Conan Exiles is an open-world survival game set in the brutal lands of Conan the Barbarian. You are an exile, one of thousands cast out to fend for themselves in a barbaric wasteland swept by terrible sandstorms and besieged on every side by enemies. Here you must fight to survive, build and dominate. Hungry, thirsty and alone, your very first battle is that against the harsh environment. Grow crops or hunt animals for food. Harvest resources to build weapons and tools. Build a shelter to survive. Ride across a vast world and explore alone, or band together with other players to build entire settlements and strongholds to withstand fierce invasions.
When strong enough, march forth into battle and wage war against your enemies as you fight to dominate the exiled lands. Sacrifice enemy players on the altars of the gods and shift the balance of power your way. Unleash your fury in savage, fast-paced combat and execute bloody and bone-crushing attacks that will see heads rolling and limbs flying.
“Barbarism,” said Conan creator Robert E. Howard, “is the natural state of mankind.” Civilization is a fluke; a “whim of circumstance.” It’s a theme Howard wove into virtually every paragraph about his raven-haired Cimmerian, and it seems to manifest itself in undiluted form in Conan Exiles, Funcom’s upcoming open-world survival game set in Howard’s Hyborian Age. That, at least, is the impression I got from Conan Exiles’ creative director Joel Bylos and executive producer Lawrence Poe in an interview earlier this week.
Funcom’s no stranger to this world — it was, after all, behind 2008’s ambitious but troubled massively multiplayer online RPG Age of Conan. But Age of Conan found us far along in Conan’s years, when he was already sitting semi-comfortably on the throne of Aquilonia. Conan Exiles finds him in a younger, wilder age, when he’s roughly 26 and in between the events of Howard’s “Xuthal of the Dusk” and “A Witch Shall Be Born.”