Whilst you can play Exiles offline (which includes 4-player LAN/ invites), this is a game designed to be played online, where the servers support up to 40 simultaneous humans at one time. This all sounds excellent, but with an absolutely huge map, the chances of ever actually meeting another player are quite slim. I put in well over 20 hours into the review, and asides from a few players around the starting area, only saw one other logged in player the entire rest of the time. I did run across a few other players who were ‘unconscious’ (logged out), but on the PVE server I was playing on, perhaps some of the fun is lost, because you can’t really do anything with the bodies you come across.
What’s more unfortunate though is the online performance. The game suffered from consistent latency issues, which varied from barely noticeable to some chunks of time which were almost game-breaking due to the horrendous input lag, as you wade around like a drunken idiot.
Conan Exiles is Xbox One X Enhanced, but it’s not the sharpest looking game on Microsoft’s machine, by any stretch. The X version appears to have 4K resolution, but the texture quality doesn’t always seem to match (especially on user built creations), and there’s a fair bit of fogging distant terrain and pop-in on objects, which can be sometimes jarring.
The game also only targets a 30fps refresh, which when combined with the input latency can make for a pretty clunky and slow feeling game. The one area that can be really commended though is the map and art design, which are both top notch. There’s a huge amount of visual variety, and the landscape feels suitably epic, like it’s been ripped straight from a high fantasy novel or movie.
‘Conan Exiles‘ doesn’t have any disastrous features or bugs, but the constant glitches and latency, and lack of any remarkable features for the genre puts it pretty squarely in the middle of the pack. It lacks the interesting setting of Subnautica, the huge monsters of Ark, and the weaponry of DayZ. Having said that, if you’re looking for a fantasy take on the survival game, you don’t have a huge amount of choice, and for that reason, Conan is certainly worth considering, especially as it is (somewhat) more polished than much of the competition.
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