Can Conan Hack It In The Open World?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Can Conan Hack It In The Open World?

It seems like it wasn't so long ago that the immortal Robert Howard character Conan took a run at the video game market, going after the MMO market specifically. Now, it's trying another tack after the first round didn't work out so well, making a run at the open world market instead. Can Conan pull off a win in a world full of such titles?

Made by Funcom, the game is set to be called "Conan Exiles," and allows characters to "survive, build and dominate" as barbarians in a vast open landscape. Players will be able to enjoy single-player action if they'd rather be a lone barbarian, or if a more team-based environment is their speed, public and private servers alike will be on hand for gamers to combine forces against the wilds, and presumably, each other.

The game will get an early-access release this summer, reports say, followed up by a PC and console launch to follow.

Not bad, says I, but there are still more than a few unanswered questions vis-a-vis the whole thing. I'm fond of open world games, don't get me wrong--have been since Morrowind--but it's kind of hard to believe that Funcom can pull off an open-world game when they couldn't quite stick the dismount on the MMO version. Maybe that's a bit uncharitable; after all, there can be hosts of open world games in the market--there already are!--and no one has to compete against the 500 pound gorilla in the room that they do in the MMO market. There's no subscription fee with an MMO game, and Conan is definitely an iconic character that's hard to top.

Maybe, just maybe, Funcom can pull off a win here. It's got more than enough going for it to be a success, and Funcom's even got some practice at it. We might be on the verge of something interesting here, and starting this summer, we should see how it turns out.

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