The new Conan Exiles trailer reveals a survival-sandbox game set in a world of hard choices, plenty of gore and large muscled men with even larger broadswords.
After several months of quiet, Funcom today released a new trailer for their game Conan Exiles, a survival sandbox set in the world of Conan the Barbarian as thought up by Robert E. Howard but made known to many by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The trailer showcases several of the features the game will have when it launches on Steam Early Access on January 31.
Conan Exiles was first teased back in February with some screenshots meant to whet the appetites of people looking for some hack-n-slash fun, especially those that wanted to not just kill their opponents but also break them down into pieces small enough to be transported by the USPS. “You see heads coming off, you see arms coming off, you see blood, you see gore, you see dents in armor,” promised Funcom in a press release. A while later a gameplay trailer came out that lifted the veil a little, but not by much, and over the last six months silence has reigned.
The trailer released today showed a much more refined game than the one teased six months ago. Graphics have been smoothed out a bit, though they aren’t up to AAA standards, and it promises to be a fast-paced, fun game that will let players do more than just mow down NPCs. It reminds a little of ARK in that players start the game naked and afraid and work their way up from there, gathering resources, arming themselves and eventually building up a small settlement. Between these bits of husbandry players will be exploring the map and the dungeons in it.
The trailer does a great job of presenting all the things players will be able to do when the game comes out, but gamers should perhaps not lose sight of the lessons of the No Man’s Sky drama too soon, especially since Exiles is not the first time Funcom has tried to set up shop in Hyboria. Their first foray, an MMO called Age of Conan, was similarly hyped and ended up being badly riddled with bugs and gameplay issues. It flailed about on the free-to-play market for a bit until dying with a whimper back in 2011. That the dev team has already moved Exiles’ publication date from summer 2016 to Sept. 13 to coming January also might not inspire confidence. Similarly, their flip-flopping on whether the game will have a single-player campaign or not could be cause for concern.
Besides this tale of caution, there is the potential for controversy in how the developers seem to revel in the brutality of Exiles‘ setting. This can be seen best in the enthralling system, where players can capture villagers and hostiles, drag them to their base with a rope around their feet and then torture them on the Wheel of Pain to “break their will.” Once so broken, they effectively become slaves that can defend the player’s base, smith their weapons and so forth. This driving home of the point may be to the taste of some, but could affect broad appeal.
Conan Exiles looks to be a very fun game for those into swordplay and survival, but if the developers will deliver on all they have promised remains to be seen.
Conan Exiles releases January 31 on PC and spring 2017 on Xbox One.