Conan Review

The most obvious way of starting this review would probably be to bring up the old adage “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and say something about how similar the game is to God of War. Yeah it’s similar in many regards, but instead of focusing on that, how about I focus on the game itself? Sound good? Ok!

Conan is a game based on the fictional Cimmierian barbarian we all know and love. Well, maybe not everyone. Since you’re not running around the land of Hyboria with Wilt Chamberlain at your side while controlling Arnold Schwazenegger, some people may find it a little hard to believe that this is Conan, and if that’s the case, they definitely need to play this game because it gives you a version of Conan that is much more true to the source material.

The most noticeable thing about Conan is the utter brutality of the game. Any and all limbs can be severed, heads can be cleaved right off and bodies can even be cut in twain. Naturally, with a limb severed there is going to be a bit of blood pouring out. Thankfully, Nihilistic doesn’t have a clue as to how much blood actually WOULD come out, so they decided to guess, and overcompensate, and overcompensate some more. The result? Gallons of blood lining the walls and floors of every area where there has been a battle. This kind of gratuitous violence and bloodshed really help make you feel like you are this gargantuan of a man that can single-handedly destroy an army with one arm.

What about the other arm? Well, that arm is for taking care of all of the topless ladies that you encounter in your adventures. That’s right, virtually every woman featured in this game is topless at one point. You’re still wondering, aren’t you? Wondering what? I know what you’re thinking, perv. This is where I sigh and say “yes,” you can see nipples on the ladies breasts. Why did I waste an entire paragraph on this? Because the inclusion of topless females as a way for Conan to acquire more red orbs, which increase his skills, is all but tasteless and nigh offensive since they are found all too often and in the most ridiculous of places. Whatever.

Let’s back up a few steps here. This is a videogame, isn’t it? I suppose you’re wondering how the gameplay is. Well let me tell you that during my time playing the game, I had very different feelings towards it. Initially, I thought it was fantastic as I had all of the moves available to me, then I had them taken away. This made me quite displeased. 1 minute later, the realization hit me that the movesets completely change when you pick up a different weapon; this caused quite the smile to creep across my face. Then, another predicament: I couldn’t decide what weapon I wanted to specialize in. To my amazement, I didn’t have to specialize because red orbs are definitely in what one would call, “abundance.” It’s a good thing they are because if a player were to overspecialize in one particular weapon, they would find themselves at an undesirably tall hurdle to overcome as each enemy has a weakness to a certain playstyle or movelist. It’s not like some enemies are nigh impossible to defeat if you don’t upgrade, oh I don’t know your 2 handed weapon skill — they are just a little more difficult than you would expect. That’s all.

Throughout the game, you encounter a variety of enemies that vary ever-so-slightly in their attacks and before long, you know the 1 or 2 moves that each character has. This makes defeating them individually a little overly easy, even on the hard setting, and the game really only feels difficult when you are overwhelmed by a multitude of enemies that have different attack patterns, well, other than some of the boss fights.

Historically, boss fights have always been used as a great way to end an act or a chapter in a game and in action adventure games such as this, it would almost be a letdown if Conan couldn’t somehow match the competitors. Conan most certainly has its share of epic boss battles that will stay with you for a very long time, but for very different reasons. Nearly every boss is fought in different stages where different methods for execution must be employed and one in particular is so epic that it nearly matches the grandest of battles found in the boss battles of the more popular, and bigger budgeted, competitors. Their only pitfalls are that they can sometimes be a little too difficult and a little too long, especially the battle with the last boss which feels artificially long.

Conan may not rewrite the book on action-adventure games but since it does what it does so well, it shouldn’t matter. It may have a few problems in terms of predictable A.I. with limited movesets, but that’s not enough to make it considerably less enjoyable. Conan’s biggest strength lies in its ability to pull you into the mythos that is Conan. When you are playing this game, you really feel like you are controlling an unstoppable bloodthirsty warrior who just wants power, riches and women, and really, who among us can’t relate to that?


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Author: Kyle Stallock View all posts by

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