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Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Description

Conan of Cimmeria dethroned King Numedides III and now rules the land of Aquilonia. His tales are known as legend and fable all over Hyboria but also many either fear or respect him, the land still is in great danger from all sides by Pictish hordes, Nemedia soldiers and many other forces that lay claim to the lands that now all exist under King Conan's rule.

During these times the player enters the world as a slave after creating a character. During character creation the player can not only choose how he looks but also which race and which class he will be. Depending on which of the three available races (Aquilonians, Cimmerians, Stygians) he chooses, he also limited the available class choices. Not every race can be any of the 12 classes. So while Stygians have access to Mages like Necromancers or Demonologist, they don't have any Soldiers which like the Guardian or the Dark Templar. Once the character is created, the player enters the world on the Isle of the Black Ones.

Used as a tutorial island until level 20, the player has two choices: playing a heavily story-driven single player campaign in an instanced world or doing the usual quests and errands with other players on the island. He can switch between both modes anytime from the Tortage tavern by deciding if he wants to play at night (single player) or during the day (multiplayer). Around level 20, after finishing the last mission of the so-called Destiny Quest, the player then enters the normal world of Aquilonia and is from now on free to roam the lands, socialize with others and do what you do in a MMORPG. You can take on a gathering profession like prospecting.

At level 40 the player then gets access to a mount and can choose a crafting profession. While the crafting is standard and includes the normal careers like weaponsmith, the game features a mounted combat system. Fighting from a mount gives you advantages like an additional knockback but also lowers your precision or restricts what combos and spells you use. But big mounts, including the mighty Rhino, even allow you to destroy player-made building. These are build by guilds and architects in the so-called Border Kingdom which is a free-for-all-pvp-territory. If the guild is very powerful and has the resources available, they can even build whole player-cities which then can be conquered by enemy guilds in a great battle with mounts and siege weapons including catapults. But these sieges aren't the only way to participate in PvP. Besides the open world, there are also several battlegrounds with different gameplay modes like "Capture the Flag" or plain "Deathmatch" in which the player can test their combat skills.

The combat system differs greatly from other similar titles because it is realtime with no dice rolling in the background. Where other games feature auto-attack and only require you to activate a spell or skill once in a while, in Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures every sword-swing has to be carried out manually. The player can decide which side of the enemy he wants to attack and depending of his shield allocation, he will make more or less damage there. The player also has three shields he can distribute freely left, right or on top of himself to protect a specific side more because the damage reduction is great if he or an enemy hits on a side which all three shields are present. The player can also produce powerful combos this way. Since this applies more to melee-classes, the spell casters can use spell-weaving to combine powerful spells into one but they have to be aware that it can also backfire and kill the caster.

Screenshots

Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures Windows This is a whore for rich people - and I'm not kidding about that!
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures Windows The Necromancer's spellbook.
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures Windows Character selection screen
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures Windows The area and world map.

Alternate Titles

  • "AoC" -- Common abbreviation

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The Press Says

GameZone May 23, 2008 9.4 out of 10 94
GamesFire Jun 11, 2008 88 out of 100 88
PC Games (Germany) Jun, 2008 86 out of 100 86
Pelit Aug, 2008 85 out of 100 85
Gamereactor (Finland) Jun 27, 2008 8 out of 10 80
Svenska PC Gamer Jul, 2008 80 out of 100 80
GameSpy May 30, 2008 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Games TM Jun, 2008 8 out of 10 80
IGN Jun 10, 2008 7.8 out of 10 78
PC Zone Jun 17, 2008 7.3 out of 10 73

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Trivia

German version

In the German version all fatality moves which involve cutting off body parts were removed. When owners of the censored and uncensored version play together, they will see different fatality animations.

References to the game

  • The game is referenced in the third episode of the second season of the TV series The Big Bang Theory. In the episode, The Barbarian Sublimation, which aired in the US on 6th October 2008, Sheldon is playing the game as Sheldor the Conqueror and he manages to get his neighbour Penny addicted to the game.

  • Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 09/2008.

Xbox 360 version

Originally a Xbox 360 version was announced to appear besides the Windows version. Numerous delays followed and in 2011 Funcom confirmed to have shelved the title.

Awards

  • GameStar (Germany)
    • 2011 - #3 Online RPG of the Year (Readers' Vote)

Related Web Sites

Sicarius (61028) added Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (Windows) on May 19, 2008