Conan XBox 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.1
Graphics 8.9
Sound 8.9
Value 9.2
Distributor: THQ
Review Date:
October 2007
Reviewer:
Andrew Bistak

9.1


Conan

The story of Conan revolves around the greatest Barbarian and Cimmerian of all time... Conan the Barbarian with this current tale being cleverly narrated by a mysterious elderly woman. When Conan attempts to steal an ancient treasure, he unwittingly unleashes an ancient mage that has forced our hero to now fight his way through a plethora of enemies in order to prevent this nefarious wizard from threatening the lands.

The story is masterfully directed by various cutscenes that nicely move the story in the direction intended and needless to say, the chronicle of Conan the game is quite engaging and entertaining. This game is one of those rare titles where I can sit hours upon hours playing the game and even thinking about it while I'm not playing it.

Features

  • Intense Action Combat: Playing as Conan, players will utilize a deep and gratifying combat system that offers a variety of fighting styles to battle enemies. Through multiple movement trees, players can string together combos and fight foes using grappling moves, hand-to-hand combat, sword fights and dual-wielded attacks.

  • Interactive Environments: Highly interactive combat locations and real-time physics will allow players to pick up any weapons in sight, such as swords, axes, spears and torches, and use surrounding environmental elements to inflict damage on enemies.

  • Cinematic Game Play Experience: The Conan video game harnesses next generation hardware to deliver a cinematic game play experience, complete with innovative special effects, lighting and a powerful, epic soundtrack, to capture the essence of the Conan universe.

The gameplay of Conan is extremely reminiscent of Sony's Gods of War with the various maneuvers and killing techniques that Conan has access to. Although Conan has his stock standard maneuvers such as fast attack, slow attack and block, as you progress through the title you are awarded rune points that can then be used increase your artillery of attacks such as X X Y etc to pull off a variety of Barbarian butt-kicking moves.

For certain creatures (ala Gods of War), Conan can also perform various different killing blows that are time limited such as pushing B on the controller in order to slay your foe, failure to do this will see your combatant rewarded with a small amount of health and you will need to engage them again.

The battles of Conan are quite diverse and entertaining with a wide gamut of creatures available for you to challenge from dastardly pirates to otherworldly spirits. Conan also has access to a variety of different weapons from swords to axes which are virtually littered throughout the gaming environment. My favourite methods for changing my battle strategies is to pick boxes and boulders that can then be thrown at your combatants. With that said, the environment is quite interactive and there are a variety of puzzles along the way which makes this title the perfect action adventure game.

When your health starts to get low, you can smash the smaller boxes in order to find health or find health urns that are located conveniently throughout the gaming environment. The game has a range of difficulty settings which impact how well the AI of the game plays so once you have finished the title, some gamers will give it another show at a higher difficulty level. The boss battles are also thoroughly enjoyable and sometimes frustratingly annoying such as the Sand Dragon.

Graphically, Conan is a rather impressive looking game on the XBox 360 for the majority of time, however it does suffer from a little lackluster in some of the textures. The characters themselves are well animated and move with a real-world grace but it's the small things in the game that make the world of Conan quite impressive. Whether it's the leaves of the trees moving in the wind or the realistic shadow effects, everything comes together quite well. As briefly mentioned, the characters although detailed look a little plain on the XBox 360 but considering the realistic animations, it's almost forgivable and how many games can actually get away with partial nudity? For those that are a little squeamish, be wary as Conan contains a healthy amount of blood, violence and half naked wenches that need to be saved... I think I already touched upon that!

The soundtrack of Conan is brilliant and is almost reminiscent of the two Conan movies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. As soon as the battle heats up, so does the music and in the quieter places in the game, it sometimes serves as peaceful background ambience but in the world of Conan, this happens rarely.

The voice acting is pure cliché and unfortunately Conan sounds a little too American which is a shame but then again, I'm probably use to Arnold Schwarzenegger's version. The strange thing about the voice acting though is that all the other characters sound perfect, whether it's the villains or the damsels in distress. The game contains a variety of battle hardy sound effects from Sand Dragons, pirates and strange beasts being slaughtered by our very own Conan.

In conclusion, Conan is a great game on the XBox 360 that we could recommend to a variety of gamers as this is what the console world need, a game that is not using a first person shooter or racing engine. Finally, a worthy game in this dry period of repetitive genres... Conan is here to stay! Great gameplay, decent graphics and good old fashioned arcade action fun... best of all... refreshing fresh on the XBox 360!






 
 



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