Conan: Boobs, Brawn and Bone-Breaking
Comic fans, it's time to celebrate: Conan the Destroyer has come to your game system, and it's not absolutely awful! With an epic story, expansive levels, gory combat and fair maidens aplenty, Conan is definitely worth a play. You might not want to buy this $59.99 eventual paperweight, but renting or borrowing the title is completely worth it.
I love carnage. I love blood. I love ripping people in half in glorious slow-motion cut scenes and being well-rewarded for my carnage factor. Naturally, I've been looking forward to playing Conan for quite some time. Being a sucker for God of War, I'd hoped that Conan's raw action, epic story and big-boobed maidens would be reminiscent of the series that remains one of the best of all time. I probably wished too hard. Let me break it down for you. You'll hear comparisons galore to God of War, and honestly, it is justifiable. The red, green and blue 'runes' used to power up your weapons, health and magic, (Yes, Conan, hater of Magic in the comic books, uses magic in battle for the game.) bear a striking resemblance to the red, green and blue 'orbs' used for the exact same purpose in God of War. You've got your context sensitive moves, your slow gratuitous dismemberments, t & a aplenty, and of course, larger than life boss battles. Unfortunately for us, despite all the similarities to the original franchise, Conan's imitation-as-flattery just doesn't work quite as well as the God of War series.
The game starts off with Conan unleashing a horrible force on the world whilst in search of treasure. Thanks to the Destroyer's greed, this force brings upon humanity the plague, which is pretty much bad in anyone's book. As Conan, you must go on search to reclaim individual enchanted pieces of armor, allowing you to command magic and defeat evil. It's a tough job, but Conan can handle it.
These enchanted pieces of armor allow Conan to take out some pretty hefty enemies, and you'll need them to survive some of the more taxing battles. A word of warning: Conan is not for the weak of gamers. This is a hard game on the default medium setting. The AI, while still remaining on the slow running-into-walls side, can be pretty harsh on you during combat. There are parts where no matter where you turn, relentless enemies are all over you. Even being the bad-ass Destroyer you are, there are times when it's quite challenging to murder and pillage with these over-aggressive AI. Most go down easily with the help of an ability to choose and customize the most effective weapons, but if you play or have played the game, you'll understand the frustration with a certain breed of fighter. This death-dealer is the absolute quickest blocker in the world. (I might be exaggerating a bit ...) You'll have to start 10 feet away from him to take the likes of his AI out and hit him mid-combo when he's not expecting it. If you don't, his ilk will no doubt kick or hack you until you're dead. Trust me, death in Conan is not fun. Seeing cute messages like 'Maidens question your virility' after the death screen pops up have you gritting your teeth, determined to show those judgmental maidens what-for.
Lucky for us, developer Nihilistic has given the gift of boobies to sweeten the game's combat difficulty. We thank them for it. Scattered throughout the levels in what seems like a drawn out version of God of Wars infamous orb-letting sexy scene, naked maidens are hidden throughout the levels, chained to rocks. They implore you for release, and being the kind hearted ladies man you are, you'll give it to them ... The release, that is. They say amusing things like, 'Where are my clothes'? 'How can I repay you'? and my personal favorite: 'I didn't know my savior would be ... so big.' Yep, these ladies are the epitome of c-teases, and that's pretty much it. Once you free them and get their reward runes, that's pretty much it. You can't interact with them, which is kind of dissapointing in my book. At least give me the chance to decide whether to take them back with me, come on!
Other than the abundance of bosoms, there aren't that many innovative things in the title. Puzzles are amuzingly easy and it's virtually impossible to get stuck and not know where to go since the player is provided with sparkly, highlighted areas around things offering interactivity. All-in-all, Conan's a typical brawler. I'm not saying it's not fun however. I became completely sucked into the game, but mostly because it reminded me of God of War. While it wasn't perfect, it still was close to playing one of my favorite games. If you're really into brawlers or love the God of War series, Conan might be for you. This depends however, if you can look past its breathtaking averageness and occasional flaws. But hey, the boobs have it, right?