Funcom’s highly-anticipated survival MMO, Dune: Awakening, remains largely enigmatic – but fans have now been given a clue as to exactly when it takes place in the expansive timeline of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi universe. The answer? It’s set on an entirely different timeline.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Dune: Awakening’s creative director Joel Bylos spilled the beans on the game’s setting, which will take place some years after the events of the original book, but in a timeline where things have unfolded in a different manner.
“It’s like a parallel universe,” Bylos continued, “where the
Herbert family and Legendary Pictures have crafted a different take on the
books, one that caters to our style of game and our fans.”
Bylos wouldn’t divulge the mysterious “pebble” that could upend the timeline, but shared that the decision to place the game in an alternate timeline was to give players the opportunity to interact with characters who die early on in Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, Dune. A prime example of this is Duke Leto, the head of House Atreides and father of protagonist Paul Atreides, who is slain in the novel about a third of the way in. Yet, in the game, he will remain alive, a development that will assuredly have immense influence on the struggle between House Atreides and House Harkonnen for control of the universe’s most sought-after planet.
“By assisting a discrete cadre of individuals and surmounting a plethora of obstacles,” Bylos elucidated, “gamers will be able to side with Duke and House Atreides. Bylos refrained from unveiling what other figures or organizations players may link up with, yet he did validate that Funcom intends to supply the game with additional characters after its launch.
Details on Dune: Awakening’s gameplay have recently been revealed, and they are set to include a range of survival systems inspired by Valheim. Players will have to be careful to avoid sandworms, seek shelter in sandstorms, and keep their spice and water levels in check to survive in the unforgiving environment of Arrakis. Periodic sandstorms will uncover and conceal various locations on the map, offering a chance for players to get there first and gain access to the rare schematics concealed within.
Revealed last year at Gamescom with a cinematic trailer, Dune: Awakening still remains shrouded in mystery with no current release date in sight. However, those eager to get a glimpse of the game can sign up for a beta test on the official website, offering them a chance to experience the game first hand.