Ever since Minecraft was released in May of 2009 and became a huge sensation, other companies have been trying to duplicate the gameplay. The sandbox survival genre has taken off, with each title offering a slightly different spin on location and story. Ark lets you tame dinosaurs, 7 Days to Die pits you against zombies, and now Conan Exiles puts you in a wasteland to try and thrive against harsh conditions. Funcom has finally brought Conan out of game preview and released the full title.
Conan Exiles sees you as a barbarian that has been left to die in the vast desert wastelands. You start off by creating your character, and almost everything is customizable in this game. Once you have your barbarian set, you must quickly learn to survive. Gather food, collect supplies to craft some clothes and learn to make tools. Once the basics are covered, you will then have to build a shelter and weapons to defend yourself against the local animals and indigenous people. Soon it will be time to venture out into the land and conquer the world.
The world of Conan is filled with all sort of interesting things to explore. Besides the local wildlife that you can hunt for food and supplies there is also a host of boss monsters that need to be vanquished. You can explore climates that vary from frozen tundra to a huge volcano. There are even dungeons to explore and conquer. You are even able to enslave enemies and convert them to your cause. Slaves can be used to craft better items, or even act as your army as you fight against your foes.
Conan Exiles allows you to build your civilization from the ground up. You will start with basic tools and materials, but as you advance you can unlock new skills and items to craft. This will allow you to build even stronger buildings and tools. You are also able to choose what path your barbarian will take. Each weapon type has a different set of attacks and damage. You are even able to choose which God you want to serve. As you progress in your devotion to religion, you are able to sacrifice slaves to the deity of your choice. Once you reach a certain level you can summon the God and take his form to rain devastation against cities and strongholds. But beware, other players can use these same powers against you.
You can play either solo, or on a server with other players. If you choose to play alone, or co-op with a few friends, you are given access to the Admin Panel. This allows you to customize your experience even more. You can either increase the difficulty or just turn yourself into a God and summon all the bosses and smite them with a single blow. While this reduces the grinding in the game, it takes all of the fun out of it.
Graphics in the game are very crisp and the game plays well on the X Box One X. As the day cycles, you get different lighting effects that seem to bring the landscape alive. The night is dark, but not so much that you need to have a torch to find your way. One of the environmental hazards of the game is a massive sandstorm that can kill you if you get trapped in it unprepared. Watching the storm in the distance slowly closing in on you is almost mesmerizing. The music sounds like it belongs in a major motion picture. You can easily get swept up listening to the music as you delve deep into the game play.
Conan Exiles is available now on XB1 for $49.99. This is a bit of a steep price, but the game does include a lot to do. If you are looking for an interesting survival game that will require a lot of work to complete this is something to check out. If you are planning on just getting it for the achievements and using the Admin Panel to zip through the game, I would pass on it because of the price. The game requires a lot of work for you to get to and defeat bosses, so if you are into that snap it up.