User login

'Conan' Preview (PS3)


Conan is a popular fellow right now, what with an on-going comic, his movie rights just getting bought by a new company, and of course there is the massive Age of Conan MMO coming out in 2008, which is going to hopefully influence and change the MMO world when it releases. However, Conan isn't just relegating himself to the realm of MMOs, as he also has an action-adventure game in the works, and if you're into some hacking and slashing ultra-violence, Conan looks like it will fulfill your needs nicely. By Crom, Conan is storming the land of videogames!

The preview level we saw took place at a dock of sorts, as we saw Conan having to go toe-to-toe with various pirate looking ruffians in order to free some sailors who were being held captive. The level consisted of walking around various ships, traversing ship masts, and much more. The docks and the ships themselves were really nice, as was the water slapping against the wooden boats.

At its core Conan might seem like your typical hack and slash action game, what with its focus on the strong and light attacks, and the way in which you can put them into specific orders to unlock different moves and combos that Conan call pull off while in the heat of combat. However, things aren't as easy as pushing the attack buttons over and over and watching as enemies quake in their boots and fall to you one by one, because the enemies are quite intelligent, and they know when best to block and catch you off guard. It was nice to play a smart action game where enemies weren't just braindead morons, because the last one that featured such brilliant AI was the hit PS2 game God of War II, and if Conan can work to reach those lofty goals, Conan just might be a game worthy of keeping an eye on.

Much like God of War, Conan featured quite a few QTE button pressing moments, but these were confined mostly to the action of combat, letting a QTE deliver a fatal blow or quick stabbing combo, and these moments were bloody violent, and all so smooth. Whether we were playing the game ourselves or watching someone else give the game a shot, we were mesmerized each and every time someone deftly cut loose and released one of these awesome displays of brutality. And like the source material the game comes from, Conan the game doesn't concede to pulling its punches, as the game is brutal and violent, featuring plenty of arm dismemberments and beheadings. We spilt so much blood on those wooden surfaces you would've thought it was some kind of tarnish.

However, the game wasn't completely action and fighting, as there was some exploration involved too, also much like God of War. While roaming around the levels you could beat up crates and barrels and such, but beyond letting you get some frustration out, they also contained some items you'd need to help make it through the game, and you even had to destroy some objects impeding your progresses, making wooden destruction your only way of advancing, giving a puzzle element to the proceedings. In the preview we were tasked with freeing some soldiers, but it's not as easy as going up to a cage, pressing a button, and hey, what do you know, they're free. Instead, you've actually got to put some effort into it, quickly pounding on specific buttons to use Conan's strength to raise the cage and freeing the captive inside.

The game had many elements in common with the God of War series, but is that really a bad game to be in company with? Whether you're a die-hard Conan fan or just looking for a top-notch action game with plenty of hack and slashing goodness (not to mention bloody violence…can't forget the lovely gore), Conan looks to be a game that will satisfy many fans when it releases.