|System: X360, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Funcom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Eidos / SCI||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 21, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: Online (MMOG)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
July 25, 2007 - First off, I would like to take this time to mention that the Conan mythos is rooted in a series of books written in the early 20th century by fantasy writer Robert E. Howard. This game is in no way based on the ultra-campy movie starring your favorite actor-turned-governor. Not even one little bit.
Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk Conan! Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures has been in the works for some time and looks to be pretty promising, and we're finally getting close to it's October release date, let's take a little refresher course, shall we?
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures is going to be an MMO for the PC and the Xbox 360. You'll start off in true MMO fashion and begin the game as the lowest of the low, a slave. But don't worry, you won't have to show your face to the online community until you've leveled up doing single-player campaigns to a suitable level. From this point on, you'll experience the true MMO genre portion of the game. Now comparisons to World of Warcraft, the MMO demigod, will be inevitable, but for now, suffice to say that some of those expectations that were set by said demigod will be present in Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures. Take that for what you will.
So now that we know that Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures will be an MMO, what else is there? Well, there are quite a few distinguishing features for this title. First of all, there's the underwritten matter of scrolling text. Now you may think that scrolling text is just another part of MMORPG gaming. But Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures wants to bring you a more cinematic experience. Instead of reading text about what's going on in your Hyborian universe, you'll actually be shown what happens. And that's a big thing when you're talking about the overall experience of a game.
One thing that's very important to note about Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures is that it's going to be gorgeous looking. Of course, you may be thinking to yourself that you've heard all this about "great graphics" before, but trust me, it's really true in this case. Since there's going to be so much focus on cinematic storytelling, it's absolutely vital that the graphics be up to standard. And I'm happy to report that, judging by early footage, they more than exceed that standard.
Another big thing that's going to set Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures apart is the graphic content. This is definitely not your Mama's MMO. There will be some seriously gratuitous violence, not to mention some babes with barely-there bikinis. Although the rating has not officially been announced, I would be fairly shocked if this one didn't get the ever popular 'M.'
One thing that's different about this game when it comes to MMOs is its control scheme, which is quite refreshing to see. Instead of an attack-based system, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures' system will be more combo-based. You'll definitely need to work on those reflexes to succeed in this game because timing and button order will be everything. Each button will have a different type and direction of attack, and you'll have to read your enemy fast to see where their weak spots are and where their attacks come from. So what I would label this game, in terms of control scheme, is an intelligent button masher.
Of course, the controls get much more complicated from there and involve all sorts of battle intricacies, but I wouldn't want to spoil everything for you. You'll just have to check this one out this October!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer