Dune: Awakening is an open world survival MMO we never expected

I’m all about that spice, y’all.

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Gamescom is the gift that keeps on giving. Dune: Awakening, another highlight that might not be what we expected, made its official debut at the festival.

All we have so far is a cinematic trailer depicting an unnamed male character donning an epic stillsuit uttering the infamous words “fear is the mind-killer,” the camera falls back, revealing two impressively animated ornithopters sweep the landscape. Our protagonist appears to be carrying out a mining operation looking down upon a cavernous reach, a spice harvester abruptly gets enveloped by a colossal sandworm, the character proceeds to unsheathe dual melee weapons and leaps from the cliff, presumably to his doom.

Tantalising, but not a great deal to go on. Thankfully the developers at Funcom also revealed a few spicy details via an associated Steam page.

Fans of the franchise will finally get to experience the iconic desert world Arrakis in an open world survival MMO. Expect to traverse dangerous sandstorms on foot or by vehicle, upgrade and maintain your iconic stillsuit, and build shelters in the shade (or not) as you attempt to avoid the colossal sandworms that dwell beneath the sand.

The developer promises massive battles in your quest to control the spice blooms of Arrakis, and we’ll also have the opportunity to build our own factions through “spice harvesting, trade, subterfuge, and open conflict.”

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Right, lets get this off my chest; I’m slightly worried about the prospect of Dune as an MMO. Funcom does have experience in releasing a competent open world survival in Conan Exiles, though the game left a lot to be desired, featuring outdated graphics, clunky animations, subpar combat, and underwhelming mechanics, that never truly set itself apart from a sea of similar titles.

Its only saving grace being the teams infectious enthusiasm and dedication at releasing up to date content, and active communication between its players, even to this day. Which is always a good thing when it comes to an MMO.

We of course cannot pass final judgment until the game is released, and given the potential of the Dune universe, colour us intrigued at this point. Coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC, Dune: Awakening is currently available for Beta signup. An official release date has yet to be announced.