A book you CAN judge by its cover!
People always tell me that you can’t judge a book (or a game) by its cover. In this case, you can. Conan is a bloodthirsty hack n slash game, which puts you in the boots of the famed mythical barbarian Conan. The plot focuses on recovering conan’s armour which an evil wizard stole from him. The armour was cursed with evil magic and scattered all across the land. Early on in the game, Conan meets up with a female warrior who needs to recover the armour in order to save her people from the black death. Conan decides to tag along to retrieve his armour.
The game has a very simple control system, which allows the player to hold either one, two, or a two handed sword, as well as various shields. The main objective of the game, is to fight your way through hordes of people to get to the end of the level, where a boss will be waiting for you. These bosses make a very welcome break from brutally chopping up masses of enemies, as they are much more challenging, and often have different button combinations needed to take them down at the end. These boss battles give a real sense of achievement, where fighting regular enemies does not.
These bosses make a very welcome break from brutally chopping up masses of enemies
Another of the more unexpected elements in the game is the option to rescue maidens in distress. This usually involves killing a few enemies and pressing a button to set them free. Hardly a challenge really but the player is rewarded with a short clip of the topless maiden dancing. This is probably the best animated sequence in the game, which brings me to the graphics.
The graphics in conan seem extremely dated and in some cases very blocky. I don’t expect this from a game of this type, as I have seen graphics done much better in very similar games before now. The graphics were however good enough to make me feel green the first time I saw a man being brutally sliced in half and his blood pooring over the floor. One thing that I feel I should mention is that if you don’t like the sight of blood, or extreme violence isn’t your thing, this isn’t the game for you.
One final gripe I have with this game is that the same enemy types are overused again and again in each level. In a single level, you will probably have 3 different enemy types, even though you kill close to 250 men. This also makes fighting them very predictable, as you will quickly learn how each enemy should be approached for the fastest kill.
To conclude, conan is a middle of the road game with nothing particularly different or appealing about it. Though it does incorporate some puzzle elements (albeit usually a case of pressing a single button as fast as possible) it mainly focuses on simply hacking people up. The graphics are sometimes blocky but never excellent, but the things that need to be well animated, are well animated. This is a bloodthirsty game clearly intended for men. If hack n slash games really appeal to you, you should consider this, but if you want a good introduction to the genre, there are better examples out there.
The Bad: enemy types are heavily over used, blocky graphics in places, becomes tedious after a while
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