I have a confession to make. I’m not that familiar with the Conan world. Yes, I’ve seen the movies at some point in my life, but I didn’t really ABSORB them. I probably should have but sometimes I can’t be bothered because of reasons. I’ve seen the comics, I know there are books, but Conan’s world is not something that I’ve ever been into. However, what I am into is video games. Someone had the idea to make a MMO Conan game, no not Age of Conan, I’m talking about Conan Exiles. Well, I thought it was an MMO game, but that’s not quite accurate.
I played Conan Exiles for about an hour, you can watch that mess below. I’ve watched some of the developer streams based on the game, but I must have missed the most important one. More likely, I wasn’t paying attention when they made it clear that Conan Exiles is a survival MMO in the vein of Rust or maybe ARK: Survival Evolved?
Gameplay begins about 13 minutes in.
This is a very early access version of the game and it shows. I was hoping for some kind of guidance or path to follow, but you are plopped into the world and meant to carve your own path. Much like Rust you start with nothing but your man dong or lady lumps flapping in the harsh desert wind. Believe me when I tell you that there will be sand and it will get everywhere. Without any direction, I set forth in a random direction and saw what there was to see. It was a sight very familiar to my eyes, the landscape gave way to a desert oasis littered with player-built structures that were half decaying, left abandoned and broken in the baking sun.
I wanted to gain the respect of denizens of this server (much like Rust, you choose a server populated by around 50-80 players at one time) so I decided to check my crafting recipes to see if I could make some stuff! From what I saw, much of the recipes will rely on players teaming up to gather resources, because recipes at the moment require a lot of ingredients, like branches, wood, stone, and plant fiber. So if you are forever alone like me, you’ll be busy harvesting and not doing much of anything else.
In my hour playing the game, I experienced a ton of rubberbanding, I had to lower the graphics settings considerably to make it playable, and I was not able to connect to an official server at the time, so instead I played on the closest to me that was filled with players. During that time, I only ran into a couple of players, they didn’t respond to me and mostly just minded their busuiness. I realized later that, because of the lag, the voice chat wasn’t working that well, which explains why no one else responded. I did fight a couple of creatures, the combat system is very simple. First, you hack. Then you slash. Repeat. No special moves or anything at the moment.
Other than that, there’s not much to say at the moment. Conan Exiles is very much like any other survival game you have played, especially Rust. There’s not much story or lore in the game, quests, or anything else that I could find to do. Keep in mind this impressions article is coming from someone who played this alone and without much Conan knowledge, so your experience may be different. If you’re not into the survival genre, I’d say keep following news on Conan Exiles until the experience is a little more fleshed out, because for now, it feels like an empty sand box.