We’re just days away before the release of highly anticipated titles Resident Evil VII, Tales of Berseria and Yakuza 0, but we’re looking forward to something a little different, and so should you be. Funcom’s Early Access launch for the upcoming barbaric open-world survival sandbox, Conan Exiles, is set to hit on January 31st and we’ve got 5 reasons why you should be really excited to dive into one of the most iconic sword and sorcery worlds ever created.
Conan’s Trademark Brutality
Fantasy adventure isn’t short of sword and sorcery stories but with the mainstream focusing on a more light-hearted and PG friendly approach, the truly brutal and barbaric really stand out. Few can claim to be as brutal as Conan. While its been some near 60 years since the original comic was released, 30 years since Marvel took the reigns and 10 years with Dark Horse Comics at the publishing helm, Conan has maintained its level of brutality every step of the way.
Conan Exiles is looking for follow in the footsteps of the IP with brutal dismemberment mechanics from the word go. Whether a giant god avatar stomps your enemies into a cloud of mushy red stuff or you slice off your opponents limbs before removing his head from his shoulders, Conan Exiles will not be for the faint-hearted.
Don’t take our word for it. Check out the recent and most brutal Conan Exiles trailer.
The Thrall System – Enslaving The World
The inclusion of NPC’s has long been a hot topic of debate among the open-world survival community and although it does face some difficult challenges, it could be a huge step in the right direction if executed correctly – and from what little we know so far Conan Exiles is well on its way to doing just that.
The Thrall system in Conan Exiles gives players the opportunity to encounter hostile NPC’s scattered throughout the game world. Although these can be killed and left to feed the myriad of things waiting to eat you in Conan, there’s a much more important use for these could-be-corpses.
Tackling these NPC’s and bringing them back to the base opens the opportunity to use the Wheel of Pain. Pushing NPC’s through this grueling torture soon breaks their spirit and they will join your cause, following orders without questions. While many of these will act as simple guards for your town, unique named NPC’s can be discovered that bring a whole different skillset to your community including the ability to craft legendary weapons and armor. The potential implications of such a system is one of the most exciting elements to Conan Exiles. Do you set out into the brutal world to claim these rare and powerful NPC’s or wait for your enemies to make the first move?
Be sure to check out the Conan Exiles Thrall trailer in full.
Avatars Of The Gods
Today’s sandbox survival genre is dominated by smaller teams and independent publishers (which is never a bad thing) but if there’s one benefit to having AAA developers Funcom at the helm, bigger is always better. Conan Exiles boasts a feature that truly sets it apart from other games in the genre, the ability to summon and take direct control of giant avatars.
So far we’ve seen a huge snake, a giant metal man and a weird Cthulhu tentacle thing. I’m sure there’s proper names and a deep backstory for each but if we’re honest, we’re more interested in the level of carnage they bring to the game. As we’ve seen in the huge deities of destruction trailer these giant avatars are powerful enough to bring down an entire stronghold – whether or not you answer the door when it comes knocking.
These powerful foes are not invincible however. Someone, somewhere has direct control of these beasts. While tackling them head on may not be a good idea, sending a team of your bravest warriors to hunt down the summoner and take him out may well be the tactic of choice.
Versatile Base Building Mechanics
Base building. It’s a no-brainer right? The open-world sandbox nature of today’s more popular survival games often revolves around the gathering of materials and construction of buildings but seldom do we see a system that truly innovates. If the official Conan Exiles building trailer is anything to go by, the building system looks robust and creative. Following in the footsteps of the likes of ARK: Survival Evolved Conan Exiles features a snap-to construction mechanics that makes lining up objects, prettifying (wow, that’s actually a real word? Thanks Google) your base and making the grandest of creations a breeze. Well, once you’ve spent countless hours gathering all of the materials you’re going to need.
What’s also exciting about the building system of Conan Exiles is the ability to build in harmony with the environment. I’ve lost count of the times my limitless imagination has been disappointingly shutdown as my near-perfect construction plans are ruined by a poorly placed mountain (I swear it wasn’t there before) but in Conan Exiles, mountains and other landscape obstacles are not a barrier but an opportunity. Build up the side of a huge cliff, dominate the landscape with a mountain top hideout. Conan Exiles is rewriting what it means to construct with freedom and we cannot wait.
It’s Bloody Conan!
There’s no shortage of open-world survival sandbox games on the market today. Hell, Steam’s Early Access category is awash with games trying to take the crown – although the vast majority are empty worlds with uninspired mechanics. But even in concept, Conan Exiles had something nothing else has had, the backing of a long-established and much-loved franchise. From graphical comics to a TV series, multiple Hollywood blockbusters and well received games, Conan is a world as deep and immersive as it is brutal and unforgiving.
Whether you’re familiar with the inhabitants of the Hyborian Age or approaching it fresh for the first time, Conan has over 60 years of meaningful storytelling, deep character development and iconic brutality unlike any other. You’re just 10 days away from your chance to explore this new journey of the Conan franchise. Be sure to keep your eye on the official Steam page to grab your copy once it goes live.