Surviving the new Dune MMO sounds like hell, but at least you can drink the blood of your enemies

Dune: Awakening will pair survival and crafting mechanics with the social interaction of a massively multiplayer online game, letting players fulfill the hellish fantasy of surviving life on Arrakis. Yes, you can fly an ornithopter. Yes, you can use the Voice to bend the will of your enemies. And yes, you can drink the blood of your enemies in an effort to stay hydrated on Dune’s deadly desert planet.

On Monday, during the Dune: Awakening Direct livestream, Funcom chief creative officer Joel Bylos walked potential players through the scope of the survival MMO, detailing what they can (and can’t) do in game. You can’t kill a sandworm, and it doesn’t sound like you’ll be able to ride one — at launch, anyway.

Survival and crafting are unsurprisingly a major component of Dune: Awakening. Players will have to be mindful of dangers, like sandstorms, sandworms, exposure to Arrakis’ intense sunlight, and dehydration. To combat the latter, players will be able to explore Arrakis’ dew fields or eat plant fibers that contain trace amounts of water. In more desperate situations, players can shoot enemies and take their blood as a source of water.

Players will also scavenge for resources to craft their personal arsenal. They’ll make their own stillsuit, forge steel, build bases, and construct machines as they advance through Dune: Awakening’s technology tree. Players will get access to ornithopters, sand bikes, and thumpers — all helpful devices when trying to avoid the sandworms of Arrakis, a constantly looming threat.

Another threat? Other players. Dune: Awakening will take a combined-arms approach, letting players use melee, ranged weapons, special abilities, and vehicles to wage war against their opponents.

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Dune: Awakening also promises “political survival,” as players can align themselves with house Atreides or Harkonnen and rise through the ranks to achieve positions of power. “The universe of Dune is a perfect place with these politics and intrigue,” Bylos said, noting that Funcom’s approach was “let’s get players hooked on the survival [gameplay] and then bring them into the political survival of the Dune universe.” Players will start their journey in Dune: Awakening as a survivor lost in the desert, but through mentorship and in-game contracts, may wind up as a high-ranking baron.

It sounds like there are less politically motivated career options as well. Players who want to live their life on Arrakis as a crafter or architect, selling blueprints of their elaborate custom bases can do that too.

Dune: Awakening is coming to PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X, but Funcom has not revealed a release window for the game.