Dune’s Game Pass debut was announced on the show floor at Paris Games Week 2022, and comes just days after Microsoft revealed the games coming to their subscription service in November.
Dune: Spice Wars launched in early access on April 26, with the developer aiming for a final release date in 2023. The game is set in the universe of Frank Herbert’s Dune, most recently adapted into the 2021 film of the same name, directed by Denis Villeneuve.
The strategy game tasks players with engaging in a war to control the spice on the planet of Arrakis, with fans able to choose which faction to join, with the options including House Atreides, House Harkonnen, House Corrino, Smugglers or Fremen. Each faction provides specific bonuses that will affect how players approach the game.
As well as warring to control the planet’s supply of spice, Dune: Spice Wars also has a strong political element. Players will have to maintain good relations with the Imperium, while deciding whether to rule the cities of Arrakis by force or by diplomacy.
There are currently no further details as to when we can expect Dune to hit game pass, but the official Xbox blog promises to have more to share about the game “soon.”
Still in early access, the game is looking promising. Jake Tucker, in his preview of the game for NME, praised Dune for how distinct each of its factions feels to play, describing it as “every bit as compelling as Civilization’s “one more turn” pull.”
However, Tucker also argued that the game could be making better use of the Dune license, adding: “Give me Gholas, Holtzman shields and no-chambers. This is a great game, it just doesn’t feel Dune enough just now.”