Review: Conan Exiles (PS4)

Conan Exiles

Survival games come in a few flavors these days and Funcom’s mostly solid Conan Exiles ($49.99) has that interestingly coppery taste of blood, a bit of crunch from a handful of insects and a grassy finish, all wrapped in a hide of some sort that’s been smoked thoroughly. Or something like that. The game is a rough and tumble chunk of violent fun, complex crafting (that *really* needs streamlining), endless exploration and thankfully, offline play when those too packed servers are busy.

As with ARK: Survival Evolved, the massive open world sandbox element tosses you into things nearly naked and needing to gather resources quickly or die trying. Conan pops up at the beginning to free your user-created crucified character and wish you well before you’re left to your own devices. The game prompts you onward with small to large milestones and some fast level gains for small to large accomplishments. Drinking water, finding space for and creating that first shelter, crafting your first basic armor, figuring out the ridiculously complex cooking system and more all help you get a feel for the game right away. Or at least, you’ll realize that this is a game where you’ll need to pay constant attention to even the smallest thing lest you want to punt that Dual Shock 4 through your TV.

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By Crom! Conan Exiles Out Now on Consoles

Conan Exiles

Or: By Crom, I think I’ll never see daylight again. Yes, Funcom has gotten it’s popular M-rated MMO/survival/crafting game Conan Exiles out today on PS4 and Xbox One along with a nice update for PC users. I’m going into this totally blind other than checking out a few official gameplay videos and trailers over the past year from the PC version. My money says death will come quickly for my poor character, but I’m going to try and survive as long as possible (well, as least until I can build a decent shelter). Granted, I’ll need to make it through the character creation system, as I’m still thinking up what sort of character I’m going to make. I like that the tips PDF I got notes that choosing Crom as a starting deity makes the character agnostic, but you also get NO benefit bonuses from choosing him (as it should be).



While I don’t plan to do any PVP stuff (as I want to enjoy the story and gameplay without pulling all my remaining hair out because my avatar keeps getting killed by belt-notchers out to grab scalps wherever they can), I may pop onto a server and check out how long I’ll last there. I really want to focus on the lore and seeing how well any story content is structured, as Funcom says it’s not an empty sandbox you’ll be playing in. That means I’ll be searching high and low for lore to the point where I’ll very likely get keelhauled by an enemy because I’m busy reading some digitally dusty tome I’ve located. As well.

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Back in a bit with a review which will probably be in at least two parts. See you then.


Conan Exiles: “What Is Best In Life?” FunCom Has An Answer For That

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conanexiles_conanHmmm. Online only multiplayer games don’t hook me in any more (I prefer my adventuring solo and antisocially unconnected), but Conan Exiles might make me change my mind. Well, provided it can be played offline. FunCom is betting the farm that this announcement and short, glorious teaser trailer can get those who DO play online thrilled and judging from the response from a few friends, their strategy has worked. The game is certainly going to do well among fans finally getting that open world carnage they want with a familiar license drawing them in, but I don’t expect that players will actually get to BE the man himself. Conan the Clone isn’t much of a selling point, but I’m betting my own farm (it’s a tiny one) that the character creation system is fantastic to the point of having too many options for male and female avatars alike.


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Those pre-alpha screens above look a bit barren at the moment, but that’s part of the process and both are in no way to be seen as “final” release code. Early Access on Steam will get the dev team hearing from the masses once it’s up and running and should help make for the best Conan experience to date provided the input isn’t all whiners whining and actually coming up with useful suggestions. My only one so far is to make the game work offline like the traditional Elder Scrolls or Grand Theft Auto games, both of which did exceptionally well for years as primarily single player experiences. Granted, the GTA series has had online play over the past two console and PC installments. But I’d bet a shiny new nickel that FunCom will see more people play the game if they have a dedicated story mode added in that works in lore from the books and films. Just running around crafting, hacking and slashing is something many open world games already do and do quite well warts and all. Here’s hoping FunCom manages to take that to a new level of polish as it gets another Conan game ready for its close up.