Conan Exiles is an open-world survival game where players are exiled warriors who must learn to survive in a harsh environment. Collect resources, craft gear, and build an empire.
Type: B2P Survival MMO
Release Date: January 30, 2017
Pros: +Barbaric combat and graphics. +RPG elements. +Various biomes to explore. +Extensive crafting, from gear to buildings.
Cons: -Only 70 players per server. -Performance issues.
Conan Exiles Overview
Conan Exiles is an open-world survival game developed and published by Funcom. Players are exiled warriors who must survive in barbaric wastelands. Stave off hunger and thirst by learning to live off the land, collecting resources and crafting armor, weapons, and items. Explore the vast world, host to a large collection of harsh biomes from splintering deserts to dark mountain ranges. There is no traditional narrative to guide players, so players can create their own paths and journeys as they traverse the world. Construct dwellings, from homes to fortresses, and defend territory from enemies and monsters. Dominate opponents in fast-paced combat, whether it be a duel or a battle for their territory. Other features include a day/night system, interactive NPCs, and character customization options.
Conan Exiles Key Features:
- Sacrifice – sacrifice enemy players to the gods to unlock secret powers that will help you turn the tide of battle.
- Hunger and Day/Night System – players must manage their hunger/thirst in this survival game, and also take into account the time of the day to survive.
- Fast-paced Combat – slay your enemies in first-person combat by crushing bones and sending limbs flying.
- Various Biomes – host to a large collection of harsh biomes, players can explore dark and haunted forests to brutal deserts.
- Extensive Crafting – collect resources and gather materials to craft weapons, armor, and items. Players can even construct buildings and band together to form cities.
Conan Exiles Screenshots
Conan Exiles Featured Video
Conan Exiles Review
The following is an Early Access impressions review.
A barbaric wasteland is the perfect stage for a survival game, for excessive gore and genitals that bash in each other’s skulls. SteamCharts proves it. Conan Exiles has a flourishing playerbase despite being an Early Access title, and it follows all the survival genre bulletpoints: harvesting, crafting, building, and killing, complete with the bugs and issues present in any EA title. There’s a lingering question though. Is there a complete enough game that Conan Exiles can continue to pound its Gorilla Chest?
The Savage Savior
Spawning in, having escaped crucifixion like a savage savior, you start playing by denting your E key, sucking up stones, branches, handfuls of insects, aloe, and plant fibres. Items are everywhere, as if a horde had a roadside picnic before heading off to sack Babylon. It’s a survival game. And Conan Exiles embraces the genre tropes. There might be too many items laying around. Then again, the constant positive reinforcement had me wagging my tail. But I wonder if rewarding more resources per interaction, and decreasing the number of drops—so that you still gather the same amount of resources—would mitigate the sensation I’m Pavlov’s dog.
After a few minutes of pawing through the sand you’ll craft a hatchet, mining pick, and tunic, and then it’s time to deforest the Wasteland and strip its ore, filling your bags with logs and stone. Progression is moving from savagery to civilization: from easily accessible raw materials, to lucrative resources. It’s how you’ll create higher tier items. And Conan’s gameplay is a lot of harvesting.
If you don’t find zen in chipping away at rocks and logs you may want to walk back towards the dunes.
An Ancient World
Conan Exiles is one of the best looking survival games available. Its world is an oasis in a desert, bulging with lush ferns and a Nile river (colloquially dubbed ‘Noob’ river), while smaller tributaries form a path leading deeper into the wilderness, to enormous ziggurats, forbidden caves, and iron temples that drip details of an ancient civilization. It’s all well done. Makes me believe procedural generation isn’t always an answer.
Fantastical creatures roam between the colonnades, from tiny squeaking turtles to enormous sand dragons. And you’re not the only human. Battered NPCs huddle around campfires or as part of tribes, often naked, and always hostile.
