Conan-Exiles-Review Conan Exiles Review

   14/06/2018 at 11:54       Chris OToole       0 COMMENTS. - Score 3/5
 - PS4, Xbox One, PC, Survival, Wang

Review by Terry Bonds.

 

Once in a while I find myself late at night getting lost in YouTube, stay with me there is a reason for this start, one of those nights I'd somehow got onto the lonely island again - which is no bad thing - they are bloomin' funny.  I digress from my digressing, I'd only ever watched the video for dick in a box, I didn't know Justin Trousersnake and Andy Samberg had gone and done two "sequels".  So there I was watching 3-way (the golden rule), and then it got to part about how to impress a girl (2 minutes 40 seconds for the curious).  Anyway, it's a very good song - 4 out of 5.

Fast forward to now and I've been asked to review another one of these survival games, I'm rubbish at them and I don't really enjoy them.  So who better to review Conan Exiles?  Look, I've played Subnautica for a bit. It's fine.  Ignoring the survival element for a moment, what really sold me on Conan was that you got full on frontal with no holds barred, I definitely needed some of that action.  However I wasn't quite prepared for how much wang you actually get, but what is with that twitching ball sack?  Also where do they get their razors from?  So neat and tidy down there.  It boggles the mind.

So after I'd extended my character's penis to its maximum size I finally settled down to play (after the 20 hour wait for it to install and update...), it's not a great start - the first cut scene shows my character with the default sized wang - what is this?  No matter, some guy is checking me out and wondering whether to cut me down.  It's dramatic, it's sandy, it's manly man posturing and rousing speeches, it's stormy, it's epic... oh the game just dumps you in with no instructions of any kind.  After a while you stumble across a poor sod being chewed on by a big ol' bird thing, good news though he has dropped a book with some handy hints about a guy getting his men to pick up twigs and stones... err, what?  I look about and wander up to some twigs and rocks and press X.  No way, I've picked up some stuff.  Top tip, walk about with X held down.  However, don't think about where your character is storing this stuff.  I suppose that foreskin is quite stretchy...

After holding X for a while you manage to build up enough resources to start crafting things, I’ve got to say the crafting and building is really bloody good.  I built a nice two storey place in the beginner area by the river, it was cosy it had crafting stations, it felt like home.  But I’m jumping ahead.  Things start simple; weapons and gathering tools to primitive armour and light sources.  As you get better weapons you can start taking on the creatures wandering around and either get food or other resources - had to look how to do that one on the interwebs, seems obvious now - which then leads to leather and better gear.  Add this to moving into newer areas with different resources and you have a really good progression system, and that’s not even covering how combat builds into it with the risk and reward that comes with harvesting even more resources or dying and having to run back to your dead body naked with wang and sack twitching in the wind (unless you had the good idea to store some goodies for this very purpose of course).  All is not lost if you die (difficulty level blah blah blah) as your buildings have multiple purposes; crafting, storage but more importantly as a respawn point via a bed or bedroll.

Going back to the combat for a moment, I really liked it.  I found it quite tactical and when outnumbered or out muscled you can successfully use long range weapons and positioning to win the day even as a noob. Of course that is until you face an enemy greater than anything you’ve faced before. A cliff edge. I imagine they have claimed the life of a newbie more times than any alligator has. One of the areas you move into after the beginning area has packs of roaming hyenas, and as more experienced players will tell you there is never just one hyena.  One memorable moment saw me successfully fend off a pack of five hyena with the starter pike, but my moment of triumph unfortunately ended in heap at the bottom of a cliff.  Damn you cliff edge!  But (depending on difficulty level…) the death and respawn mechanic is quite fair, you get the chance to go find your dead body and to grab the loot before you lose it all together.

I haven’t got all day for this, so let’s move on. The usual thing you get with survival games of this type is biomes.  A way to have different environments to try and keep things fresh and keep the progression of your character going, each biome bringing with it new creatures and new challenges (and new resources for that funky crafting system).  The map shows you what you can expect such as desert dunes, rivers, jungles, a city, lava, frozen lands, scrub lands and more.  With these biomes you get PvE challenges, such as world bosses, dungeons, a corruption mechanic (debuff fun times) and also there is a raid (not that sort of raid) mechanic where hordes of baddies attack your base / house - this escalates from small beasties to big and scary. In addition to all that, you can enslave people to perform certain roles. You have to capture them, torture them and then you’ve got yourself some manual labour, fighter, or specialised thrall. Again another system that has meat on the bones that lets you get your teeth into. Trust me, stuff takes time to do in this game, so the extra pairs of hands come in handy.

One thing I didn’t even mention, when picking your character you can choose a religion, and early on you can build a shrine to start praying to your chosen deity.  This can have quite a big (see what I did there) impact when it comes to end game. As the game actually allows you to summon a god, or more accurately an avatar of one… I admit I got nowhere near doing anything like that when I played, but I’ve seen the video of the guy soloing a clan base with the squid of doom. Impressive stuff. Oh yeah, unless you picked Crom - then you are bang out of luck.  No avatar summoning for you!  Although it’s not a permanent choice, you can change your religion at leaders throughout the map.

I can’t comment on the PvP side of things, nor clans but I imagine it works the same as in many other games - you all get together, all excited at the prospects or building the biggest fortress the game has ever seen and a week later you’re the only one left playing. But, and there is always a but - this review can’t all be positive and smiles we need to discuss the bugs.

When I first installed the game, I was told I needed two updates around 20GB in size as well.  Blimey, should be pretty bug free I thought.  Not really, and to be far for a game this big with this many systems I’m not surprised there are moments it all goes wonky.  There are some I read about that I didn’t experience, like falling through the map and some which are forgivable like crafting mysteriously not working (fixed by exiting the menu and going back in).  Another bug can be a bit nerve-wracking when you get stuck to the spot with monsters approaching (this one I think was fixed by finishing collecting resources, maybe I was stuck to the tree) and thankfully that one only happened once.  But there is one bug that is unforgivable and almost caused this review to end in a one out of five and a three word review of “fuck this game!”, thankfully I’ve mellowed out since, and that is when your dead body is nowhere to be found.  You can see the symbol on the map, but everything you had on you is long gone.  Now there is an argument here that I really should git gud but this stuff is infuriating.  There is a setting to keep all your stuff on death, but that’s really wrapping yourself in cotton wool and defeats the whole point of the game… survival but with all ya lootz intact? No thanks. In summary then there are quite a few kinks that need working out still but there is definitely a good game to be found underneath those bugs.  

In its current state I can only really give it a 3 out of 5, I had fun and it’s good but those bugs need squashing. Oh and the lonely island reference? All together now… “fellas, get ready, to impress a girl? Helicopter dick! Go! Helicopter dick, helicopter dick! To impress a girl do the helicopter dick!” In Conan Exiles, there will be no impressing the girls.

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Better late than never, eh Ror?
 
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Enjoyed this, cheers!
 
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