Welcome to Hyboria, Exile. Your journey begins here, and it will end here.
The world of Robert E. Howard returns to the video game world in the form of Conan Exiles; a rich, open world environment that is filled with equal parts terror and beauty. You may play whomever you wish, male or female of any race known throughout Hyboria, and the world is yours to explore and conquer with all of the resources you can gather. Beware, however, because unless you are roaming the lands with friends, this world is an unforgiving one. In other words, be prepared to die, Exile. Like, a lot.
Before I continue with this, I’ll go ahead and answer your burning question: Yes, I did play with the “endowment” slider. Yes, it was ridiculously over the top (or below the knee, if you prefer) and no, it bears little to no significance unless your primary goal is to be the top tiered player in the nudist colony server.
For the record, as of writing this there is no nudist colony server.
There, now that that’s out of the way we can get to business.
Because Conan Exiles is in the earliest of preliminary stages, there’s not a whole lot to do except level up, build, and kill the creatures that will undoubtedly kill you as you travel around the designated map areas. Avoid NPCs if you can, because they will wipe the floor with you for quite some time if you’re rocking a solo game. There’s actually a lot of those, so for at least the first six levels I recommend finding a server that doesn’t designate you drop everything in your inventory upon death. That will get frustrating very quickly for a lot of players, as you will constantly be reconstructing everything you just lost for the nth time due to, say, getting your face pecked off by a killer ostrich.
With that, what I can say at this moment is that this game looks damn good. I enjoyed sitting down and watching the world go by on several occasions as the original music from Conan the Barbarian played in the background (this music is a place setter however, and the dev team has stated in videos that they are having their own score conducted by a not yet revealed musician.) The monsters look great as well, and even though you’re limited to a handful of encounters right now, the game trailer promises bigger, more terrifying beasts that will provide more than enough of a challenge for any exile.
Right now there are a few setbacks, and one that I don’t see getting any better is combat. If you are one of the people enraged by the type of combat that the Elder Scrolls games offer, Conan Exiles might not be for you. The minute I entered into a fight it began to emulate every encounter I ever had in Skyrim. That’s not to say that that is a bad thing. Hand to hand combat is a very complex beast, and having that communicate successfully through something as mundane as a button press is difficult. Still, it’s not broken, but as I perused the comments section of Steam this was the most prominent complaint and I felt it was worth mentioning.
The menu system could use some revamping as well, because it was hard to figure out just exactly how the attribute system broke down. I was able to deduce that you are, as always, building off of one item so as to create another item in the future, but that was where the clarity ended. This could use some tweaks, or maybe just a quick paragraph explaining just how the attribute system is supposed to work, but beyond that the rest of the menus are thankfully self explanatory.
As of writing this I’ve put thirteen hours into Conan Exiles, and those last few hours I cheated to get around on the map faster to see what else my personal slice of Hyboria offered. Needless to say, the land is expansive and varied, and there are monsters roaming the lands that I would have never in my wildest dreams imagined. The beauty and artistic integrity, as well as the attention to detail have me very excited about the days to come for Conan Exiles.
You can check out the cinematic trailer here.