Tag Archives: Funcom

Haven Editorial: Conan Exiles

Haven Editorial: Adventures is Exile

Conan exiles takes place in the magical world of Conan the barbarian. Which the Norwegian game company Funcom made another game in. Unlike Age of Conan, this is an open sandbox, with crafting, survival elements and full frontal nudity. Both genders can chose to be completely naked within the game settings. The same options can be set by the server host as well.

I started my adventure on a sour note, being accused of crimes I never committed. Some quite unsavory people knocked me out cold and left me dry and hanging. I mean honestly, who the devil crucify someone alive in the middle of a god forsaken wilderness? honorless dogs that is who. After a mighty struggle I managed to pry myself off the cross and found a note next to me, along with a waterskin. Something I consider a quite fitting contribution to my glorious conquest of these savage lands. All around me is a barren wasteland of a desert, sparsely populated with black ruins and a cobble stone road to traverse. Further down the path I ran into a flying fiend of sorts, that snarled at me before it flew into the distance. Eventually I found an oasis, with lush vegetation and a whole lot of water all over the place. As I was admiring the lovely scenery several vicious scaly beast ganged up on me and I died brutally. Eventually I re-spawned at the cross again. Death is apparently a slap on the wrist as long as I can reclaim my corpse and the loot I carry.

Long story short, Conan Exiles is an open sandbox survival game on Steam, that launched as an early access title. Which leaves rooms for a lot of patching. Despite some minor bugs and annoyances, the game is fairly addictive and a decent proof of concept. However there are some very nasty bugs and horrible loading time around the time this article is being written. Make no mistake, Conan Exiles is fun, especially with friends and comes with both PVP and PVE modes. Where people can host their own servers and modify the game mechanics. Such as day and night cycles and the experience gain. It’s also totally possible to play it solo and access the admin panel, which can create any object of desire within the game. AT one point I decided to summon an avatar of Yog. A 50 meter tall tentacled monstrosity, with the ability to penetrate the earth. Unfortunately it only last for a minute.

Crafting is fairly fast and straight forward. Gather the needed resource, go into the menu and click on the desired recipe. Each level unlock several new recipes. However they are best to divide between several players to maximize the effectiveness. One should focus on building fancy things, while the other player should work on making weapons. Eventually I learned how to make a lesser wheel of pain, rope and a blackjack. Three lovely items that allows me to knock someone out, string them up and drag them back to base. Nothing is more satisfying than to employ several highly trained athletic slaves. Knocking someone unconscious can lead to some rather gruesome mutilations. The game is bloody, brutal and uncompromising. Limbs will fly and blood will soak the sand. The sandbox of Conan Exiles is composed of 90% sand, which is quite an oxymoron indeed.

The wilderness is populated by various camps, vicious monsters and swarms of hyenas and toxic spiders. I can’s count the number of times I ran out of stamina, got crippled and was brutally murdered by fanged fiends. All in all a very fun, if a bit flawed game, which can only get better with time. Since long loading and optimization leaves a lot to be desired,





Njål Sand

Haven Review: The Secret World

First up is our disclaimer.  We got this game because we wanted to review it, and as such
all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

header_early_access-612x337The Secret World…despite EA being involved at one point or another and that being a major turnoff for some is actually quite good. The game does have it faults, and a big one for me is the leveling system.

There is no level cap, and as such you never stop getting better with skills, abilities, and weapons. The way it works is that you gain AP and SP as you level-up. The AP goes mainly into skills and the SP goes primarily into weapons.

Skills are what generate damage in the game. Unlike in traditional MMORPGs, where the laws of point-and-click afford natural repetitive attack, the Secret World requires you to place abilities on a “hot bar”. For those unfamiliar, it’s the buttons marked “1” through “9” on your keyboard.

In combat you press the key corresponding to an ability, which gets tiresome after a while. Unlike many MMORPGs that include detailed tutorials, this game starts you off with only a smattering of basic know-how, before sending your very unprepared self out into the cold, zombie-rich environs.the_secret_world_gc_screen_5

What’s more, the opening sequences dump onto players a tremendous amount of lore to memorize.  There are three vying factions, each keeping secrets from the other two, and some even from members of their own faction.  There is a story about a weapon powerful enough to destroy the entire world…nothing more for now. Additionally, to move between locations you must find a giant tree in another dimension and carefully walk among its branches. It’s like having a nightmare within a dream. There’s no sugar-coating it.

The game’s community is great, as long as you define “great” as having precious few helpful members. At one point I was trying to figure out how to craft an item, so I asked around for advice. Help arrived about 30 to 40 minutes later. I was grateful, but I’d forgotten the original question by then.

Another huge issue in the game is how often you need to use Google. Knowing the Latin language is at times a must to progress through the story and side-quests. This is particularly annoying during timed events. In any case, expect to fail and die a lot.

Aside from the language barrier, there are many puzzles to solve and missions to complete that require knowledge of bible verses from the New King James testament, or song numbers from Gospel hymns. No joke…and we’re still only in Chapter 1 of the game! It’s here that we meet Men in Black, Zombies, Draugr, evil wizards, and the power to destroy the entire world…oh yes, and to slay gods.TheSecretWorldDX11-2012-07-11-17-40-17-011

Ultimately, does The Secret World deliver on being a vastly different MMORPG? The answer is a simple straight forward, yes. My only real issue with the game is simply you cannot download it through Steam if you have a Funcom license key, but you CAN do it the other way around. They even went as far as to integrate the Funcom servers with the Steam servers so everyone can play together.

Is The Secret World worth checking out, now that it’s “pay once, play forever”? Yes. Is the game “pay to win”? No. You can boost your AP by purchasing bonuses, but there is no real benefit in that because it can be earned as you play. Remember, too that AP simply unlocks new abilities. The amount needed to unlock every ability totals into the hundreds of dollars, if purchased.

But for the price, I would give The Secret World a try, even more so if you love puzzles and a massively multi-player online role playing experience.

-Daniel Clatworthy-