Funcom’s open world survival RPG has just smashed it’s way out of Early Access on May 8th, brutality assaulting it’s competition making a name for itself. The question will the assault succeed? Scroll down to find out. For those that want to get down to the points about the positives and negatives about the game scroll down to the section breakdown.
The History Prior to Launch
I’ve been following this game closely since its Early Access release back in January 2017. Let me tell you, the game was extremely rough on the edges and plagued with massive amounts of exploits, bugs, constant crashing, progress being lost on official servers and even unofficial ones. The combat was terrible and on top of all of that the game lacked depth in content, it just felt like every other bug filled survival game that made promises that it couldn’t just follow through on.
The first round of patches were considered a mixed bag. Where fixes came in fixing old bugs and exploits but introducing new bugs/exploits, causing the first round of updates to be just plain stressful but Funcom kept at it. They admitted when they were wrong, they constantly kept in touch with the community and kept pushing out patches to try to fix the errors. Eventually the patches turned from mixed bags to positive bags. Let’s skip a few months of minor patches/updates that instead of breaking the game they made it better to the big patch that showed the community that Funcom is taking this game seriously. The patch I’m talking about is the Frozen North patch which ended up being an enormous expansion. It added so much content that it made the game feel like it was progressing the right way. This particular patch gave everyone hope that the game is in the right hands and gave us a taste of what’s to come for launch. It added more content to roam around, prepped us for the combat overhaul and added so many little features that overall made the game better.
Lets skip a few months later when they did the patch that brought in the combat overhaul and the purge system drastically changing the game for the better. The combat went from unsynced generalized combat to unique combo based combat where every weapon felt different. It helped make the game feel like you could truly play your way and fight your own way.
Conan is here with yet another massive update that added even more content pushing the game into the status of being ready to break the shackles of Early Access and show it’s self to the world. The game upped it’s brutality in combat, balanced out weapons/skills, added more elements to the religion system, a bigger map to explore and free-roam, more NPCs, the final touches on purge system, and more! [Refer here for the full update notes]. Funcom even added more official servers and are working on adding even more to fit all of the new and old players on there. They did have an issue earlier where there weren’t enough servers to support all of the players. I was lucky enough to make it on a server earlier and let me say that the game feels like it’s an AAA title back in the day when bugs were scarce and games were rich in content. It felt like a breathe of fresh air to play a game that actually feels like its complete or well at least as close as possible be considered complete. There is also minimal lag, and the people I’ve met were a nice bunch it didn’t give off this harsh toxic environment that a lot of survival games tend to have.
- A truly persistent open world with an in-depth environment that the player can utilize to his or her advantage.
- Combat is polished and consists of fluid animations that are overall appealing to the eye. The combos themselves make each weapon unique in their own way leading to intense combat whether it’s against other players or against the AI.
- Unique enslaving mechanic where you the player can break the will of an NPC and turn them from an enemy into a slave that can do your bidding!
- The ability to climb on any object and even being able to build upon some objects or the sides of them.
- The religion system is a HUGE standout for this game. For those that don’t know what the system is. Basically the player can summon a colossal sized being to lay waste to their enemies, each of the gods that you can summon are different from each other. On top of that depending on your religion will affect some aspects of the overall game-play for the player. For an example one of the gods allows the player to commit the act of cannibalism.
- The lore in the game is true to form for the Conan universe where the player is fully immersed in the universe as if they are in it themselves.
- The ability to host servers without having to resort to buying a official host to do it like on other survival games. This is leading to so many custom servers being made by the community offering each unique takes on their version of the game.
- The map is large and each section of it feel completely different then the previous sections. Example Frozen map can cause a player to die from hypothermia while the desert map can cause a player to die from heat exhaustion.
- The Building mechanics are smooth and they attach themselves to the terrain without much hassle. This makes it so easy to build a base alone or with others.
- Stats to the character change the way the game plays drastically.
- There are dungeons/raids like in MMORPGS which add some nice flavor to the game especially for those that want to focus more on PvE.
- The purge system is intense (if you have it on) where there will be an assault on your base at a specific time.
- The character creation is designed nicely to where there are more options than the bare minimum like in most games now a days. There isn’t as many options as say Black Desert online (in-case you don’t know about that game look up the character creation) but it has enough to make the character look unique compared to other player made characters. This may be a positive for others or even a negative for other people but for me I just feel mixed about it leaning more to the positive side.
- At the start the movement of the player feels a little slow but it can easily be changed when you get points for leveling (personally I prefer to mix the points so I don’t lose out instead of just rushing for agility). If you don’t rush into agility your character kinda runs slow but if you rush into agility stat you’re characters movement is much faster.
- This one is more of a personal opinion but I believe the durability on shields are a little low to where I feel like I have to dodge more than use the shield in combat. The shields don’t feel like actual shields to me at least.
- When playing in coop/friend server you can only go a certain length away from the host before the game starts pulling you back towards the host. This is something that just feels like it needs to be changed it really limits the game since you’d have to be close to the host. This also causes issues when you join a friend’s server and your character has no items what so ever and if they are in a spot where its meant for players who have said armor and weapons then you are screwed.
- Sometimes the Thrall (AI) that have had their wills broken don’t follow orders or defend the base. There are multiple times when I’ve seen them just ignore attackers for a few seconds and some even minutes then start defending the base. It’s not as bad as it was in Early Access but it’s still there. It happens every so often.
- Spawning enemies are odd. Sometimes when they are spawning they get stuck in the status of being spawned and can still attack you but you don’t do damage to them. I’ve run into this only twice.
Conan Exiles even though it has some issues it’s overall one of the best survival games to make it out of Early Access. There has been so much love from Funcom and anyone who plays the game can almost instantly see where the love has been put. The game will still get more content even after the launch as content as added I will update this review.
Remember, Conan Exiles is available on the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.