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Dune: Spice Wars hits Steam early access later in April

Fremen confirmed as fourth playable faction.

Dune: Spice Wars launches in early access form on 26th April.

The real-time strategy game features four factions fighting each other for control of spice on Dune's iconic desert planet, Arrakis.

Publisher Funcom and developer Shiro Games also announced the fourth playable faction, the Fremen, who join the Atreides, Harkonnen and Smugglers factions. Here's the official blurb:

"With a greater capacity to move across and withstand the open desert, less chance to attract colossal sandworms, and an improved ability to ally with hidden Sietches (neutral native settlements), the Fremen are uniquely poised to expand their area of influence in order to control the planet."

A first look at gameplay is below:

Cover image for YouTube videoDune: Spice Wars - First Gameplay Trailer

The Femen are the native inhabitants of Arrakis and, as anyone who's read Frank Herbert's books or seen the movies will know, aren't thrilled by the planet's imperial invaders. They lead the resistance against the Harkonnen occupation, sand worms in tow.

In January, Shiro Games said it went for a "cartoonish" art style for Spice Wars so looking at a desert planet for hours on end isn't boring.

Elsewhere, Funcom is developing an open-world survival multiplayer game set in the Dune universe. The company behind Age of Conan holds the exclusive rights to develop and publish Dune games on PC and consoles.