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June 17 2007
Conan - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
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This is a very bloody game.
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Just hanging around an ancient ruin.

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Now that's a big sword!
To many people reading this preview Conan would be known as the 1982 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Indeed for much of my life that was the extent of the property as well, with little knowledge of the novels or comics. In fact, Conan started out as series of stories written by Robert E. Howard in 1932 for publication in Weird Tales magazine. Between 1932 and 1936, when Howard committed suicide, he wrote 21 Conan-based stories, 17 of which were published. In recent years all the works have been re-published, including the four unpublished stories. It is upon these stories which THQ, and developers Nihilistic, have taken inspiration for this game - and not the Arnold Schwarzenegger movies which varied greatly from the original stories.

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The games effects are pretty impressive.
So what do we know about the story? Well not much other then the game is set in the "Hyborian Age" - a time period made up by Howard. Players will follow the journey of Conan the Cimmerian as he fights a vicious battle against a variety of enemies and an elusive power that threatens to consume the world.

Before getting into the details we must also point out that this game has no relation to Age of Conan which is a PC massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) from Funcom. THQ's Conan is basically a hack and slash based title.

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Now that looks like a tough enemy!
As you can probably tell this is a third person hack and slash title - there's nothing too exciting there. Where this game does get exciting is the massive range of moves and combos available to the games hero. In fact the developers have promised over 100 different moves will be available in the final release. As you would expect Conan is pretty apt with using massive swords and axes against enemies, but he also has a wide range of special moves including the ability to pick up and throw opponents, or even use them in a pile driver or warrior suplex move! Conan can also pick up items to use as weapons such as pikes or barrels to throw while he can also open chests littered around the levels for extra items and bonuses. It's also possible to wield two swords during battle - rather helpful to decapitate enemies when required!

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Conan slices up another opponent.
The game will include several massive bosses throughout the game as well. We've seen a battle with the Kraken which takes place on a massive, and gorgeous, ship.

Graphically Conan is quite sensational. Visually it has more then a passing resemblance to Sony's God of War and Ubisoft's Prince of Persia - but ups the level of blood many times over. As you play through the game the amount of blood flowing all over the place makes pretty much every other game look like a picnic. Slash an enemy and the blood comes gushing out, chop off their heads and it's quite reminiscent of the scene in Kill Bill where the blood spurts out in all directions. This is brutal; this is Conan!

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Bodies, weapons and blood remain after battle.
Backgrounds are also pretty impressive with a range of locations shown off already including battles in and around ancient ruins, on walkways or docks above water, and in the mountains. Another interesting thing to note is that unlike many other titles bodies, weapons and blood will remain on the ground when the battle is over. We can also expect the game to include plenty of cut scenes to tell the story.

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About to slam an enemy down.
The developers are also promising an epic soundtrack to capture the essense of the conan universe. What we have heard so far is a fantiastic orchestral sounding score - whether it is the final audio remains to be seen, but we'll be happy if it is. The voicework is also suitably impressive. Conan sounds gruff - just as one would imagine him.

So this game won't have Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it still has massive amounts of potential. While we originally believed the game would be released in early 2008 in recent months it has been revealed that THQ will be pushing this game out in October 2007. With enough love and care this could very well be just as impressive as God of War or Prince of Persia series'. Roll on November...