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Here's our first look at Dune: Spice Wars gameplay

Spicy.

Shiro Games (Northgard) has released the first gameplay of the upcoming Dune real-time strategy game, Spice Wars.

The video below shows off the video game version of Dune's famous sand world, Arrakis, unit movement as well as the user interface.

Watch on YouTube

You can rally villages or force them into submission, and, as you'd expect, set up the spice harvesting process. The idea is to build a foothold to start your conquest, pulling back the camera for a more strategic overview of Arrakis' dusty dunes.

There's a brief glimpse at combat, as well as the spying and diplomacy mechanics. (Yep, that's big old Vladimir Harkonnen in the virtual flesh.) And at the end of the gameplay clip we see one of Dune's iconic sandworms burst out of the ground to consume a few unlucky soldiers.

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

Expect a launch this spring in early access form on Steam, with updates planned including multiplayer, more factions and a full campaign.

Meanwhile, publisher Funcom is developing an open-world survival multiplayer game set in the Dune universe. (Funcom holds the rights to develop and publish Dune games on PC and consoles.)