31st May2018

‘Conan Exiles’ Review (Xbox One X)

by Paul Metcalf


When I first played Conan Exiles it was to preview the Early Access. Now that it has been officially released, I decided to play it on the Xbox One X. The main aim was to see just how the game had changed, and of course how it shapes up against the PC version. Looking at the Xbox One X version, loading up the game was familiar ground. Finding yourself in the desert the first job is to find a more hospitable area to build your first base and then to build up your character until they could venture off into the wilderness to explore the open world around them.

The first thing that is noticeable is that the world now feels much bigger than it was in the early days of Early Access. The map gives an idea of the size, but it isn’t really until you start exploring and important areas mark themselves on there that you see just how much of a task you have.

Just like in Early Access the first enemies you meet are strange turtle like creatures, crocodiles, and the other humans who are out for your blood. Through defeating them you soon level up and gain more options of things to build. It isn’t long before you have a set of armour, some powerful weapons and you are dominating the enemy. What this forces though is for the player to start to explore, and this is where the game really opens up. While your first base may feel like a home, it isn’t long before you are building a new bigger one next to valuable resources, most important of these are iron. Once you have iron you can then upgrade your weapons and tools and the world opens up even more.

Conan Exiles really becomes fun for the explorer because of the way it slowly pushes the player to explore, learn more recipes for weapons, tools, and most importantly ways to make even better versions. It isn’t long before you are working out how to make steel and starting to really dominate the world around you. What this means is that you can then start to explore the lore of Conan Exiles, and start to handle the boss enemies. Around the world you find many humans, some that you can enslave and make work in your base, others to fight, and some that provide you hints of where to go next. To further extend are ghosts that provide further hints to push the narrative of the game too.

Comparing the Conan Exiles that was released onto Early Access, and the one that has been released now, there is a lot of difference. The world feels much more full of life, and most of this life is out to kill the player. What is most important though is that it is a world that is designed to create gameplay, whether it be for solo players or a multi-player style, and it is in the multi-player where the game really has potential. When looking at how Conan Exiles has been taken up by Streamers, you just have to look at Twitch and some of the role-play streams. There are some issues with voice chat that really needs to be fixed, but once this has been dealt with there are signs that this will be a thriving world. This is where Conan Exiles will find most of its success, so hopefully the voice chat issues will be fixed.

For the solo players, what Conan Exiles brings is flexibility, especially on the PC with mods. The player can become the admin of their own solo game, so they can build an experience that speeds up XP growth if required, and balance other aspects to keep the game interesting. While there is a level cap of 60, this can be modded on the PC if required. Right now the Xbox One X version I played didn’t have mods, which may not change. I’d like to see mods come to the console versions if possible, to extend the fun.

In terms of performance, Conan Exiles on Xbox One X really does look beautiful, but it does have some FPS issues with stuttering. This doesn’t fully break the game but hopefully performance patches can fix that. This does mean that the PC version does win out, not just because performance is better, but mod support brings more fun.

When Early Access games hit full release the hope is that the game will show that it was worth the wait. Conan Exiles is an example of Early Access done right and is a survival game that is well worth checking out.

**** 4/5

Conan Exiles is available on Xbox One (X) and PC now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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