A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
All about trying to stay alive in a harsh realm, where rule of life is survival of fittest. Players encouraged to be more ruthless than merciful, live in a world where people are executed, made into slaves on a whim.
Positive Role Models
No "positive" role models, as much as there are "less negative" ones. World is brutal, unforgiving; inhabitants need to be the same. While NPCs are at least predictable in behavior, player characters are anything but, leading to some potentially nasty confrontations.
Ease of Play
Although lots of game options, controls feel sluggish, forced. Surprisingly high difficultly at start; glitches occasionally plague experience.
Violence & Scariness
Hack-and-slash fantasy violence in all its bloody, gory glory. This includes more decapitations, dismemberment than most horror movies. Events in game spotlight other forms of brutality, including cannibalism, human sacrifice, torture.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
During character creation, players can choose options, including just how much nudity is allowed in their games. Some players will choose full nudity, leaving nothing to proverbial imagination; even choosing a server that doesn't support full nudity leaves fairly extreme partial nudity throughout game.
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Though actual in-game dialogue is light on profanity, online nature exposes players to unfiltered conversations of other players, potentially exposing them to obscenities, other offensive commentary.
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Products & Purchases
Based on Robert E. Howard's popular Conan series, which has spawned numerous books, comics, films, TV series, more.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Numerous references to, instances of alcohol use. One potion described as a "potion that causes hallucinations and visions."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Conan Exiles is a downloadable online open-world survival game based on Robert E. Howard's popular Conan the Barbarian franchise. Currently in Early Access, the game features support for both single-player and multiplayer gameplay, with players able to choose features such as player verses player (PvP) and player versus environment (PvE) servers, as well as full or partial in-game nudity. The game is extremely violent, with scenes of dismemberment, decapitations, executions, and human sacrifice. Due to the online nature of the multiplayer component, with players interacting with each other in various ways, language and other potentially offensive content can be difficult to avoid. There also are references to and instances of drinking, and one potion provides hallucinations to characters that choose to drink it.
Is It Any Good?
It's a fairly safe bet that any time if your name is best recognized when followed by the words "the Barbarian," you're probably not known for your subtlety. It also follows that a game based on that world would be anything but subtle. That said, Conan Exiles doesn't shy from its "barbarian" roots or use the violence of the world as simply a backdrop for adventure. Instead, the game puts that violence front and center, relishing in its brutality. Whether you're chopping the arms off an enemy, torturing a potential "thrall" into submission on a Wheel of Pain, eating the flesh of another human, or performing a human sacrifice to one of the game's pantheon of gods, Conan Exiles never lets players forget for a moment that the Hyborian Age is one of savagery and ferocity. One of the funny quirks about the game is that it gives players the option of including full nudity, but it never once questions its violence. Apparently, it's perfectly acceptable to carve the heart out of another human being, but potentially seeing bare breasts (and more) is a decision best left to the player.
Even for all its brutality, Conan Exiles has a deeply engaging setting and a fascinating lore. It's a gorgeous-looking world, provided you're running it on a system capable of really showing off its splendor. It's also an ambitious game, promising players the flexibility to make the world their own by not only surviving but also building their own legend. Unfortunately, interacting with the world around you feels forced and cumbersome. The game's unforgiving difficulty also means you'll likely have to restart numerous times, getting more and more frustrated with the experience before you even scratch the surface of it. And that's before you ever deal with any of the game's various bugs and glitches. Sure, the game is in Early Access, so some of this is to be expected, but nearly two months after release, it doesn't feel even close to complete. In fact, the most frustrating thing about Conan Exiles is that there's so much obvious potential, but when you're actually playing, it always feels like the game comes up short of what it's truly capable of.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.