With J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth having its own MMO, appropriately enough called Lord of the Rings Online, it is not surprising that Robert Howard’s Conan books series is getting its own mmorpg. The new game, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures will give players the chance for adventure in the world of Hyboria.
Instead of the high heroic fantasy offered by Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures aims to capture the world portrayed in the sword and sorcerery Conan novels and the 1980s cult movies of the same name starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Funcom’s Second MMORPG Offering
The Age of Conan MMORPG will be released in March 2008 by Funcom. Gamers who are familiar with Anarchy Online have already seen the sci-fi cyberpunk offering of the game. Some of the features of Age of Conan are similar to those found in Anarchy Online, including the PvP (player versus player) system. Following the example set by other mmorpgs, the Conan game will include mounts from the beginning.
Single Player, PvP Battles and Siege Battles
Taking a page from Mythic Entertainment’s Dark Age of Camelot, Age of Conan features trade skills that allow players to engage in castle sieges as part of PvP conflict. PvP in Age of Conan is not as controlled as it is in Dark Age of Camelot.
Players of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventurers are able to build and defend their own cities. The player-made cities can change control from one player to another as the time passes in the game, allowing for a more dynamic world than in most standard mmorpgs. The player-built city system similar to the city system already in place in Funcom’s other mmorpg, Anarchy Online.
MMORPGs Targeted to Specific Fans?
Age of Conan is not the first MMORPG targeted towards a specific fan base. City of Heroes, Star Wars Galaxies, and Pirates of the Caribbean Online were all created to attract players that are fans of comics books, Star Wars, and the Jack Sparrow movies, respectively. Funcom designers and programmers attempted to follow the Robert Howard’s books as closely as possible so as not to disappoint Conan fans.
Whether or not Age of Conan mmorpg succeeds depends on how much of a fan base there is for the Conan books and movies. Players without a deep interest in Conan will likely pass up Funcom’s latest online game for the other sword and sorcery mmorpg offerings. Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures promises to be a good mmo for fans of Robert Howard’s Conan the Barbarian books and for players who want challenging game play in an mmorpg, and players who just want to play as a Conan character by themselves, can buy the game solely for its single player content.