The 9 best video games to play with the Dune aesthetic


With the release of HBO Dune remake, many gamers are looking to sate their craving for more spice with video games that reflect the unmistakable aesthetic of Frank Herbert’s novel and the films of David Lynch and Denis Villeneuve. Although there are valuable titles that have dared to directly imitate Dunes Visionary style, there are many games that have tapped significantly into its aesthetic nuances to create gaming experiences that are unique in themselves.

Related: 5 Reasons Fans Are Excited For Dune (& 5 Why They Are Skeptical)

While one of the strengths of this classic sci-fi is its originality and crisp portrayal of a slice of life in the 111th century, many titles on this list have found ingenious ways to pay homage to the interstellar epic. classic from 1965. Dune is notable as a sci-fi epic set on a singular and highly distinctive planet, and many of the games on this list feel like they could be set on planets neighboring Arrakis. While nothing can compare with the source material, these games are each a testament to Dunes lasting impact as a cultural icon and fundamental work of contemporary science fiction.

9 Final Fantasy XII

Vaan fights a sentient tomato in Final Fantasy 12.

The twelfth part of the legendary Final fantasy the franchise is one of the most underrated titles in the series and draws heavily on Dune in its early-game visual design. The opening acts of the game in particular, which take place in the desert metropolis of Dalmasca, recall the sands of Arrakis and the streets of Arrakeen with great veracity. The precious mineral magicite powers almost everything in the Ivalice overworld, and its relevance to the story is similar to that of spices in Villeneuve’s film.. Final Fantasy XII also features a well-crafted royal plot that fans of Dune are sure to appreciate.

8 Anthem

A freelancer aims for a titan in Anthem.

Players shouldn’t be fooled by EA Games ‘mechanically driven gameplay’ Anthem – it is a masterpiece of high science fiction that could represent a new angle of view Dunes unnamed infantrymen. In this cross-platform title, players take on the role of a futuristic mercenary and engage in all manner of technology-driven close quarters combat. Although it contains nothing of the royal drama of Arrakis, Anthem features a cast of well-drawn and played characters reminiscent of Dune favorites like Idaho and Lady Jessica. The game also has the rare distinction of feeling as if it could exist within Dunes universe – somewhere on a distant planet accessible only with the help of spice.

7 Mass Effect

The Abyssal jumps out of the sand in Mass Effect: Andromeda.

On the surface, the Mass Effect the series seems to be poles apart from Dunes aesthetic. While only a fraction of its story takes place on a sandy planet and primarily eschews tales of feuding nobles, this interstellar trilogy brings a lot of interfaction wars and political intrigue to its nuanced sci-fi universe, which Dune fans will appreciate for sure.

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In a striking visual reference, Mass Effect: Andromeda features a colossal remnant known as the Abyssal, which plunges in and out of the Elaaden deserts like a mechanical sandworm. Finally, although this may be a minor point, the Mass EffectThe series’ dynamic choice-driven narrative system allows players to feel the weight of heavy decisions similar to those faced by Paul, Leto, and Jessica. Although no mission draws directly from Dune, the experience of therefore leading a team in a sci-fi war seems genuine in the spirit of Villeneuve’s 2021 film.

6 Final Fantasy X

Tidus attacks a sandworm in Final Fantasy 10.

With what is widely regarded as one of the best stories in the Final fantasy franchise, Final Fantasy X taken from Dune with an “alien in a strange land” narrative structure that offers an unprecedented immersion in its magical sci-fi world. Bikanel Island, Spira’s only desert biome and home to Fremen-like Al Bhed, presents the most direct inspiration from Dune with a vast harsh landscape and even an overpowered enemy resembling a sandworm. Although this Final fantasy The episode features a unique fantasy representative of the larger franchise, the influence of Arrakis’ worldview on Spira’s characters and political dynamics cannot be overlooked.

5 destiny

The sun is setting behind a mercenary on Mars in Destiny.

As Anthem, destiny and its many DLCs all make it seem like they could be configured for a quick jump into interstellar space from Arrakis. destiny features many powerful monsters, many of whom would feel right at home in the harsh environment of Dunes sandfields, and its projectile combat system regularly plunges players into exchanges of fire reminiscent of the skirmishes between House Atreides and Harkonnen. Perhaps most impressive is the cinematic reach that characterizes the higher-level raid missions in destiny and its 2017 sequel, which approaches the epic scale of encounters in Frank Herbert’s novel.

4 Age of empires

The armies prepare to face each other in Age of Empires.

A classic empire building simulator, any player who enjoyed the political and military game of Dune will certainly find its fulfillment in the historical shock of the kingdoms which characterizes the Age of empires franchise.

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While many locations in the series don’t look like Frank Herbert’s vibrant sci-fi world, some maps like the Painted Desert, Arabia, Mongolia, and the Nile Delta allow players to pretend they’re leading games. legions in battle on Arrakis. The most direct reference to Dune can be found on the Sea of ​​Worms game map – a random desert which, according to the lore of the game, was once full of worm-like sea monsters.

3 Final Fantasy XV

Prince Noctis and his bodyguards ride chocobos towards a giant tortoise in Final Fantasy 15.

As one of the largest Final fantasy titles to date, it’s no surprise that the 15th installment of the series relies heavily on Dunenarrative components. The game places players in command of Noctis, a prince similar to Paul Atreides, in the midst of a war between the two greatest kingdoms in the world of Eos. Built around the friendships between the young prince and his bodyguards, this title presents deep and nuanced relationships like that between Paul and his mentor Idaho in the classic history of Herbert. Better yet, fans of Dune can download Final Fantasy XV for free on PlayStation 5 with a qualifying PSN membership and experience this classically inspired game for yourself.

2 Homeworld: The Deserts of Kharak

Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak bomb explodes

This 2016 title is perhaps the most directly inspired by Dunes aesthetics of all titles on this list. A game of pure strategy, this sequel to the cult classic from 1999 Home world is perhaps best described as an homage to the classic Frank Herbert story, filled with a tale of religious, philosophical, and military conflicts characterized by a unique “technomad” art style.

RELATED: 10 Best Quotes From Dune (2021)

Set on a vast desert world, even the name of the planet, Kharak, exhibits a phonetics similar to Dunes Arrakis and offers hours of immersive world-building that fans of both series are sure to enjoy. Kharak Deserts includes many factions in the game, whose dynamics are inspired by the conflicts between House Atreides, House Harkonnen and the Fremen people.

1 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Cal looks up a steep cliff in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

With the novel for Dune released twelve years before Star Wars: A New Hope, Frank Herbert’s influence on author George Lucas and his world-renowned science fiction anthology cannot be overstated. The recent title Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order highlights the protagonist Cal Kestiss who, although not from the nobility, possesses many characteristics similar to Dunes Paul Atreides, especially in his superhuman abilities, stubborn nature and propensity for extremism. It is a well tied Star wars game that challenges the genre, stretching beyond the boundaries of traditional space fiction and into the realm of political and social themes like Herbert’s novel. The game even features its own version of the Sandworm – the Ibdis Maw – which deviates from and builds on the design of Return of the Jedi Dune-inspired by Sarlacc.

NEXT: 9 Best Relationships In Dune, Ranked

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