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Conan Unconquered

Posted by GG Goblin On June - 18 - 2019

An RTS of sorts featuring everyone’s favourite barbarian.

 
Conan the Barbarian, who will forever be represented by a young Arnold Schwarzenegger in my mind, is making something of a come back in the world of video games. This is largely down to publisher Funcom, and the most recent title comes from industry veterans Petroglyph. Conan Unconquered looks at first like a slightly old-school RTS, but the reality is a mixture of genres and a strong case for playing with a buddy. Still, any game in which I can imagine a little Arnie laying waste to hordes of enemies is alright to me.

 
cu1 (Copy)

 
So yeah, Conan Unconquered does look like your standard RTS game from days gone by. Indeed, the player will have to manage resources to maintain their armies and do research in order to unlock units and the like, but the key here is that the game is far more defensive than more traditional RTSs. Here, the player is given command of a fortress and charged with protecting it from wave after wave of increasingly aggressive enemies. This in itself will see the player spending more times constructing, upgrading and repairing walls than anything else. The waves begin fairly easy and manageable, but before long the little nomads may be replaced with waves involving far more dangerous, and larger, enemies or monsters that will push the player management skills to the limit.

 
The simple wall can only do so much, and if the player is not careful all of their hard-earned resources will be used on repairing and maintaining, keeping the player on the very edge of being overrun. It is the resource management that is perhaps the most complex aspect of the game, with the player needing to decide when to spend on research to make improvements and become more capable, and when to hold back simply to survive the next wave.

 
The player does have an ace in their hands though, in the form of a hero character. This is where the game almost takes an action role as the player can use their stupidly overpowered hero to hold back entire waves of enemies by themselves, leaving their limited troops to concentrate on other areas of their city. The hero character is really impressive to watch, and can become even more powerful through the course of a game. However, they can be destroyed, which will leave the player waiting for them to respawn, usually while watching everything go to hell in their city.

 
cu2 (Copy)

 
While the emphasis is on defending the city, the player can leave and explore the desert surroundings. This is obviously important when it comes to expanding the city, but also can lead to other rewards. Monsters roaming the desert can be killed for additional resources, and there are even some impressive boss-like monsters to be found out there that can offer massive rewards once they are vanquished. Given the importance of resources and their relative scarcity, rushing out of the city in-between waves to kill some roaming monsters is a really good idea, as long as the player can get back before the next wave completely overruns the city.

 
Conan Unconquered features a few tutorials to teach the player the basics of the game, and then it is into the main game, which unfortunately only consists of a single, desert-based map. It is not all that bad as each time the map is randomly generated, giving it some variety, and there are a nice selection of different enemy units to hold back. But it is all based in the desert, making it feel very similar each time. There is no story to talk of, and a limited number of friendly troops to research and play, resulting in a somewhat repetitive game after a while, especially once the player has worked out a winning strategy.

 
With that all said, Conan Unconquered does become much more fun when played in co-op with a buddy. Each player gets to control a hero and resources are shared between the players, meaning that the player is more able to focus on exploring say, while the other keeps the waves of enemies at bay. It really is at its best when played in co-op.

 
Visually, the game does suffer a little bit. Stunning cut scenes give way to unimpressive character models and the same yellows and browns of the desert each time. Some of the more epic monsters look nice, but it really does have an old-school feel about it that really dates the game.

 
cu3 (Copy)

 
Conan Unconquered is an interesting take on the RTS genre with more than a few surprises. It has some great ideas, but suffers with a lack of content and variety. This is something that could be fixed down the line with DLC as the core game works well and is fun to play, especially in co-op. As it stands right now, Conan Unconquered is an enjoyable defensive strategy game with limited longevity, but still certainly worth a look for fans of the genre.

 

 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 



 

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