Westwood's Finest and Final Installment for the Iconic Series

User Rating: 8 | Emperor: Battle for Dune PC
Many people have long forgotten that one of the most ambitious sci-fi novel series became the father of Real-time Strategy games. As Westwood Studios (creator of the Command and Conquer series) slips into oblivion after being closed by Electronic Arts in 2003, it is important to understand the company's importance to the gaming community.

Emperor: Battle for Dune is a 3D RTS about you, the commander of three factions of your choice, try to conquer the planet Arrakis in any way you please, as long as you keep collecting the spice melange and taking over your enemy's territories. If you have not read the books, the highly addictive spice is what runs the entire universe, an essential part of deep space travel, and everyone wants to control the spice which only grows on Arrakis. In the case of the game, it is your currency. Also, the spice is protected by gigantic sandworms.

In the game, the game-play is quite similar to the famous Command and Conquer. You build power a power source, build supporting buildings, build units, and attack. The only difference is that each faction has different style of combat to suit your taste, with sub factions of your choice to build your ultimate army.

I highly admire the game's story and the low budget, but satisfying cut-scenes. The combat is quite fun that will constantly make you rethink your strategy in each level. Its graphics was surprisingly good. A game with graphics like that was top notch in its time. Although some levels are ridiculously hard, almost impossible for the beginner RTS player, the game pulls you in with its skirmish mode where you can unleash your army's full potential if story-mode is too hard for you.

The downsides are obviously the difficulty and very annoying enemies that constantly pick at your army to its knees. Irritating exclusive units, and its massive learning curve to use every unit to its full potential before you reach halfway.

I have had hours and hours of fun with this game when it was released. It was an impressive game that did not get much hype or popularity at the time. To this day, it still feels amazing. The soundtrack is perfect, the feel of the game tickles my obsession for Dune, even if it is non-canon to the original novels. Emperor: Battle for Dune is a timeless classic RTS important to game collectors and the avid player alike. 8/10