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Dune: Awakening to focus on 'topical' war 'between humans and artificial intelligence'

Joel Bylos, chief creative officer at Funcom and creative director of Dune: Awakening, has stated that the game will focus on a "topical" war "between humans and artificial intelligence." 

In an interview with Eurogamer, Bylos shared some juicy details about the upcoming game. Though plenty was revealed in what panned out to be a fascinating conversation, perhaps the biggest unveiling was that Dune: Awakening will take place in an "alternate history" set to occur "a few years" before the events of the books.

This may come as a shock for fans of the source material, given that Frank Herbert's Dune series is famous for its complex plotlines and intrigues. 

"Things are slightly different in our universe," said Bylos. "Many events are still the same, so it's not like we've gone all  'thousands of years ago, a rock slid in the wrong place and changed everything'. It's just a few years back. But the significant thing - it's really close to spoiler territory, which I can't really go through - but let's just say that for the large part, we sort of sidestep religion."

However, this doesn't mean that Dune's themes are falling by the wayside. Bylos stressed that Dune: Awakening will focus on the Butlerian Jihad - a historical war in the Dune setting between humans and artificial intelligence (AI). 

"I found a point in the universe - like it was a really fun thing to go back to the Herberts and be like, 'Hey, if we say this happened in our universe, and then this is the flow of consequences from that, so at this point, things changed, are you okay with that?' Because then I can kind of position everything for a video game, and they were like, 'Yeah, actually that's great', and then you're not stepping on the lore."

In other Dune: Awakening news, it's been revealed that players will be able to choose between Harkonnen and Arrakis factions, with a third arriving after launch.

Want more immersive titles? Check out our lists of the best single-player games and the best RPGs.

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