- Posted December 10th, 2007 at 07:49 EDT by Eric Blattberg
- 10 Comments
- PSU Review Score
- Avg. user review score:
You must be logged in to rate a game
Although it can prove mildly entertaining at points, Conan ultimately ends up feeling like an uninspired clone of Sony’s superior God of War series.
- Exceptionally brutal counter-kills
- Sweeping orchestral score
- Seriously lacking in the graphics department
- Gameplay becomes repetitive towards the second half
- Cringe-worthy dialogue
Conan will always be remembered as God of War’s pesky little brother. He isn’t as engaging, he doesn’t look as handsome, and overall isn’t as much fun to play with. However, Conan is of the same lineage, so is it possible for him to be completely worthless?
Analogies aside, we'll move on to the basics; Conan was developed by the relatively unknown Nihilistic Software. The title begins with a tutorial section in which Conan raids a tomb, unintentionally unleashing an imprisoned entity that goes on to spread “The Black Plague" throughout the land. Knocked unconscious, Conan is stripped of his magical armor, and finds himself on a quest to recover each armor piece and destroy the demon that he released upon the world.
As a whole, Conan has numerous striking similarities to God of War (albeit it lacks the high production values of the series). By the way, when we say “striking similarities,” we mean that Conan flat out copies nearly all aspects of Sony’s award-winning action-adventure games. Just to start, the then unique book-like cutscenes that we saw in the God of War series have made their way here, with one noticeable difference in that you won’t give a rat’s underside about the story. You’re a burly dude traveling with a rebellious princess trying to stop an evil sorcerer. Moving on.
Surprisingly, the gameplay in Conan wasn’t as jumbled as the demo led us to expect. Red runes (essentially orbs) provide experience points which can be used to learn new attacks, green runes offer health, and blue runes charge your pieces of magic armor once they have been found (sound familiar?). Once you learn several new attacks, you’ll find the combat system is somewhat deep. You’re able to pilfer the weapons off your adversaries and use them as your own. After the dust settles and you start becoming accustomed with the system, it becomes apparent there are a set number of styles.
Conan can hold a single blade with or without a shield, use two blades simultaneously, or he can utilize a two-handed weapon. Besides rambling on about how much he hates wizards and their loopy magic, Conan learns a new spell with each piece of armor recovered. We only found one of the four, which are mapped to the D-pad, useful in the slightest. This particular one happens to turn Conan’s enemies into stone – that’s not in the least bit like God of War… right?
The combat system works hand in hand with the tremendous counter-kills, which are without a doubt the best part of the game. Block an attack at just the right time and you’ll be prompted to press one of the face buttons to perform a gruesome counter-kill. If there’s one thing Nihilistic did right, it was these awe-inspiring death animations. Each time you see, nay, experience a new one, it’ll get your heart pumping rapidly. However, as you progress through the game, these, along with the regular combat mechanics, become remarkably repetitive (a tough task for a six to seven hour title). Not even the God of War style context sensitive action sequences provide much respite towards the latter half of the game. Don’t expect the bosses to freshen things up either – the last one was so painful we’d rather participate in a real-life game of PAIN than play it again.
Breaking up the action are some puzzle-solving and platforming sequences. In both areas, Conan fails miserably. While the puzzles are by no means hard, you’ll often find yourself running foolishly around trying to see which pillar needs to be knocked over in order to continue. As for platforming, the sections are the polar opposite of those found in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Jumping from ledge to ledge feels less fun than riding a clunky wooden rollercoaster that’s in the middle of collapsing.
The presentation is arguably the worst part of Conan. While the game doesn’t look that dreadful, it certainly won’t win any awards for technical achievement. Playing through the game, it feels like you’re staring at an Alpha build as opposed to experiencing the title on a final retail disc. Various environments and several of the gore effects aren’t ... (continued on next page)
- Page 1
- Page 2
- 3:12am EST - December 10th, 2007
The demo was actually fun.
- 3:42am EST - December 10th, 2007
this game is the dullest game ever so poorly delivered
- 4:43am EST - December 10th, 2007
I wonder why Nihilistic had the urge to kick this guy back to life,just to get him miserably humiliated.
- 4:50am EST - December 10th, 2007
I think I'm the only person who likes this game. lol.
- 9:00am EST - December 10th, 2007
This game would have been much cooler if they would have used the Arnold Schwarzenegger version of Conan and let him do the voice acting and utilized the theme music from Conan: The Destroyer.
- 9:34am EST - December 10th, 2007
I had higher hopes for this game. If it were on PS2 or Wii it would look much more impressive. I may rent it or pick it up outta the bargain bin down the road.
- 9:50am EST - December 10th, 2007
@Punisher: Arnie is a "bit" busy with other things at the moment, jeesh.
- 10:46am EST - December 10th, 2007
It is a cool game if you give it a chance :D
- 12:31pm EST - December 10th, 2007
@Jeremy54556. Its just voice acting I'm asking for. How long would it take to voice act a couple of sentences for a videogame?
- 2:24pm EST - December 11th, 2007
Didnt like this to quite honest with you
This will permanently ban this user and delete all associated comments. This action is irreversible, are you SURE you want to do this?!