Dune early access update spices things up with multiplayer

Dune: Spice Wars received its first big early access update today, pitting players against each other as they fight over the spice and try to avoid becoming lunch for some big worms. 

Arrakis's would-be rulers can now work together in 2v2 multiplayer matches, or go it alone in a 4v4 free-for-all. If you can't find three other players to beat up, Dune will fill in any gaps with AI opponents, each with a customisable difficulty level. Similarly, you can tweak the map size, sandworm threat, victory conditions and more. 

While it's the headline attraction, multiplayer isn't the only thing being introduced in this update. Development trees have also been given another pass, with Shiro Games focusing, it says, on the synergy between factions. More events, political resolutions and regions have also been thrown into the mix. 

Last month, Shiro and Funcom released the early access roadmap, so we also know what's coming next. This summer, a new faction will be added, followed by space ports, advanced units and enhanced councillors later in the year.  

To mark the update, Dune: Spice Wars has also been discounted by 20% on Steam

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.