- Platform: Windows 95 / 98
- ELSPA Minimum Age: 11
- Media: Video Game
Three great houses have been granted the right to war with each other in a bid to dominate production of the Universe's favourite tipple, the spice melange. Playing as the Atreides, Harkonnen or Ordos, you must strive to gain control over the Dune planet, its spice resources and, ultimately, the galaxy. Harvest spice and earn money to build facilities and resources, whilst usurping your rivals' own hold over spice production. Needless to say, your two rivals are out to do the same, so fold in some alliances to broker and break and you are presented with over 150 missions (50 for each house) of well-plotted and compelling saga. The move from 2-D to 3-D works brilliantly, with impressive camera zooming, panning and rotation, enhancing the building and battling scenes no end. Sound is generally good, save for odd units' cheesy mottos, which we'll dismiss as a nod to the film.
Emperor: Battle for Dune could easily have been just a grain in the vast RTS desert but Westwood have taken the significant elements of the Dune universe and woven them into a technically superb and innovative title, packed with missions, features and (even) great cut scenes. A treat for fans of both genre and story and for those wanting to ease their way into the gentle art of strategy and war. --Tae Mawson