Conan Exiles is an open world survival game developed by Funcom currently in Steam Early Access. I have been playing it for over a week now, so figured it was high time that I gave you my opinions on it. I will even do my best to not litter this preview with comments about the rather liberal attitude to being naked that the developers have taken. Yep, there will be no mention at all of huge tackle, bouncing boobs or naked or nude characters. What? I was just getting it out of my system.
The character creation is detailed with plenty of options to ensure your character is unique. Not in the trouser department of course most male characters seem to be similarly blessed in that area. That aside you have a whole load of sliders to fine tune every part of your characters creation.
Once you have created your anatomically implausible character the game starts with you naked and alone in the desert. From there you scavenge plants to make rudimentary clothes to cover up your shame, and pick up branches and stones to create your first basic tools. All while ensuring you don’t dehydrate, starve or get killed by this fairly-angry turtle things roaming the oasis.
Currently, there seems to be a little problem with lag in some situations. The game is Early Access so I am confident they’ll be resolved, but it seems at the moment combat seems to be a little laggy. Ultimately it’s the worst time for a system to lag when you’re trying to kill (or more likely run away from) an insanely hungry crocodile.
Other than that I haven’t really found any other technical issues with Conan Exiles. It seems to me to be a stable game, no system crashes or texture glitches to speak of.
So, taking a look at the game itself and it’s worth noting that I’ve been hiding away on a private server, so all my experiences are single player. (Stay tuned for when I experience the apparent schlong-fest that is multiplayer.)
The single player game, certainly at the lower levels is all about being cautious and not straying too far from the place you consider to be safe. I’ve built my own stone house with no windows, a basic bed and a campfire outside for light and cooking with. This little abode gives me what I need to feel safe. Namely, food, light, walls and it’s a stone’s throw away from the water.
Your hunger and thirst bars degrade at a decent rate too. They don’t go down too quickly. This is all related to your survival stat, but you don’t constantly have to look for food and water. You can still spend a good portion of each day gathering, and doing whatever you want before you start the dangerous hunt for food. (Once you get the campfire of course, food goes a little further and doesn’t rot as quickly)
The big rule of Conan Exiles is that you shouldn’t be too hasty with your actions. Be cautious and consider what you’re doing, also keep an eye out for danger, or you’ll be doing the naked corpe-run back to your body. Don’t even think about exploring until you have a few levels under your belt and ideally a stone weapon and shield. Of course on the multiplayer servers you can probably afford to be a little more gung-ho if you have friends with you to watch your back.
There’s no story to speak of, or at least I haven’t found one. Apart from a disembodied voice taking to you in a cryptic manner from interactive stones that glow blue, you’re free to do what you want. I also found the ghosts of a few people and their ghostly horse on a bridge, but there was no story there. It is this lack of story in Conan Exiles that might cause some players to lose their direction. If there’s no story to follow, then what do you do in between the levels as you wait for new recipes? Well, that’s up to you.
So, as a summary Conan Exiles is a pretty good open world survival game. Funcom have created a nice world to explore with a constant, challenging but not irritating level of danger in it. Technically, it’s getting there and graphically it’s starkly beautiful. The decision to have such control over the size of the genitalia is an interesting one, but it does fit in the context of Conan. I’ll keep playing to see what else Conan Exiles has to offer, and I suspect that Funcom has some good ideas.
Have you played the Conan Exiles Steam Early Access? If so, what do you think of it? Is it a work of genius or simply a bog-standard open world game with a Conan label on it? Let us know in the comments.