Mongol General: "Conan! What is best in life?"
Conan: "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women."
So started 1982's Conan the Barbarian, the classic sword and sorcery romp starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, based on the work of author Robert E. Howard. And that's what you'll be doing with gusto throughout Conan for PlayStation 3, an action-packed fighting game that doesn't skimp on the gory action as you guide Conan across the ancient land of Hyboria to stop an ancient evil known as the Black Plague.
Sword and sorcery
Conan is, at its heart, a hack and slash action game. The Square button is used for light attacks that are good for knocking enemies off guard, while the Triangle button unleashes a much more powerful blow that can take out weaker enemies with a single strike. L1 lets Conan block, and by pressing it at just the right point, you can perform an instant-kill counter move. It's an intuitive control scheme that you'll master in seconds, and you can develop it even further as the game progresses, thanks to the game's tiered combat system.
Conan can pick up weapons from his fallen enemies, and his attacks are split between the three different fighting styles: single blade, dual blade and grappling. Defeating enemies also gives Conan experience points which can be used to purchase new combos and special moves. How you spend your experience is up to you, and you can choose to concentrate on a single area, or spread your skills more evenly to make your fighting style more balanced.
The gore the merrier
Conan is a game that doesn't shy away from the fact that if you hit people with swords, bits of them are going to fall off, and it's intended for adults only for a reason, but it's all in perfect keeping with Robert E. Howard's books and the comics and movies starring his creation. Conan's quest, such as it is, is to reclaim the pieces of his magical armour that he lost when he unwittingly released the Black Plague from its resting place. Each piece of armour you reclaim grants you more powers, such as being able to fire energy bolts or unleash flocks of ravens at your foes.
Dotted throughout the levels are short button pressing mini-games that are context sensitive - much like ones found in God of War. These let you force open doors, take control of siege catapults, pull arrows out of Conan, and deliver devastating finishing blows to boss characters. You'll also have to solve puzzles and rescue civilians along the way, but the main focus here is very much the intense combat and visceral action.
Gorgeous next generation visuals and great voice acting from a talented cast (including Hellboy star Ron Perlman as Conan) are the icing on an impressively bloody PlayStation 3 cake. Fans of Conan, fans of beat em ups, and anyone looking for an intense action game that pulls no punches need look no further than Conan on PlayStation 3.