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.

-GW

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Hide and Shriek Gameplay Trailer: The Polite Heart Attack Maker, Almost Here

So, Funcom wants to pair up like-minded folks and get them to merrily jump scare each other to death’s doorstep while sitting at separate computers miles (or less) apart? Cool. Ringu-round the caller, is a noose that’s not so loose, right? Anyway, here’s a press release below to peruse, as I’m in the middle of a sudden freelance gig with a pointy deadline poking me in the behind (OW!):

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Scare or be scared in this fun Halloween multiplayer game full of high jinks and mischief! Set traps, cast spells, and scare the living hell out of your opponent to win!

Hide and Shriek is a one vs. one multiplayer romp played out in ten minute matches. Your objective is simple: be a mischievous little rascal and scare your opponent half to death before time runs out! If there is no clear winner when the timer stops, the player with the most points wins the game. Points can be acquired by scaring your opponent, luring them into traps, or performing an ancient ritual.

There is just one catch: you are both invisible!

You will need to use cunning traps and potent spells to reveal your opponent. Once you spot them, sneak up on them and give them a good scare! Just remember they are looking for you too, and if you`re not careful you might be the one jumping in your seat!

AVAILABLE OCTOBER 25th, 2016!

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So, yeah. If you happen to be in my area and swing by on Halloween and I don’t answer the door, I’m probably curled up on the carpet clutching my own Telltale Heart. Thanks, Funcom!

-GW

Hide and Shriek: Funcom Looks To Scare Up Some MP Madness For Halloween

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Last October, Funcom released the great chilling single player horror adventure The Park, a fairly short and somewhat bleak experience that was memorable on a few levels and well worth its price point. This year, the company is going for a more lighthearted online 1 v 1 multiplayer-focused experience with Hide & Shriek, set to launch later this month (Did someone say SOON-o-ween? No? Must have been the wind!).

Teaser? What teaser? Oh.. THAT teaser! Let’s have a look now, shall we?

Here’s a bit more about what to expect:

It`s Halloween and the students of magic at Little Springs High and Innsmouth Academy are about to honor an ancient tradition: sneaking into school after midnight, turning themselves invisible, and scaring the living hell out of each other!

 

Hide and Shriek is a one vs. one multiplayer romp played out in ten minute matches. Your objective is simple: be a mischievous little rascal and scare your opponent half to death before time runs out! If there is no clear winner when the timer stops, the player with the most points wins the game. Points can be acquired by scaring your opponent, luring them into traps, or performing an ancient ritual.

 

There is just one catch: you are both invisible!

 

You will need to use cunning traps and potent spells to reveal your opponent. Once you spot them, sneak up on them and give them a good scare! Just remember they are looking for you too, and if you`re not careful you might be the one jumping in your seat!

 

  • Play with friends or strangers in ten-minute one vs. one multiplayer matches!

  • You are both invisible! You will need all your cunning to spot your opponent: look for doors opening, objects flying in midair, or traps being sprung!

  • Over thirty different spells to discover, each with their own impish effect: blind your opponent, booby-trap doors, unleash a demon upon them, and much more!

  • Shriek at your opponent to scare them! Use scary masks of famous characters like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, or use skulls and zombie heads that can be modified with accessories like gooey eyeballs, bloody hatchets, and much more!

  • Dominate the leaderboards or get scared trying!

Well, then… I’m gathering this one will scare up some decent sales soon enough with or without the political addition some on both sides of the isle here in the U.S. of A. may get a bit testy over. But hey, all in good fun, right? Anyway, the idea is solid, those visuals look great and if the price is right, this one could be a seasonal smash hit when all is said and dome.

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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.

Review: The Park (PC)

THE PARK bannerPlatform: PC
Developer/Publisher: Funcom
MSRP: $9.99
# of Players: 1
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B (80%)

Although it’s set in The Secret World universe, no previous experience with that MMO is needed to get a jolt or two from The Park, Funcom’s short psychological horror adventure that’s both a nice looking and eventually haunting game experience. It’s not without flaws that make parts a lot less immersive than they should have been and as an experiment in storytelling it relies on too much inner dialogue from the main character that makes her sound more like a writer working on a short story in her head more than a worried parent. That said, if you’re in the right mood on the right dark night, the game will eventually get its creepy points across and right under your skin.

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When her child, Callum, goes missing during a trip to a shuttered amusement park with his single mother, Lorraine, she heads into the gloomy, deserted venue in order to track him down. That’s the simplistic way of telling the story without spoiling much because the game experience is actually fairly short, clocking in at about two hours if you take your time and do as much as possible. As Lorraine makes her way around the park calling out her son’s name, she ends up making the rounds of the few rides and attractions while talking to herself (internally and externally), finding newspaper clippings and other notes that detail the park’s not so safe past history. Continue reading

THE PARK: Fear Rides The Fairway in Funcom’s New Horror Quickie

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A trip to the amusement park really goes off the rails in Funcom’s new short first-person psychological horror experience, THE PARK, now available for PC on digital platforms Steam, Humble Store, NVIDIA GeForce Now Store, Green Man Gaming, and GamersGate for $9.99, a 23% savings on the game’s $12.99 MSRP. If you’re like me and thinking “Hey, doesn’t Funcom only make big-budget MMO experiences these days?” Well, you’re not 100% wrong there. And you’re not 100% correct, either. Funcom wants you to know they’re not all about those expensive to produce and addictive online time-sinks these days:

“Thanks to similar games in the narrative space, such as ‘Gone Home’, ‘Dear Esther’ and ‘The Stanley Parable’, we are confident that there is a place in the gaming industry for shorter, intense experiences,” says Funcom creative director Joel Bylos. “Technically, it explores the limits of what is possible for a team to achieve with a small budget, short deadline and a strong focus.”

 

Aha. Well, short and horrific seem to be selling well these days, Funcom does have the talent to make it work and hey, at ten bucks… that’s less than a movie ticket and you don’t just get to sit there and get scared while choking on your popcorn. THE PARK seems like a game that while brief, is going to get people talking. Or in this era of social video site streaming, sitting down in front of their monitors watching someone play and freak out. Hmmmm. You can probably have someone feed you popcorn while you play this one. Just don’t be surprised at all if that a piece of that slimy “buttered” junk ends up shoved into a nostril at some point because Fatima peeled out of the room in fear an stuck that corn in the first orifice he or she could reach.

Sometimes, it’s best to experience certain types of horror alone. Or at least after you have your popcorn.

Random Holiday Greetings Roundup



Here’s a few more of the e-cards or holiday-themed images that have ended up in my inbox (I don’t drive, but thanks, Maserati!). I need to poke around and see what’s ended up in the spam folder, as on occasion, a card or three turns up there as well. Click on that amusingly rustic card from CDProjeckt Red’s The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings for a trip to its pre-order page, as there’s a rather spectacular bonus-packed deal on the upcoming title that’s very hard to refuse. For some wonky reason, I can’t even see the digital card Atlus USA sent out, but I’ll try to upload and post it later.