“First, they took your Family and your Riches… Then? They took your Health and your Pride. Finally, they left you to die… What will you do Exile? When there is nothing left but to live, or to die?”
Real Talk By: Haggy
Those are the first words you get when you launch this game, and they do a tremendous job at setting up the theme of this survival game. Conan: Exiles officially released not too long ago from developer Funcom. The game itself focuses on your standard survival affair, with Food, Water, and Temperature being things you’ll have to manage while trying not to be killed/eaten by the wildlife, nature, or even tribals. However, unlike other survival games, this game takes a great effort into making sure that it goes far beyond just some survival game.
We’ll start with theming, which just so happens to be the single strongest element in this game. From your start at being freed from crucifixion with literally nothing on your person (Unless you decided to only go partial or no nudity) and as you gather scraps, spare resources, and even some world history, you eventually get past the death road and journey into the exile land, scrapping a living until you eventually become more progressed. This is no easy task as Cannibals, Hostile Fauna, and even terrifying weather seeks to end you.
But just how do you stave off being absolutely murdered? The combat system is actually a rather joy whenever you aren’t suffering from any frame rate drops or lag. With even a lock on, it’s actually quite reminiscent to Zelda, with dashes, rolls, attacks, and blocking serving to help you take care of yourself. Paired with an actually quire robust crafting system, this means you’ll be able to accomplish this with quite the varied arsenal. Daggers, Spears, Pikes, Axes, Hammers, Maces, Swords, Bows, Thrown Weaponry, and all sorts of other more specific brutal tools are yours for the taking.
The combat is only the start of the rather impressive array of systems Conan has to offer. A good climbing system, excellent crafting and building depth goes along quite well with the intensely well populated world. With Hunting parties, Herds and Flocks of fauna, and even the occasional giant world boss to go along with them, you can keep yourself thoroughly entertained even without considering the well crafted RPG and leveling mechanics and the in-depth and challenging world dungeons. In addition, you can do this with friends, on a server. You will be having plenty of time and adventures to have.
However, all is not so sublime in this brutal story. Firstly this game is certainly not for the faint of heart. With gore that would make Fallout blush, only being the tip of the iceberg. A good way to encompass this point is the Thrall system. In practice, this solves a problem with a lot of survival games by letting you get NPCs to help you with menial and benign tasks. Even as far as having them work stations to create weapons, armor, food, and even gathering and either protecting or attacking. Good system, if you’re fine with literally kidnapping, enslaving, and then breaking your newly found thralls before they do your bidding. It certainly adds to the world and is quite the fitting system, but it just goes to show that this game is certainly not for light-hearted audiences. Mechanically however, there is also a lot of grinding in some of the later stations and structures. With the resources required to build some things becoming quite a chore to gather with the sheer amount of resources you need.
All in all Conan: Exiles is a fantastic take on the survival game genre. Taking the basics and adding on with a deep, wide crafting.building progression. Then that is paired with a good RPG system, A very well populated world, Dungeons to plunder, Hunts to go on, Battles to wage, and enemies to Conquer. Whether it’s taking on some lowly cannibals, or taking on monsters that you need to climb on to take down as trees are destroyed around your confrontation, this brutal game will give you plenty to do. If you can get this going with friends, it’s even better. So… Live or Die Exile?
Conan: Exiles Gets
4 out of 5
+In-Depth Crafting System
+Well Designed RPG Mechanics
+Extremely Well Done World With Diverse Biomes and Ecosystems
+Weighty, Strong Combat System
+Low-end Laptop Mode
+$40 is Extremely Reasonable
-Lag and Frame Rate Drops Can Make Combat Unfair
-Single-Player Isn’t as Engaging as Multiplayer, Despite it’s Optimization
-Some Building Portions, Stations, and Tools/Armor Take Way Too Much Resources