E3 2007: Age of Conan Impressions

conan.jpgAside from the gritty Kane & Lynch: Dead Men preview Eidos had for us at E3 this year, they also demonstrated the upcoming MMORPG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures by showing us some realtime gameplay and the games newly minted introductory cinematic.

Age of Conan was one of the most impressive MMO offerings last year at the convention when Funcom, the games developers showed the siege gameplay and Simcity like settlement building mechanics. This year was all about teamwork and introducing the character classes and races. While most MMOs focus on a family friendly fantasy experience, the nature of the world of Conan with its half dressed seductresses, burly barbarian berserkers and occult magic means Conan is squarely focused on delivering a setting built for adults. Gore, exposed breasts and harsh language were present and the developers reveled in the fact that to make a game true to Howard’s character the game would have to be targeting an M rating.

The demonstration featured characters of three core classes – the barbarian, priest and necromancer. Age of Conan implements these common RPG concepts in a bit of a different way. While the priest still heals and buffs, the class has a far more combat forward approach. The necromancer, like a fantasy wizard might be either the “nuker” role or the pet master. During our demonstration the three man team dove into some of the games high level content to show how the three classes compliment each other and to show off the necromancer’s army and variety of pets.

The game looked good and fun to play. Those worried that the game might be limited to DirectX 10 only need not fear, Fun Com assured us that the game would remain XP and DirectX 9 capible while taking advantage of the latest DirectX 10 cards and Microsoft Vista.

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