Age of Conan: Unchained is an MMORPG from Norwegian developer Funcom. The game is published by Eidos Interactive. Taking place a year after the popular novel The Hour of The Dragon by Robert E. Howard, players find themselves in the mythical world of Hyberion. Characters register on one of several servers interacting with only players on that server. Originally the title was to be the first installment in a series of Age of Conan expansions with XBOX 360 optional game play. Since then the XBOX plans have been scrapped. AoC became a free to play online title in 2011.
It should be noted up front, this game is stunning. If you’re into amazing graphics in a low-fantasy, realistic ancient world, this is your game. Players that enter Hyberion are confronted with a mixture of Babylonian, medieval and ancient Eurasian cultures. The amount of time that went into this creation is evident in every frame. Upon release, the title experienced a backlash of negativity due to bug issues which were eventually ironed out. Since its release, an expansion and several adventure packs have been released to extend the story line. In Age of Conan: Unchained, players are one of four archetypes with three sub classes per archetype. Each archetype has its own specialties such as rogue, priest, mage or soldier. In Co-op situations players can band together and accentuate each other’s skills. For example if you team up with a conqueror damage received from attacks can be lessened while in formation with them. Characters can also build things like catapults and city walls while working together to protect mutual interests.
Age of Conan: Unchained is a fantasy based MMO. The developing studio believes that it is the combat system which sets the game apart from its competition. The ‘real combat’ system used in AoC targets specific body areas during melee. With a number of attacks that range from overhead swings to angular slashes, combinations take an important role in game play. Rewards are registered for difficult combinations which players have noted requires a certain level of agility. Real time battling takes advantage of player’s desire to escape from traditional turn based fighting systems. Armor and equipment do play a role as in many MMO games but not to as large a degree. Most in game advantages will be gained through questing and cooperation with other players. Recently an extreme PvP only server was initiated. Players are not allowed to import characters from other servers to the PvP server and neither are offline characters permitted.
AoC is for the true fan of the series above all else. While everyone can get a great experience from the title, fans of the novels and movie series will find it particularly pleasing. Much care went into the creation of this title, including a soundtrack that focused heavily on the appropriate music types for the time periods and regions that inspired the environment. Three songs were contributed by a Norwegian punk band with one being an original track written especially for the game. The graphics in this game are unbelievable. Worlds come to life in front of you as you venture out on your quests to a killer soundtrack with your weapon in your hand.
Funcom is based in Oslo, Norway and is responsible for a number of games that have appeared on Sega,Super Nintendo and XBOX. Eidos Interactive which publishes AoC:Unchained is a European based company that officially became Square Enix Europe in 2009. Most popular game titles from this publisher include the smash hits Hitman, Tomb Raider, Legacy of Kain, Time Splitters and Fear Effect.
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