How Dune's video game adaptations succeeded where movies failed
This week's Kim Justice video is sort of a half and half affair, looking at Dune -- primarily we're looking at the somewhat weird and wonderful Cryo adaptation of the book, but obviously there'll be time to look at the somewhat more famous Westwood Real-Time Strategy game as well. And of course, there's also a bit of a look at the films -- both the ones that didn't make it, and the rather scorched one that did. As ever, you can watch the video right here.
Despite the efforts of some of cinema's best and brightest, as well as some of its most iconoclastic people, Dune never quite made it to the big screen. The king of epics turned it down, a Chilean surrealist mastermind created a twelve hour script that was ultimately too expensive to film, a hot young British director eventually passed it over for another sci-fi project, and finally a hot American director passed the biggest sci-fi project going up in favour of tackling it -- the result being a film that was confused, pulled from pillar to post, that wasn't exactly liked and bombed at the box office. Even the best minds of Hollywood couldn't take it on -- Frank Herbert's epic tale of war between two houses was almost cursed, it seemed.
The games, on the other hand, managed it. Westwood's Dune II naturally took the core elements and with it created an excellent and highly influential RTS, but the game from French developers Cryo, while not as remembered today, is an excellent mix of strategy, role-playing and adventure that, better than any other adaptation, puts you directly in the shoes of the man at the centre of it all, Paul Atriedes. It still stands as perhaps one of the best multimedia games of all-time, one that succeeded where a lot of other games that championed full motion video and the like completely failed. As seminal as Westwood's game was, this deserves more recognition -- and hopefully you enjoy this little video that tries to redress the balance somewhat.