For centuries the human race has been built on the order of survival using whatever tools and materials we can find in order to live another day. The art of survival may seem like an easy procedure but it requires plenty of thought, a deep understanding of what’s harmful and what’s harmless, but more so it requires sound judgement. Every step you take may be your last and you just never know what lies up ahead, whether it be a wild animal hungry for meat or another survivor who’s also on the hunt. Deciding on who to trust in the wild is a difficult task and that’s precisely what playing Conan Exiles feels like. Anyone who enjoys that challenge and thrill of surviving on your own and testing your tactical prowess will definitely find Conan Exiles to be a true adventure. It may not perfect in terms of overall performance but the fundamental structure is there to teach you just how to cope with dangers that often cross your path.
What to Expect
As with any survival game, whether it be the classic survival horror style of Resident Evil or the more calculated gameplay of 2014’s The Forest, there’s always something new to expect in these types of games. It’s hard to really determine just what lies ahead of you and so proper planning is pivotal to ensure you can stay alive for long periods of time. Studying up on plant life or reading a survival guide will certainly provide assistance, but after those become stale in information it all comes down to instinct. Conan Exiles provides all the merits of a true survival experience with realistic characters to provide an even more immersive experience. While the game does suffer from performance issues and lacks in a few other areas, the premise still remains and it’s that everything relies on you in order to thrive. Be ready to encounter new enemies, creatures and territory in this expansive title.
Conan Exiles starts you off in this sandy terrain where wildlife is scarce and the items you need to scavenge for are a challenge to find. You’ll need to run around to find resources which are scattered everywhere, but you also put yourself at risk at being targeted by other survivors in the area. Before we go deeper into the PvP side of things we’ll spend some time with the PvE side, which is still fun but really lacks that survival appeal. The reason we say that it lacks the appeal is because the NPC from time to time don’t really respond well to your actions, and so there are times when you can get away with things that normally if you were up against a real player, you’d probably die in a heartbeat. This is one of the issues we felt took away from the single player experience because the AI in the game just didn’t respond accordingly and robbed us of that thrill we were so hungry for. Running up to a group of other survivors with a low level character of course is suicide, but once you level up your character it almost becomes too easy to deal with them.
Animals you run into don’t really put up a fight at times and so it’s easy pickings for those who play it cleverly. That shouldn’t take away from the fact the game is still fun because despite these setbacks, there’s still a lot of crafting and searching you have to do in order to last a long time. In the early stages of the game a lot of it has to do with collecting materials from plants, eating insects to avoid starvation, and finding a pool of water to stay hydrated. As you level up your ability to craft better items becomes available, along with being able to level up your character’s strength, vitality and so forth. That’s the joy of playing Conan Exiles because you can really imagine yourself as the character in the game and a lot of your attention is placed on how to develop your character for the long term. Do you want a more agile and vitality oriented character, or a more warrior-esque type style where brute strength is the approach? Conan Exiles allows you to write your own story and as you traverse through these wildlands looking for ways to thrive, you grow and mature along the way.
With the latest expansion that just dropped titled ‘The Frozen North,’ players must now learn how to deal with the effects of the bitter cold, but also new wildlife that poses new threats. The sandy terrain is certainly a challenge indeed but walking into new territory can force you to change your survival approach. So since we’re talking about new territory and the new expansion let’s jump into the PvP section of the game which we believe is where Conan Exiles truly shines and really tests your ability to survive at all costs. The PvE experience was more of a primer to get you started and perhaps prepare players for what’s to come in the more cutthroat PvP servers, where anything can happen at any given moment. You can, of course, choose which style of play to go with such as playing hardcore meaning that pretty much anything goes, or as we chose, all is perhaps the more fun. By choosing, all it allows players to really strategize their decisions with regards to other survivors they see in the area. Do you want to team with that group or take the more aggressive route and loot them for their materials? All of that is available to you and is what creates that ultimate thrill. One minute you’re building the perfect living space for you and your colleagues then hours later you return to find your loot is gone, and that perfect sanctuary is now a heap of broken twigs and cracked walls. You race around desperately to find the culprits who destroyed your hard work but those looters are long gone, and now it’s back to square one. This emotional rollercoaster ride is the quintessential piece of the puzzle that really makes playing Conan Exiles, or any survival game rather, very enthralling. There’s never a guarantee and so there’s this humanistic drive to always go one step further than before, strategically coming up with ways to outdo and outlast everyone around you.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
So is Conan Exiles really worth the experience? Sure, it certainly provides you with an immersive experience that can really change at any moment due to the changing environments. The new expansion opens up a brand new world for players to dive into and discover new ways of surviving in the cool terrain. However with performance issues pertaining to bugs in the game, very odd controls at times, and a first person mode that feels very clunky and sometimes non-responsive, Conan Exiles certainly isn’t perfect. If the team can iron out the kinks and ensure the game can perform smoothly without much concern then in the long run, Conan Exiles would surely rank higher. At the moment though despite all of the great aspects about it there’s a lot that the team needs to work on in order for this survival game to survive on its own.
Running around naked is always fun.
The crafting system is very deep and satisfying.
The Frozen North expansion adds another layer of depth with regards to survival.
Really tests your ability to stay alive and promotes working together with others to thrive.
The PvE and PvP options are good, and we enjoyed the online experience.
Performance issues really take away from the appeal since they affect gameplay.
Honey's Final Verdict:
If you haven’t picked up Conan Exiles during its early beta stage, now’s a good time to grab it since it’s out now on console. Whatever platform you decide to buy it on is totally fine, so long as you enjoy the experience. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest game related news, but most importantly catch us on Twitch for when we go live with all the latest games! We hope you found this review to be insightful and further helped you in making your decision a lot easier.
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!