Release Date: 10/23/2007
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The Good: Nice graphics, fun combat, tons of blood and guts, nude women, varying environments
The Bad: No counter attack button?, plastic graphics, uninspired story, God of War rip off?, no hidden sex minigame, long load times
If no one knows much about Conan there are a few things you should know. He is NOT a comic super hero (he does have comics, but that’s not his origin) and second Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the best Conan ever. The story is not exactly great, but it evolves around the Conan mythology where he seeks the four pieces of armor to defeat Graven who has put the Black Death upon the world. The game’s story is nothing special or interesting, and the only thing that keeps you hooked is acquiring new abilities, and seeing the cool levels.
The main focus of the game is the combat which is pretty satisfying and fun. You have heavy and light attacks, a grab, you can throw weapons, and use magic. You have different fighting styles by picking up different weapons such as double handed weapons, dual wield, sword, and shield, or single sword. Each of these has its own set of attacks you can acquire by upgrading. There are tons of attacks and you may not even acquire all of them by the end of the game. The combat, ironically, is also the most flawed part of the game because there is no counter attack button, enemies will wail on you and kill you without have some sort of shock wave type attack to knock them away, plus the heavy enemies can be really cheap. You try to attack them and they’ll block but there are no block breaker attacks that are effective. You can grab small enemies and do as you wish with them such as take their weapon and slice them in half, take their shield etc.
The magic system is only used when you’re in dire need of help. You have four attacks over the course of the game yet they seem to use too much energy so you’re left dry after a few attacks. You can increase your health and magic by finding three circles on the ground and stabbing them. These can sometimes be hard to find so hopefully, you have enough health to survive through the course of the game. While the combat is fun it still has it’s frustrations like I pointed out, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.
Now that we have the core of the game put aside let’s talk about visuals. The game has great graphics yet they look like plastic. The characters have low-res textures and everything just looks like it’s made of plastic. The game has pre-set camera angles like in God of War so you don’t have to worry about fighting the camera. The game has lots and lots of buckets of blood and guts and lots of…mammaries. Yes, there are nude women in the game and these come in the form of helpless maidens. Conan must find them chained up in places and free them. They yell things like “Crush me with your love!”, and “I didn’t my savior would be so…strong.”, and “My clothes! Where are my clothes?”. While this may be corny it’s still hot and you gotta love it.
Speaking of God of War the game has a lot of similarities to that game such as a giant dragon fight inside a building (think of the first boss fight in Chains of Olympus (PSP), a giant squid on a boat (think of the Hydra in God of War (PS2), the fixed sweeping camera angles, lots of blood and guts, nude women, a buff overaggressive hero, a sexy heroine he has to save, wow the list just goes on and on. I think a certain developer tried making a God of War clone and it’s written all over Conan’s Neanderthalian face!
No matter though the game is pretty fun and you’ll appreciate these similarities. The achievements are easy to unlock and there is an incentive to play through again thanks to those, but the game is extremely short with a playtime of 6-8 hours depending on how slow or fasts you are. I highly recommend Conan if you can look past the many bugs (collision detection issues, invisible walls), combat flaws (no counter attack, wailing enemies), and nude women (well…I’m sure you can handle that :-). Plus did I mention the long load times…every time you die!!!