BETA PREVIEW – Funcom’s game, Conan Exiles, hasn’t even been available for two weeks in Early Access form on PC, and developers continue to throw a 2-300 MB patch on the open-world survival adventure every day. It might be quite an enjoyable experience until it arrives on the PlayStation 4, but the road is long until that point.
Funcom might get on a good track – previously, this team has created an MMORPG called Age of Conan, which wasn’t that bad, but going by the first signs, Conan Exiles could become better than its predecessor. Already the first cutscene can catch you off guard – freeing yourself from hanging, and if you choose a male character, where you can set up your… khm, endowment, you can see that the developers have given attention even to the smallest details of our avatar’s d__k size. (It ended up becoming getting advertised because of that slider, though, so it’s a good idea for the devs.)
It’s too early
As the game is in Early Access, and only the PC version is available at the moment (Xbox One: Spring, PlayStation 4: later), we’re only going into our first impressions and thoughts without giving a rating to this game. This is what I believe is fair because there are some issues, such as the screen tearing. I don’t understand how that happens because Funcom is using the Unreal Engine 4, which could be the reason behind another graphical mishap: the textures load in a bit slow. I already saw this in UE3 games, so hey, some things never change!
Despite these things, I have to say that visually, Conan Exiles looks stunning already! In Early Access titles, this aspect is usually overlooked, but Funcom focused on the graphics early. As I ended the previous paragraph with a small detail by the devs, I’ll do the same here, too: I like how the environment’s destruction is noticeable – destroying a big rock slowly disintegrates it into smaller ones without them disappearing into thin air. Impressive.
We’ll start the game b_ttnaked, and at this portion in Conan Exiles, you are in danger. First, you’ll have to get some clothing, as I do not believe you would survive for long in combat without any protection, making it a priority. Collecting things is going to be an essential part of the gameplay. First, you get clothes, then the protection, then a roof above your hand, making you not die in mere moments. You can still die, though, by enemies like alligators.
You’ll need a base for retreat after some fights, and you will also require one to plan out your discovery of your surroundings, too, while your initially pathetic creation evolves into a strong village. Building on PC is as easy as using the Shift key and the mouse scroll. For that, you will need to do some crafting, and choosing one of the four religions will make you experienced in different things.
It seemed to me that the pace of gaining experience points depended on the server I selected, and I remember something like a seventy-player limit on them. No matter how I look at this number, it isn’t that much, especially if Conan Exiles ends up getting X1-PC cross-play (which isn’t going to be implemented for a while, admittedly) because in that case, it will be significantly low! I hope Funcom will increase the number to 128 – that should be an acceptable figure.
The other thing I need to mention is the combat system: it doesn’t feel perfectly fluid, which probably means that the developers will improve it by the time Conan Exiles ends up in retail. Maybe it felt clunky because of the servers: I experienced lag here and there, which also seemed to throw the AI off the cuff, too. The NPCs did some hilarious sh_t which made me roll on the floor from laughter: standing in one place doing nothing, or just raise their hands in combat both happened to me. However, the devs have time to fix the artificial intelligence as well.
The bases are good
If you have played Minecraft, crafting/building will be pretty much an intuitive thing. In audio, Conan Exiles is already fine, and as Funcom keeps patching the game up like there’s no tomorrow, the previously mentioned mistakes/flaws will all disappear. If I had to rate the game, it would get something like an 8 or an 8.5. You just have to get through the initial surviving part, which is followed by the game opening up its gates significantly. If Funcom can make the MMO-addiction kick in with Conan Exiles (and, seeing their experience in the genre, they should know how to achieve that), then the game could become a viable option for PlayStation 4 owners… unless we receive a shoddy port on consoles.
These could make it a success:
+ Barbarian ambiance
+ Good audiovisuals despite its early state
+ Easy crafting
These could make it a disappointment:
– Stability, or the lack thereof
– Server limitations
– Unreal Engine 4 antics: textures popping up, screen tearing
Genre: MMORPG / Survival
Relase date: January 30, 2017(steam early access) / 2017 TBA (Full Game)