Within the world are narrative plot points: stone tablets and quickly scribbled notes that serve as backstory to the Conan universe. You don’t have to pay attention to them. Nor are they important to your survival. But those little additions imbue Conan Exiles with a purpose beyond crafting and murdering, and further a lore that started nearly 70 years ago.
The exiled land is almost alive. The details are there. But for now, it feels like a toy set with figurines hastily plopped on the mat.
As of this Early Access writing, the AI is not great, functioning like MMORPG mobs, standing stoically or pathing in a limited area, aggroing at random distances—often too extreme—when you pop their personal bubbles. And the fauna has decided to work together: rhinoceroses, ostriches, and crocodiles put aside their biological differences to murder you. There needs to be natural antagonisms: human NPCs shouldn’t be fighting alongside sumo-turtles.
For now, everything eats your blade together.
As you swing, enemies follow you on a frictionless axis, roped to your attack. so you can’t effectively loop around them, lead their charge, or dodge. I want to lure a sumo turtle to slam his fists, leap out of the way moments before the shockwave, pirouette around and backstab her. Instead, you spam left click—your basic attack—while leaning side-to-side, chipping away at your enemy’s health. It’s a bit monotonous. But fine enough for Early Access.
AI and combat need work (bows need an overhaul). Many of the issues have been publically recognized by Funcom, and hopefully rectified in the near future.
Stat Point Grind
Conan Exiles is not just a survival game. Funcom couldn’t break away from the tenets of the Age of Conan MMORPG and included a stat leveling system. Performing any interaction—harvesting, killing, crafting—allots experience, leveling you up and granting points to be allocated across eight attributes, such as Strength or Vitality. It does away with an even playing field, making player who invest more time more powerful. But that constant feedback is also a constant reward. So long as you play, you’re advancing.
Each level also rewards a limited number of knowledge points to learn crafting recipes, and you can’t learn everything . So you have to decide. “Do I want to invest in how to make a storage box, or follow the recipe tree that will let me learn Javelins?” In one sense, specializations motivate player interactions. You want to have friend who’s going to build a base, another to research crafting stations, and a hunter/gatherer specialist—that way each person fulfills a role.
Leveling slows down dramatically just before 10, forcing you to grind: killing antelopes and hyenas for slivers of XP. It might be too much grinding under the default experience rates. Thankfully, there are player-run servers.
Player Run Servers
Many of Conan Exiles pacing issues are resolved through player-hosted servers. Server owners can adjust the experience rate, durability, gathering speed, etc. to create a Eden they’re happy to hunt in.
And I have to praise Funcom for offering mod support, although it’s still too early to tell how efficacious the modding community will be. But, if precedent holds, player-created mods can breathe new life into Conan Exiles, taking it in surprising directions, e.g. Counter-Strike’s Jailbreak.
Sometimes, when a developer fails to deliver the community takes its place.
Final [Early Access] Verdict - Good
Looking at the numbers, Funcom has done it. They’ve had an enormously successful Early Access launch, having crafted a foundation from which they can build a fully fleshed out survival game. But my advice is, if you’ve never played an Early Access survival title then wait. Wait until the game has been waxed and bugs are squashed. In a year Conan Exiles could be the go-to survival game, usurping the current Kings from their throne. There’s potential.
Conan Exiles Videos
Conan Exiles Links
Conan Exiles System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit
CPU: Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33GHz or Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5600+
Video Card: GeForce 8800 GTS or Radeon HD 5670 1GB DDR3
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: TBA
Official system requirements have not yet been released for Conan Exiles. The requirements above our based on our experience and will be updated when official numbers become available.
Conan Exiles Music & Soundtrack
Conan Exiles Additional Information
Game Engine: Unreal Engine 4
Early Access Release Date: January 30, 2017 (Steam early access release)
Development History / Background:
Conan Exiles is an open-world survival game developed and published by Funcom. Funcom also developed and published Age of Conan, an MMORPG centered set in the universe of Conan the Barbarian. The game has been set to enter beta testing through early access available January 30, 2017 at a price of $29.99. Conan Exiles is built on Unreal Engine 4.