Conan (XBox 360)

by PaulEMoz

I had a bit of a frustrating day today, so I really fancied venting in gameplay form. Picking through my unplayed games, I found the perfect vehicle... Conan.

A decent hack-and-slash game can be very satisfying, and that's exactly what Conan is. It's quite obviously "inspired" by the gameplay of the mighty God of War, and although there's nothing quite as magnificent as some of the set pieces from that game, Conan has plenty to offer.

There's nothing terribly new here, it has to be said. Conan stomps moodily around pretty landscapes, smiting all before him. He does so in particularly stylish and brutal ways, which is where most of the fun comes from. There's a pretty long list of combos to unlock or purchase, and learning these leads to some terribly entertaining blood-spilling. Coupled to that are the counter-attacks... if an enemy attacks and you time your parry exactly right, you can lauch a lethal counter-attack which will usually result in pieces flying from the opponent, or an impressive spurting arc of blood, at the very least.

You can pick this up for a tenner at most places these days... it's worth a punt for that, as long as you like button-mashing blood-letting. It's not a pure button-masher though... once you learn a few combos you'll develop favourites and start using them effectively as you cut a swathe through all that stand before you. It really is like God of War-lite... but it's done well enough that it stands on its own as a worthy and entertaining game. It's actually found a little nich for me, and I'll be returning to it when my mood is right.