Conan Exiles - Game Previewby Brent Roberts
Survival games seem to be witnessing a creative trend that is evolving at a rapid rate. Recently the Xbox One platform got treated to a game preview build of the bodily organ flaunting game Conan Exiles. While most games get notoriety for their innovation and creativity, this game got its notoriety for a much different reason; nudity. However, despite all the titanic jugs and the overcompensating... um... man traits... Conan offers up a unique survival experience. Now, being that this is in game preview mode, we were told that not everything would be included, or working for that matter. So how did I fare in the land where Conan rules?
First you have to decide if you wish to play this online in a multiplayer world, or by yourself on your own server as single player or in co-op. I chose single player, and after going through the extensive character creator tool I noticed that only partial nudity was allowed, but not full nudity yet. So once my character was created I found myself in a blistering hot desert, wearing barely a shred of clothing. I noticed a handy pop up that essentially said I was overheating, which in turn drew my attention to the corresponding meters on my screen that indicated water, food and health. I was originally taken back by some of the detailed work of the environment, but that was the beginning of my downfall.
While I was exploring I saw another pop up that said my throat was getting a little dry, causing me to notice my water meter starting to drop. I started to progress along the initial stone pathway and another pop up came up again that said my mouth was getting dry. I decided to floor it and run as fast as I could forward along the path. As my character is running I get another pop up saying that I couldn't talk because of thirst. I finally reach some lush green area and my character doubles over and I died of dehydration.
This prompted me to start again, and this time I didn't dawdle, instead making a beeline right for the lush green areas because I thought, where's there's green foliage there must be water, and sure enough I was right. I dove right into the water and drank away till my water meter was filled, which also helped to cool my character off as well. While this was tremendously beneficial to my character, I wasn't the only one interested in water. From my right flank I heard a noise and as I turned to look into the bushes, where I saw nearby a massive gator pop up who tried to attack me.
Now, since I didn't have any weapons on hand, I had to fight the gator with my bare hands, which was incredibly easy given that all I had to do is stay on the creature's back leg and strafe around, punching it to death over and over again until it dropped. Finally, I dispatch the gator, but I couldn't find a way to harvest the body. I call up my list and notice a bunch of crafting options on my right hand side. So, now I shift focus to gathering supplies (rocks, sticks, foliage, etc.) so I can start crafting things like clothing and pick axes. I constructed some clothing and it auto equipped to my character, however my pick axe was never to be found. It was at this time I got another pop up message that my stomach was getting hungry.
I started looking for ways to gather food, but during this quest I ended up getting ambushed by natives who started to wail on me with their tools, so I made a mad dash to the water which they didn't follow me into. I turned around and they leave the shore and run away into the distance. When I got back to shore and I get another pop up that says my character feels weak from starvation. I noticed then that my food meter is rock bottom. Without any food nearby I took a few more steps then toppled over and was told I died from starvation, which prompted me to start all the way over from the beginning.
You see, Conan Exiles is designed to be a survival game at its core and you have to essentially think in those terms as well. You'll need shelter, clothes, food, water and more, but the game won't tell you how to acquire this. You'll need to break your thoughts down into the most primitive basis if you want to survive. Once you get your house built you can find shelter there from the heat, or any adversary, both animal or human. Your home is also where you can craft your bed. This is critical when beginning because you will need to use this as your respawn point so you don't do what I do and have to start over from the entire beginning.
Throughout the survival and building process you'll gain experience in which you can use to upgrade your character and their skills. These new levels will grant you brand new items to craft and improve upon items you already have access to create. The key I found here is to start small with a house almost immediately and develop that into a little bit larger fortification. Then, after you have gotten the hang of how the world works, you can start looking to expand your territory. There is a lot more to do, as any survival game will have content to challenge you, but I think that I have communicated something very important, that this game will test your survival skills from the start.
This is one of the things I learned quickly about Conan Exiles, that Conan Exiles does nothing in terms of any guidance for you. It doesn't tell you how to craft things, it doesn't tell you how to build anything, nor does it doesn't tell you what's required of you at all. The game literally throws you into an environment and expects you to figure all this out immediately. Now, granted, yes this is a preview, but if this is any indication of what's to come, then Conan Exiles is going to be one incredible challenging game to play. We're looking forward to the full release in the future to see what will be fixed, changed and added.