Here's a look at the Harkonnens in Dune: Spice Wars

Baron Harkonnen
(Image credit: Shiro Games)

With Dune: Spice Wars bringing back a setting that basically defined the RTS for 20 years, there's a few things we know for sure. One of them is that there will be Atreides, our most noble protagonists, and the other? The other is that there will be Harkonnens. Developer Shiro Games has detailed a bit about the second faction for Spice Wars, the upcoming 4X/RTS hybrid, and their tactics look to be about as nasty and brutish as you'd think.

Rich beyond reason, the Harkonnens are cruel manipulators who favor a brute-force approach to victory. Their councillors are Glossu Rabban, a profit-focused governor, Piter de Vries, a spymaster and sabotage expert, Feyd-Rautha, a charming manipulator, and Iakin Nefud, a general who spends lives like money.

The Harkonnens will have the best spies and a powerful battlefield presence. They don't shy away from assassination, either, with a special drone unit specialized in just that.

Harkonnen troops are apparently berserkers, and they get stronger the more damage they take. To aid in that, Harkonnen ranged weapon users use area of effect explosives to damage both the enemy and their own troops—it hurts their own side, yes, but it hurts the other side more!

Dune: Spice Wars is coming to early access this year, and in addition to the Harkonnens and Atreides has two unrevealed factions. Keep an eye out, as we'll have more details soon.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.