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Review Conan (XBOX360): Fun God of War clone until the final boss!

genre: action, adventure, hack and slash






This has been the first game I have been unable to finish a game because it broke on me. In this case it concerns a very crucial element in the final boss fight where you are forced to press buttons (mini quicktime event) in order to proceed. Not pressing the right button restores the health of Graven (final boss / main villain of the story). Now the first time when I played I briefly saw a button or two. But so briefly that you are required to have a sixth sense or are super fast like The Flash or Quicksilver. The few times after the game wasn't showing any buttons at all. It looked like that the buttons you needed to press were random so very little point of memorizing. Besides even then it would be a real task to press at the exact moment without knowing when that moment is. So I stopped playing. Maybe I could get a hold of another copy then again it's not like finishing this fight will be very rewarding.

Conan is not a tie in to the movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger or the remake. It's a standalone game based on the stories created by Robert E. Howard. There is not that much background on him in the game just that he sought out a powerful weapon and because of that has unleashed an evil wizard who was imprisoned within the statues Conan broke down. He initially only is out to get his armour back he lost but soon after he aids A'kanna to defeat the evil wizard. Even in the films Conan was more ambitious. Luckily we have Ron Perlman who saves the day and breathes some much needed life into the character. 

The one thing this game really shines is the combat. It remains fun especially after you unlock the possible combo's and abilities. Eventually you will retrieve pieces of your armour that have been granted with magical powers. As powers go they can be very effective and handy when you get mobbed by multiple enemies. And mobbed you will be over and over again. I mean it's standard hack and slash stuff really. But strangely enough it rarely feels repetitive or  tedious. Although I played this game in short sessions. Stopping when I got tired of it. One of the neat things of unlocking the combo's is that when you use them often enough you will master them. When you have mastered a particular move and use it you will speed up the effect of the damage and increase the damage. Most of the time this will result into a Song of Death temporarily giving you more power and cutting through your enemies like they are made from butter. So satisfying! At certain points you will be able to extend your health and magical power. You are then required to activate three circles of a certain colour (red, blue and green) at the same time. Most of them are easy to activate. Some of them aren't. Since the game won't allow you to upgrade them. Maybe some of them require you to replay the game. But then there is also some poor and awful platforming that prevented me to bother with upgrading magical powers.

The mechanic of platforming is adequate in itself. No complaints there. But the major problem is the camera. You have no control over it and very often gives you a bad perspective on where to go next. Especially when you are required to jump you can fall to your death very easily. In some cases Conan is forgiving where it let's you start from a checkpoint they made for you instead of having to start from save point. BTW I can't stress enough to save often. I spared myself a lot of agony this way. Because if you don't and you will miss your jump which is going to happen for sure you sometimes will have to fight of all the enemies again. That will get tedious fast. 

Visually Conan doesn't look like much. God of War on the PS2 looks far better. It is clear that this is a low budget title and that the game designers were more focused on the gameplay than on the visuals. And I had not trouble with this at all since slicing and dicing properly is what appeals to me the most in this type of game.

I bought this game for 2,95 Euro. For that I have gotten a lot of fun (until the final boss of course) in return. The combat in this game is excellent and therefore if you are thirsting for some hack and slash goodness you should give this title a chance. And let us hope you will have a copy that won't break or glitch on you at the end. 


Also read:
http://www.chrichtonsworld.com/2016/05/8-underrated-hack-and-slash-games.html
8 UNDERRATED HACK AND SLASH GAMES



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