The Conan movie series is one that has created a cult following that has continued to grow since the movie was released back in the early 80’s. The setting, and intense action, created a great movie to watch. Now Conan is coming to gamers in the form of Conan Exiles, an open world survival game. Players are tasked with surviving in the brutal landscape of the Conan world. Sadly, the Xbox adaptation of the title does little to impress us thus far.
Conan Exiles, much like other games in the genre, focuses on allowing players to forge their own paths. After completing character customization, players are set off to begin survival across the barren wasteland. Sadly, this is where the game’s various problems begin; but we’ll start with the good aspects to be fair. The game’s crafting system is one that isn’t too difficult to grasp, and somewhat interesting to use. Traversing the lands to scavenge items feels rewarding as you craft more powerful items that will increase your chances of survival across the map. This is where the positives end though, as it all goes downhill from here.
Quite possibly the most annoying problem when playing Conan is the constant lagging of the game, not in multiplayer, in single-player. As I began moving across the map, the game continued to lock-up almost every step I took. This became even more tedious as enemies would end up ambushing me thanks to the lag. I’m not talking about enemies coming from behind corners to attack me either, they teleported across a river to get to me in the time it took the game to properly load. Now I could understand if the game was loading while I was in the world, but the game takes a solid 5+ mins to actually load the map; making me question what the game was doing upon the startup. Don’t even get me started on the spawning system either as every time I’ve started the game, I’ve fallen from the sky to my death.
As I collected the various ingredients to begin crafting, the process is pretty simple…when you can actually figure out that you have the items to craft. Numerous times as I went scavenging, the items I picked up ended up disappearing minutes later; making it impossible to even craft vital items to survive. I did end up crafting the items, but when I attempted to equip the items it took make 3 minutes of reequipping said items to actually be able to use them. The only plus is that items are simple to repair if you have the proper items.
When I did happen to make it to the point where I met npc’s, I was filled with joy to see what interaction options were present. Only, the characters just stared at me while in their fighting poses as they continued to load for the next 10 minutes with more of their equipment loading each second. This goes for the creatures that roam the map also, as they continued to do the same looking like terrifying beasts until they completely render properly. This isn’t even a positive as many of the creatures that I came across looked terrible.
Presentation wise, Conan Exiles is extremely underwhelming. Aside from the various pop-ins, continuous moments of the game locking up, or the enemies continuing to render minutes after they’ve been on the screen, the game still has more problems. As I ended up mining stones to craft new items, the game didn’t end up playing the sounds until after striking the stones multiple times. I hoped this was only present for the stones, but this continued in combat and even cutting down trees.
Conan Exiles seems to have quite a bit of potential as it feels like the game could be incredibly fun, and as this game is in early access we will update the review when it reaches its final state. At its current state, Conan Exiles is a mess filled with problems across the various aspects of the game. We can only hope that future early access games fix problems, like the ones present in this title, before releasing the title for sale.
*We apologize for the lack of images and gameplay as it was becoming almost impossible to get a decent image without issues. We will update with images when possible.
- Crafting system is easy to use
- Various presentation issues make the game unbearable to play.
- Combat feels incredibly stale, when you can actually play without the game locking up.
- Incredibly long load times
- Items you collect magically disappear after collecting them
- Everytime you enter the game, you fall to your death
- Little explanation into any of the gameplay mechanics; get ready to be thrown to the wolves
*Complementary copy of the game was provided by the developer for review purposes