Conan Exiles Is Still Very Early

As the sun rises and the ocean churns, preparing to consume all with the aid of global warming, so too do new early access survival games invariably top the charts on Steam. Conan Exiles is the latest and, well, it's certainly early.

It isn't that Conan is busted. The game has a big, atmospheric world; serviceable collecting and crafting; interesting lore; and some creative creature design. It also offers you a ton of ways to play, from single-player and multiplayer to custom rule sets, role-playing and experimental options. Also there sure are some dicks.

I managed to hop onto a server for a little while, craft some pants, kill some stuff, run from some other players and meet a really great turtle. The fibres knitting those elements together -- namely, server connectivity and general polish -- are the problem. They're like, well, the rinky dink first items you assemble from grass, shit and dreams in a survival game.

The first time I tried to connect to a server, for instance, the world wouldn't load in. I got stuck staring at something resembling a sand castle abandoned by a petulant child. I could see an outline of the game's massive desert playground, but that was it. This lasted for about five minutes before the game kicked me back to the server select screen.

Once I made it onto a server, I encountered a form of lag players generally refer to as "rubberbanding". That is, you take some steps forward, and then the game flings you back, or vice versa. It happened to me occasionally and wasn't too severe, but after a few times, it got hella annoying. Random bursts of lag and graphical glitches were also not uncommon as I moved through the world.

Combat's also pretty "eh", and there's a general hollowness to movement, a lack of physicality that's supremely disappointing in a game supposedly about the most barbaric barbarians to ever barb.

I'm far from the only one having issues, though mine are not nearly as bad as what some people are reporting:

So basically, Conan shows promise, but it might not quite be ready for primetime. I've seen a handful of people try desperately to anoint it the de facto Ark: Survival Evolved killer. So far, Conan definitely reminds me of Ark, but Ark is much further along these days. Given Conan's focus on lore and intriguing strangeness, it could very well evolve into a game that's more up my alley than Ark. For now, though, I recommend taking a wait-and-see approach with it.

Oh, but I was serious when I said I really like this turtle:

Look at those little arms! And the way he stares at the ground, mouth agape, as though even he is exasperated by his own, evolutionarily questionable existence. Best video game turtle since that one I accidentally punched to death at the start of Crysis. 13/10.


Comments

    Getting that Age of Conan vibe. I hope this game gets finished.

      Don't be silly, early access survival games never get finished!

      it does have that feel in the aesthetic, but is almost completely a re skinned Rust/ARk.
      Im enjoying it so far, but needs work for sure.

        First play through some I've seen it looks just like an ark mod.

      I remember Age of Conan... I quite enjoyed it, got to level 20 and all the voiced dialogue disappeared so I dropped it.

    Played it for about 8 hours or so thus far... I'd say it has probably got the most content and functionality I've ever seen in a survival title at the early access launch.

    Honestly quite surprised at how good I'm finding it to be out the gate, I was expecting much less.

    And for what it's worth, my housemate and I also have it running perfectly fine on two considerably different system setups.

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