire and the sandworms are capable of swallowing any type of ground unit whole.
Dune 2000's graphics were quite detailed for their time.The buildings have a realistic look to them and nice designs such as how certain Atreides buildings resemble a bird because the Ateides emblem is a bird.I like how the Atreides Ornithhopters flap their wings when they're flying as if they're birds.The Devestator tanks shoot bright purple plasma blasts which shows how powerful their weapons are.The CGI/FMV looked good for it's time.
I also like how the giant sandworms will cause the desert sand to move when the sandworms are moving under the sand and how you can see the electrical currents running through the sandworms and when they are approaching my units it adds a bit of suspence and when I see them swallow an entire tank whole it looks terrifying.
I don't remember much about the music or audio,but I like the distinct voices of the factions.The Harkonnen talk in a very rough,aggresive tone.The Atreides talk in more of an eloquent style.The Ordos have a particular accent.
I still remember the beautiful voice that tells you something similar to ''on this planet,you will die'' during the game's intro,even though I haven't played this game for 10 years.
Overall,Dune 2000 was a fun and nicely presented RTS game for it's time but it's gameplay can become tedious quickly when you're forced to build massive numbers of units and rush your enemy's base with them constantly.