|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|
Age of Conan's combat system even involves players mounted on horses, mammoths, and rhinos. One drawback to the mounted combat is that players are limited to basic attacks and mount-specific attacks. The basic attacks are just the directional attacks, which don't pack as much of a punch on their own. The mount-specific attacks can be difficult to land on opponents, but they do provide some more depth. For example, a horse has the ability to kick with its hind legs, which can knock down an opponent standing behind it. While the horse's main function is faster transportation, the mammoth and rhino are designed for siege combat, an element of Age of Conan that pits opposing guilds against each other.
The crafting in Age of Conan involves two steps: the gathering from resource nodes, which can be found spread throughout the zones, and the actual crafting, which is a skill that can be done anywhere. Both crafting and gathering requires the player to complete quests, which simply require the player to gather so many units of a resource or to craft so many units of a certain item. Each time a crafting quest is completed, the player unlocks the next tier of gathering or crafting, which gives them the ability to gather more valuable resources and craft better items.
Players are allowed to gather every resource in the game regardless of race or class. However, a player may only take a maximum of two crafting professions. Unfortunately, as of right now, once a crafting profession is picked, it is permanent, so players should think carefully before picking. The professions include Weaponsmith, which is for crafting weapons; Armorsmith, which is for crafting armors; Gemcutter, which is for upgrading weapons and armors; Alchemist, which is for creating potions; and Architect, which is for creating, upgrading, and repairing guild cities.
While most of the professions have uses outside of a guild environment, the architect is really only useful for players who are part of a guild, making it utterly useless for non-guilded players. Therefore, until Funcom provides Architects with more options as a crafting profession, players not wanting to join a guild are realistically limited to the other professions.
Age of Conan is, without a doubt, a very large game. With features like guild vs. guild siege combat that have yet to be experienced by the players, there is a lot left to review. And, as with all MMOs, every patch and update means the game will constantly be improved, tweaked, and refined. It is reasonable to believe that many of the glitches and bugs present in the most recent version will be weeded out with time. While Age of Conan isn't without its flaws, there is a lot of great content worth experiencing for both the casual and hardcore. Its low-fantasy setting, tweaked combat system, attention to visual detail, excellent soundtrack, mature content, and promises of large-scale PvP are what set it apart from what is becoming a largely overcrowded genre.
CCC Freelance Writer