Conan Exiles

If Ark and Rust are the flaccid alpha males of survival gaming, Conan is the cocksure challenger angling for an advantage.

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Conan Exiles review - a handsomely sculpted survival game

The survival game bandwagon is looking more and more like a plague cart these days, with the stillborn corpses of quickly forgotten Early Access titles tumbling to the muddy wayside with every jolt along the genre's increasingly rutted pathway. But it rumbles dutifully on, some not-quite-dead-yet deliveries still to be made before the axle inexorably splinters and the wheels fall off, sloping into decay on some forsaken hillside.

After the island horror of The Forest, the latest stopover on survival gaming's painful journey from domineering towards indifference (and, eventually, no doubt, back again) is the Hyborian Age. Devised way back in 1932, it's the fictional epoch that services Robert E. Howard's Conan adventures, making Exiles the first - and, in all likelihood the last - survival game to be adapted from an established franchise by a studio that's long been associated with it. It was Funcom of course that brought us Age of Conan back in 2009, which though not the first IP-laden game of its kind, was suitably Conan-like in its informal approach to the design of lady armour.

In line with its persistent predecessor, Conan Exiles continues the tradition for naked flesh and raw bloody combat, which may be less of a thing in a genre where avatar nudity and blunt force trauma are commonplace, but then Funcom always finds a way to play upon the fact that Conan's world will forever be out of sync with modern sensibilities. To that end Exiles succeeds in getting our hackles up thanks to its character creation options, which famously afford the ability to tweak the pendulousness of a chap's chap or a lady's lumps. What really bothers me about it however is that you can't change much else. Aside from basic options for height and muscle tone, that's your lot. If you were hoping to sport dinner plate alveoli or effect a scrotum slider that allows you to trawl the sand for edible bugs, you might want to let your berserker rage kick in about now.

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Conan Exiles reveals the big one: a release date

Conan Exiles - the topless and, um, bottomless barbarian survival game by Funcom - will now launch a little later than expected on 8th May 2018. That's on all three formats: PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. We had expected it in the first quarter.

I stress the PS4 release because it's the only platform the game is not currently playable on. Conan Exiles is currently on Steam Early Access and the Xbox Game Preview programme, but there is no equivalent service on PS4.

For launch, the price will increase. On PC the game will rise $10 to $39.99, but not until 8th May. On Xbox One, however, the console launch price of $49.99 will come into effect this week.

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Conan Exiles' free expansion is The Frozen North

Conan Exiles' free expansion is The Frozen North, developer Funcom revealed today.

The Frozen North, due out on 16th August alongside the Xbox One version of the game, brings Conan Exiles out of the desert and into the snowy north, introducing a new climate and weather system that requires players wrap up warm or die. Funcom said to expect 70 per cent more landmass.

Elsewhere, the expansion adds fish traps, beekeeping and cooking. Brewing, a new crafting system, lets you make alcohol, which helps keep you warm in the cold. There's a new religion, too, which lets you summon the avatar of Ymir, the Lord of Storm and War. The video, below goes into more detail.

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Conan Exiles gets Xbox One Preview and expansion release date

Funcom's PC survival hit Conan Exiles will launch on the Xbox One Game Preview programme 16th August. 4K Xbox One X support is coming too.

A free expansion for both Xbox One and PC will launch on the same day: 16th August. The expansion doesn't appear to have a name and will be detailed later this summer.

There are screenshots and a video, though, which show a brand new frozen biome with mammoths and what appears to be the new character ability to climb.

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Well, this is great. I'm standing nervously before another player in a deadlock situation. It's a PvP server and I'm on his turf, his looming fortress behind him underlining the issue. I really don't want to die; it took me ages getting here, inching my way across a dangerous baked canyon. If I die I'll go all the way back to the beginning, to my camp miles away.

Conan Exiles has launched on Steam early access. Pretty much instantaneously, players discovered that the character customisation screen features an endowment slider, allowing you choose the size of your character's breasts and / or penis. To top things off, you also start the game undergoing a gentle bit of crucifixion.

Conan Exiles survival game gets PC, Xbox One early access release date

Conan survival game Conan Exiles comes to PC early access 31st January 2017, and to Xbox One Game Preview spring 2017.

This is Funcom, experienced maker of massively-multiplayer online games The Secret World and Age of Conan, courting the Ark and Rust market, and perhaps Skyrim fans too. Start with nothing and learn to craft, fight and survive in a brutal world of dark fantasy, either alone, with friends on a private server, or out in the wide-world on a public multiplayer server. Sounds like a scalable Minecraft multiplayer experience in that regard.

Differentiating Conan Exiles is Robert E. Howard's barbaric setting. A world where you can sacrifice enemies to summon avatars of gods that can trample your enemies or fight other godvatars - see the embedded new trailer for some giant statue against giant snake action. A world where you can capture, tie, drag and torture bandits, breaking them into thralls for your slave army. A world where you can slice people in half, lop their heads off, or just limbs, whatever you fancy. A world where you can explore ruins and battle fantastic beasts for fantastic treasure.

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Funcom announces Conan multiplayer open-world survival game

Funcom announces Conan multiplayer open-world survival game

Sacrifice other players on altars, ooh.

Funcom is making an open-world multiplayer survival Conan game. It's called Conan Exiles and it's coming to Early Access on PC this summer, then PC and consoles in full after that.

You play an exile in an arid land and need to hunt, or grow crops, for food. You need to build a shelter to live in, and make tools and weapons to fight monsters and other players with. Or you can work together and build entire settlements and strongholds, which sounds interesting - imagine the politics!

The gods of Conan's world will have an influence and you can sacrifice other players on altars to them, brilliantly. Combat will be bloody and fast paced, apparently.

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