• If you’re a male who’s looking for a game to flatter your masculinity with gameplay heaving with action and an abundance of topless women, then Conan is a game that, no doubt, will have crossed your mind. However, it would seem boobs and brawls alone struggle to carry a whole game. Surprising, I know.

    As you embark upon Conan’s journey the plot is established rapidly in order to usher you into the action as quickly as possible. Cut scenes neatly reveal that in Conan’s search for hidden treasure he inadvertently releases a magician whose body and mind is corrupted by an all mighty power. The magician knocks out the barbarian and reaps Conan’s magical armour which he uses to conjure up various malevolent creatures. Conan then sets about reclaiming his armour and destroying the evil he released upon the world and, of course, encountering as many half-naked maidens as possible.

    Cut scenes over, your thrown right in at the deep end and required to master a formula that you’ll use across the entire game. Basically, kill a group of foes before proceeding to the next area and repeating. The developers have attempted to bring some variation into proceedings with the odd puzzle but their attempts are half-hearted to say the least and can usually be solved with a few sequenced button presses or by throwing, pushing or pulling something to clear a path to the next area.

    Conan

    Thankfully, with the combat being the real nitty-gritty of the game, Conan does manage to pull off some quite entertaining battles. You’ll find yourself using a variety of different weapons and weapon types in order to string together flashy combos to dispose of your adversaries. The kind of combos you can pull off also depends upon what weapon type you are using. There are 3 fields that the weapons fall into which affect your attacks: one handed sword, two handed sword and the classic sword and shield. A wide assortment of weapons are scattered throughout the game and can be picked up and used to your advantage at any time. You can also use weapons dropped by enemies after you have defeated them.

    The game’s combat also features the most satisfying part of the game; lethal counter-attacks that see the barbarian orchestrating some astonishing attacks in slow-mo, the likes of which include tossing your opponent into the air and slicing him clean in half before he hits the ground.

    Conan also plays host to a slight RPG element that allows players to select which moves they want Conan to learn as they progress through the game. The experience used to learn new moves is gained by defeating enemies and discovering treasure chests that are dotted around the landscape.

    Sadly, combat is often marred by the fixed camera which often allows enemies to sneak up on you from out of view as well as making several of the platform sections of the game that little bit more difficult.

    The overall look of the game, while certainly not ugly, isn’t all that inspiring either. The environments all look quite bleak and there isn’t much variation in the appearance of foes, with the exception of bosses. Animations, although well thought out, don’t string together well and look quite clunky. Conversely, character models are well designed, suitably detailed and benefit from some decent lighting effects that help to bring out a lot of features.

    Boss battles in Conan certainly live up to the brutality of the rest of the game, on an epic scale. As you progress the games protagonist encounters the various different creatures that were crafted from his magical armour. Every boss has to be tackled with your head screwed on as each requires you to fathom an elaborate way of defeating it with the battle often advancing through various different stages before the final defeat. However, the last boss battle of the game is possibly the most frustrating I have ever had to endure. Expect to die, a lot. Completing it took me hours and at no point during that time was I ever enjoying it. Sure, the final level of any game is always a tough one but by no means should it ever be that tough.

    Replay is virtually nonexistent in Conan, beyond the story mode there really is nothing else to do beyond replaying the campaign in order to boost your position on the leader board. Though, quite who would take pride in their position on the Conan leaderboard is beyond me.

    Conan is an unashamedly shallow game that does what most who will buy it expect of it by creating a non-stop rampage for action junkies. If you’re looking for more than just mindless action then you should probably look elsewhere. However, if mindless action sounds like your cup of tea then Conan should fit the bill; nonetheless there are better choices out there.

    Score: 6/10

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