Releasing in early access on January 30, 2017, Conan Exiles is yet another entry in the seemingly endless “early access survival” genre. Of course, the core draw with this one is the Conan universe: savages, slaves, monsters, etc. Plus, it’s actually seeing regular updates, including the massive Frozen North expansion which was recently released for free.
In closed beta since late 2016, Brawlout released in Early Access on April 20, 2017. It wears its influences on its sleeve, sporting visuals and mechanics clearly inspired by Super Smash Bros. However, Brawlout is no copycat, with unique fighters, more “competitive” maps, and a greater emphasis on combos and control.
Hell Warders made an awful first impression.
Upon loading it up, I was quickly greeted with clipping assets, overflowing lists that disappeared off-screen, a non-functioning character creator, and various spelling and grammar errors in pieces of menu and help text. Oh, I also couldn’t play the game; there were no multiplayer games available for me to join, and the “Create Game” function seemed to be broken.
The second attempt didn’t fare much better. After some of the more egregious issues (namely, the character creator problems and the ability to actually start a game) were sorted out, I was greeted with something that felt tiresome and monotonous more than anything. Enemies spawned in from multiple directions, leaving me quickly overwhelmed and resigned to defeat. It appeared it was going to be a bad time all around.
Thankfully, subsequent patches proved this to not be the case.