After a turbulent jaunt through early access nearing a year and a half in length, Conan Exiles officially launches today. To boot, PS4 and Xbox versions are being released simultaneously. Conan Exiles’ early access was wrought with difficulties ranging from an arsenal of bugs, latency issues causing a now notorious rubber banding effect and dwindling player numbers flocking back to established games like Rust and Ark. The developers Funcom took note of player feedback and set to work improving and rectifying the survival title.
We fast forward to today and Conan Exiles is an almost unrecognizable beast altogether. With the full release, the playable map has expanded significantly to over 40km2 with the incorporation of new biomes such as The Frozen North, Highlands, Volcano, and Swamp. The number of different resources, items, gear, towns, religions, and enemies has grown exponentially to create a truly diverse and engaging world.
One of the prime complaints during early access was a flimsy and underwhelming combat system. In the full version, expect a wholly revamped iteration that incorporates more attack variety and fluidity, animations, and combos. If you’re in the habit of sundering an enemy’s torso in two with a hammer, or alternatively prefer a meticulously planned attack with lethal daggers, then Conan Exiles has it all.
The skills and attributes system has also seen important alterations, notably the inclusion of special abilities granted at specific point intervals for a particular attribute. Warpaints and gear set bonuses allow the player to further personalize their barbarian.
Also worth a mention is the new purge mechanic, whereby NPCs and the environment work to destabilize your advancement and fight back. Enemies now target bases in wave-based attacks. A purge meter that grows as you increase in power, kill more, and establish larger structures determines the strength and frequency of the onslaughts.
Smaller changes pepper the game as well including quality of life improvements like fast travel through a system of discoverable monoliths and map room. Farming, more rational and biome-specific creature behavior, dungeons with bosses, better resource distribution, and a less forgiving healing mechanic highlight how rich Conan Exiles has potentially become.
Going exclusively by Twitch viewer numbers, Conan Exiles seems well on its way to carving itself a permanent berth in the savagely competitive survival game space as everyone’s go to, and quite literal, nudity sandbox.