Early Access look at Conan Exiles
By Zoe Howard On 4 Feb, 2018 At 02:44 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News, Uncategorized, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments


A little note about this early release article: I was given the Xbox One edition from Realotakugamer.com, but  because of the inability to play that version of the game (due to the many bugs and save glitches), I sent in for the Steam edition through retroislife.com because I knew it was playable. This article applies to both versions of the game; over the last two months I have put a fair amount hours into both versions. Most of the time was spent on the Steam edition due to the many flaws of the Xbox One’s early access build.

Conan Exiles is a open-world survival game that pits you against the natural elements in addition to the scattered population of humans and creatures in the wasteland.  You start the game creating your character in a honestly, somewhat of an expansive character creator.  However, it is also a bit limiting, too, as it could use more hair styles and body types. For those that don’t remember, this game’s development got in trouble a while back for having not only the ability to adjust the voluptuousness of the female characters, but also the size of the male genitalia. All of which is shown its it s fully rendered glory for the players to see.

After spending time creating your character, you begin the game left to die on a cross. Conan frees you and leaves you as quickly as he arrives, questioning whether it was better to free you or leave you where he finds you. From this point on, it’s a matter of keeping your wits about you as you enter the vast world with nothing but linins covering you (depending on your level of the nudity censor). You can pick between third person or first person as your game style. I myself have always been partial to third person in exploration games so this was a must for me.

As I begin, I feel it is only fair to note that this is the only open-world  survival game I have ever played besides Minecraft. From my time in the game, I must say it does take a little while to get used to the controls. Once you do though, it is a seamless experience you will quickly get the hang of. Even on Steam, the controls work exactly like their console counterpart. The basics all fall under gathering materials to build weapons, food, armor and shelter. As you level up your character, you unlock more abilities and things you can build. This allows a great deal of customization to the game. While I knew I could build a home fort and defend it, I decided to take a more nomadic approach by hiding chests throughout the land and continuing to travel about.

The world itself is pretty big and diverse in style. You will travel short distances and find that you can go from open and empty desert to rivers and forest areas. There  is also a volcano area as well as the snow mountains to the north. The lands themselves are littered with signs of life that once flourished in the area. Fallen bridges and giant statues are scattered across the landscape,  and aid in really giving the world a life of its own.

Having not read any of the Conan books or comics, I don’t really know if any of the creatures included in the game are actually from the source material. What is included here is a good collection of different types of creatures; the kind you would see in nature mixed with original ideas that help fill the landscape with intrigue and concern. You never really know which creatures will be hostile or peaceful until you venture across them. Sure, you expect alligators and large spiders to be aggressive, but what will make you really apprehensive is trying to figure out which of the humans are actually peaceful. It’s impossible to know unless they are already charging on your position.

The gameplay really reminds me of The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The stamina meter will really determine what you can and can’t do, though it is far more lenient in the beginning than Zelda was. Climbing rock faces, battling enemies, and even the basic concept of running is all controlled by stamina. As you level up, you are awarded stat points that can improve all your basic attributes such as health, stamina and such.

The crafting in Conan Exiles starts off pretty basic. You need to collect small amounts of different items to combine into larger items. The higher the level you climb,  and the more you unlock, the greater the requirements will be on the higher level items. This really opens the game to how you want to play. As I said, I chose a more nomad approach and build only what I needed to survive. Probably just one of many ways this game can be played.

The map system for Conan Exiles is a really nice set up. The access to it is super easy (just press the right directional button). What makes this work so well for me is that there aren’t any places marked on it. It is up to you to discover them and place markers how you see fit. The map does highlight where you died making getting back to your supplies somewhat easier. Though I am not sure if it is on a timer or depends on how many times you die but your body will disappear taking all of your hard earned items with you. This is probably one of the more infuriating moments in the game.

I don’t want to spend too much time focused on the issues with the game. This is a early access game, after all. I believe it isn’t slated to be fully released till the 2nd quarter of 2018. A lot can change before then. What I do want to say is that the XBox One edition needs help, badly. Most of the delay on this article was due to the fact it constantly crashed the game or console, as well as lost my save data. Though this was a big problem early on, it has since been fixed. Still, my last attempt to play the Xbox One edition (last week) left me unable to play. The stamina bar was broken in a previous update which made doing anything impossible. Once the stamina drained it never refilled as it once did. Major bummer.

The Steam edition of the game has been out for a bit longer and it shows. It works far better than the Xbox One edition. It is with this in mind that I say, if you are indeed interested in checking out this game in its early access form, go with the Steam edition! Considering you have to pay for the game on either platform you will at least get your money’s worth on PC. The Steam edition is also cheaper so there is that to consider as well. They are constantly updating the game on both platforms so I am sure it is only a matter of time before the Xbox edition catches up with the Steam version.

Conan Exiles has left a memorable mark, even in its early access version. The create-your-own gaming experience given to us by their open world design means that there is something for everyone to do in this detailed, new world. When it comes to pushing the boundaries through world design and graphics, this game does a pretty good job. As an introduction into this unique and interesting genre of gameplay, I look forward to see where the game will take us. If you have ever wanted to wander the world of Conan this could be a great way to do so.

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