The tales of Conan the Barbarian have epitomized the essence of survival in the most brutal of environments. It’s only fitting that the land of Hyboria is adapted to a survival title. It’s only right that fans of the Barbarian have their opportunity to carve out their own fortunes and answer for themselves, “What is best in life?”
The first thing your greeted with upon entering the game is a short cutscene setting up your backstory. You’ve been crucified and left to die. Some stranger cuts you down from the tree, gives you water, and explains your situation to you. A magic bracer is clamped to your forearm. Take it off and you die. Move beyond the green magic wall and you die. Odds are you’ll die anyway unless you keep your wits about you and find food and shelter quickly.
If you’re unsure exactly what to do like I was, the game offers useful ideas for you to do such as crafting clothes, weapons, and tools. It keeps track of your achievements and adds new objectives as they become available. The suggestions are helpful for getting survival newbies started off on the right foot. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lost in the myriad of options and potential directions to take. These tips provide a little concrete practice with accomplishing useful tasks.
Conan Exiles has many traditional survival game elements and designs. Crafting with its tiers and components feels eerily like another dinosaur themed survival title. Weapons, gear, items, and consumables icons are housed in a neat little Minecraft style hotbar at the bottom of the screen and accessed and used the same way. These systems and designs will give survival fans something familiar to sink their teeth into.
The game is more than a collection of survival systems. In the world of Hyboria you can own thralls to do your bidding aiding you in tasks like crafting. Funcom has added The Purge, a system to help reduce server stagnation by keeping players engaged with their defense and upkeep.
One of the most interesting and powerful features of Conan Exiles is the server setup and the flexibility it offers. The game runs on a client server paradigm like Minecraft. Even when you play solo in “single player” mode the game engine still runs a server on your gaming rig. This allows the player to set a multitude of options affection progression, experience, and environment among many others. You can configure the game world to be nearly whatever you want. You can set your environment as harsh or moderate as you want to.
Last month Bill Murphy reported that Funcom will be publishing a slew of updates and changes yet to be revealed on May 8th. While I’ve been playing on the “testlive” branch to sneak a peak at some of the changes, most of it won’t be seen until after the update is published to all users.
What plans do you have for the May 8th launch? Will you be joining an official public server and if so what type? What server experiences would you be interested in seeing covered in the full review (no promises)?
Note: Our copy was reviewed on Steam with a code provided by PR.