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 Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures

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PostSubject: Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures   Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:31 am

Metachronos overall sore = 8.6 / 10

Positive
- Mature, brilliantly imagined game world is a pleasure to explore
- Exciting combat keeps you constantly involved
- Many quests are powerfully written and have emotional impact
- Varied classes make both team and solo play equally viable
- You can tear a man's heart out of his chest and eat it

Negative
- A large number of server- and client-side bugs
- Lacks noncombat activities that would help mix things up
- Various pacing issues and other minor flaws

As imagined by developer Funcom, the land of Cimmeria's lush green landscapes are dotted with impaled corpses upon which crows roost and flap their wings, apparently pleased with both the height of their perch and the scent of death. Thus the stage is set for one of the finest online role-playing games in years, one in which fertile fields and arid deserts contrast with the blood spilled by hundreds of sharp-toothed warthogs and hulking mantises. Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures is an explorer's paradise, offering rich, grisly surprises in the crevasses of its bustling cities and green meadows. Whether it's a looming pyramid hiding deadly secrets or a spider's lair nestled within the rocky hills, the sights are impressive and striking, and the vivid backstory that supports this sprawling paradise is mature and, appropriately enough, barbaric.



But this is a flawed paradise. Funcom has been quick to handle the most egregious blemishes since the launch of its massively multiplayer online game, but a number of frustrating bugs remain. The most minor ones have little to no impact on the game proper, like placeholder text and a minimap that occasionally goes blank (among other interface glitches). Others are more significant, such as broken quests and memory leaks that lead to the occasional crash. Launch imperfections are common enough in the genre, but while Age of Conan's release was hardly disastrous, it has been less stable than we should expect. Many bugs have already been fixed, but the game's edges are still somewhat jagged, and the software can buckle under the sheer weight of its own ambition. You'd do well to look past these imperfections, though, because Age of Conan is the most brutal and immediately satisfying MMOG on the market, thanks to its unique slant on combat, resonant quest writing, and uncompromising maturity. It's also paced much differently than its competition, ushering you into Hyboria slowly by juxtaposing a story-driven, single-player quest against the more standard team-oriented exploration and traditional questing. During your time in Tortage, the initial lower-level city, missions are bestowed with in-engine scenes and full voice acting, which draw you into the world and weave narrative threads that continue even after you've left the pirate port for the wild beyond. It's unfortunate that most post-Tortage quests lack the voice-over, but the tasks themselves are superbly written. While it's true that the majority of them are genre standards--kill these enemies, collect these items, and so on--they're assigned by interesting characters with stories to tell. You'll meet a young woman hiding her pregnancy (and the unsavory circumstance behind it) from her overbearing father, rescue a princess that turns out to be a bit different than expected, and interrogate murder suspects. Don't skip past quest intros without reading them in Age of Conan; if you do, you'll be missing some of the game's finest moments.



The combat impressively remains gripping enough to push you forward, even when you're pursuing tasks that could qualify as grinding. Much of this has to do with the various roles a single class can play within an adventuring group--even classes that are seemingly dedicated to healing and support. A Herald of Xotli may be an offensive powerhouse, but the healing blood pit he occasionally drops can be a major boon to a party close to defeat. A Bear Shaman is handy to have around for his buffs and healing spells, but he's more effective using his melee combos in the midst of chaos than he is tiptoeing in the sidelines. These varied abilities mean that not only do group dynamics feel fresher than in most other online RPGs, but that the majority of classes offer highly successful solo play. The sound design is essentially flawless. The soundtrack isn't as omnipresent as with Funcom's previous MMOG, Anarchy Online, but it is just as marvelous, featuring pounding bass drums when combat gets dramatic and the atmospheric calls of flutes as you explore the idyllic Conall's Valley. Of particular note is the beautiful, serene vocal composition you hear in the border kingdoms. The grunts, clangs, and thuds of combat perfectly match the bloodiness of the accompanying blood splatter, and even small touches, such as the authentic sound of your footsteps as you march through snow, are spot-on. The voice acting, though limited mostly to the first 20 levels, is equally excellent. Age of Conan has plenty of room to grow and a number of issues that need fixing, but even now, it offers a rewarding adventure abundant with character and fascinating backstory. The combat system perfectly suits the adult nature of the quests, and is the finest one yet seen in an online RPG. In spite of its current bugs and glitches, Age of Conan is a remarkably entertaining journey through a dark and mature world of beasts and brutality.





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Most of my reviews are taken from www.gamespot.com I shorten them and find the most important parts as their reviews are over 3 pages long which can be a burden to read and the screenshots are taken from the internet Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures   Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:25 am

awesome
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PostSubject: Re: Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures   Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:17 am

"You can tear a man's heart out of his chest and eat it"

Shocked must...get...this...game

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PostSubject: Re: Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures   Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:16 am

it's an MMO, and you need high system requirments

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PostSubject: Re: Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures   Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:27 am

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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