May 17, 2007 - At Sony's Gamer's Day event, we managed to check out the latest build of Conan for the PS3. The title, which was originally announced at a THQ event two months ago, is based off of the Robert E. Howard novels instead of the comic books or the Schwarzenegger movies. As a result, Nihilistic is attempting to make a title that fits much more closely to the original vision of the novels, with a massive focus on combat, destruction and womanizing - the traits that the Cimmerian are known for.
We've known for a while that Conan will be able to perform more than 100 different combat moves. We noticed a few new ones, such as performing a suplex that decapitated an enemy, as well as throwing a large pike through someone's body. Interestingly, Conan will be able to pick up any object within the world and use it as a weapon, including those from enemies. This gives players a bit of strategy since they can decide to use the weapon they've stolen from an enemy against them, or, in the case of shields, keep the object and boost Conan's defense. Whenever Conan managed to kill an enemy, we also noticed that a number of colored runes popped up from their body, which immediately were drawn to the Barbarian. We were told that the green runes were for health while the red runes were for experience. We weren't told what the blue runes that were captured were for at this time, but we should find out as soon as Nihilistic are willing to tell us.
While we're sure that the blue runes will help you out in your quest, we also found that the enemies that the barbarian will face are truly varied. From humans to humanoid creatures and even wild animals, there should be a large amount of variety to the opponents you face off against. However, you won't necessarily have to fight your way through every monster, because the game, while linear, has plenty of secrets that can be used to unlock some new content.
We also found that players will have to cause some significant damage to unlock some of those secrets. Some of this includes setting grass, wood and other burnable structures on fire, which burn relative to their size and weight, while others will need to be smashed through. However, relying on one particular attack for everything, such as breaking objects and assaulting enemies will be blocked and countered, as the game will require new strategies to get around enemies. That was a specific demand to cut down on the level of button mashing to get through this expected 10-12 hour experience.
One cool thing about the presentation of the title is that the developers attempted to duplicate the artistic work of Frank Frazetta, one of the most prolific fantasy and sci-fi artists today. That means that the team isn't going for actual realism, like the water in the game during the Giant Squid battle. If you take that into consideration whenever you notice some of the massive fight sequences, you'll pick up on the homages to Frazetta's work everywhere. With the inclusion of downloadable content, Conan will possibly refine these visuals over the lifetime of the title, providing something fresh for hardcore fans. We'll have more on Conan as soon as it's available.
Thanks to IGN.com for sharing the news with us!