Tuesday, 26 June 2018

URBAN FANTASY CRIME REVIEW: Witchmark - CL Polk

RELEASE DATE:  19/06/18

PUBLISHER:  Tor/Forge

SYNOPSIS:
C. L. Polk arrives on the scene with Witchmark, a stunning, addictive fantasy that combines intrigue, magic, betrayal, and romance.

One of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018!
In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.
Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family's interest or to be committed to a witches' asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn't leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans' hospital, Miles can't hide what he truly is.
When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles' healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient's murder. To find the truth he'll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he's ever seen.


REVIEW:
I love a book that's a bit different to a lot of whats out there and whilst its starting to become a bit of a trend to have a crime novel in a fantasy setting, this title from CL  brings cracking world building to the fore alongside characters that are fully rounded whom you'd love to spend time with, so much so that putting the book down will be a real hardship.

Add to this great prose, some top notch twists alongside some political machinations to help muddy the waters alongside the characters trying to fight for their own beliefs and desires which colours the story and all round you have a cracking novel that leaves you desiring more.  A cracking example of a story done well and with the building that has gone into the piece, plenty of scope for future outings.  A real joy to read.

Monday, 25 June 2018

URBAN FANTASY ROMANCE REVIEW: The Psy Changling Series: Ocean Light - Nalini Singh

RELEASE DATE:  14/06/18
PUBLISHER:  Gollancz

SYNOPSIS:
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh dives beneath the surface of her Psy-Changeling world into a story of passionate devotion and selfless love . . .

Security specialist Bowen Knight has come back from the dead. But there's a ticking time bomb in his head: a chip implanted to block telepathic interference that could fail at any moment - taking his brain along with it. With no time to waste, he should be back on land helping the Human Alliance. Instead, he's at the bottom of the ocean, consumed with an enigmatic changeling . . .
Kaia Luna may have traded in science for being a chef, but she won't hide the facts of Bo's condition from him or herself. She's suffered too much loss in her life to fall prey to the dangerous charm of a human who is a dead man walking. And she carries a devastating secret that Bo could never imagine . . .
But when Kaia is taken by those who mean her deadly harm, all bets are off. Bo will do anything to get her back - even if it means striking a devil's bargain and giving up his mind to the enemy.


REVIEW:
It's no secret that I've not been the biggest fan of some of Nalini's previous titles but this one seems to be back on the money giving the readers what they want as well as exploring some new area's that have been teased at in previous outings.

As you'd expect the characters are what really sells the books and lets face it a bit or romance with a person who is not completely of this world is a dream for many.  The story is engaging, the plotline wonderful and whilst some typical Urban Fantasy alagories do make appearances, the dialogue and bonding of the principle players is what sells it.

All round a welcome return to form for me and I really look forward to seeing what will occur in future outings especially if we get to delve more into the unknown cultures within her world.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

HISTORICAL FANTASY REVIEW: Golden Apple 3/3: For the Immortal - Emily Hauser

RELEASE DATE:  14/06/18
PUBLISHER:  Doubleday

SYNOPSIS:
Thousands of years ago, in an ancient world where the gods control all and heroes fight to have their names remembered down the ages, two extraordinary women become entangled in one of the greatest heroic tales of all time . . . and must face how much they are willing to risk for immortality.

Desperate to save her dying brother, Admete persuades her father, the king of Tiryns, to let her join Hercules on one of his legendary twelve labours. Travelling to the renowned female warrior Amazons in search of a cure, Admete soon discovers that both Hercules and the fearsome Amazons are not as they first seemed.

The Amazons greet the arrival of the Greeks with mixed feelings – and none more so than Hippolyta, the revered queen of the tribe. For Hercules and his band of fighters pose a threat to her way of life – but also stir up painful memories that threaten to expose her deepest secret.

As battle lines are drawn between the Greeks and the Amazons, both women soon learn the inevitable truth – in war, sacrifices must be made; especially if they are to protect the ones they love most . . .


REVIEW:
To be honest I'm new to Emily Hauser and when I saw the premise I was more than intrigued as I remembered a part of it being used as back story in the recent Wonder Woman film.  However upon receiving it and learning that it was the third part in a trilogy I was a little upset as I hadn't read the other two and worried that I wouldn't get everything out of it that I should do.

What occurred within was, for me, a book that can be read as a standalone without leaving you feeling that you're missing anything from the previous two.  The characters are rounded and whilst the males are all detestable (which to be honest I suspect that they probably were in that time period) the female protagonists came across very well.  I liked the dialogue, loved the way that thEIr interactions spoke volumes as to their goals and drive alongside admiring the way that the story was very organic despite falling back into mythology.

All round, it was a book that I really enjoyed spending time with and I will be picking up the earlier two novels to get the full flavour and have already added Emily to my TBR list for future endeavours.  Magic

Saturday, 23 June 2018

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: Wild Cards: Low Chicago - George RR Martin

RELEASE DATE:  12/06/18
PUBLISHER:  HarperVoyager, Tor/Forge

SYNOPSIS:
The return of the famous shared-world superhero books created and edited by George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire
For decades, George R.R. Martin – bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire – has collaborated with an ever-shifting ensemble of science fiction and fantasy icons to create the amazing Wild Cards universe.
In the aftermath of World War II, the Earth’s population was devastated by a terrifying alien virus. Those who survived were changed for ever. Some, known as Jokers, were cursed with bizarre mental and physical deformities; others, granted superhuman abilities, are known as Aces.
Wild Cards tells the stories of this world.

REVIEW:
A new Wild Card multi author story broken into easy to manage chapters so that you can read it during your lunch breaks or even whilst travelling.  Its definitely something quirky and when you get to see so many what if's within an overall arc, it really makes you wonder what would have happened within our own history if some of the events had been changed.

Its a book to dive into if you want something different, want a change from what you normally read and to be honest is a title you can dive into without having read any other wild card stories.  Its fun, the prose is solid and whilst it is a multi author story, it doesn't feel that its been broken down by so many people having a more connected feel.  All round a cracking story and one that I had a hell of a lot of fun with.

Friday, 22 June 2018

HISTORICAL FICTION SHORT STORY COMPENDIUM REVIEW: Seven Stones to Stand or Fall - Diana Gabaldon

RELEASE DATE:  14/06/18

PUBLISHER:  Arrow

SYNOPSIS:
Previously published as A Trail of Fire. Includes two never-published-before short stories from the bestselling author of the Outlander series.

Featuring all the characters you’ve come to love from the Outlander series, this brilliant collection of short stories throws you into the magical world of Outlander. Includes previously published Virgins, The Space Between, Plague of Zombies, A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows and The Custom of the Army, plus two never seen before works – Besieged and A Fugitive Green.


REVIEW:
A selection of short stories from the Outlander universe and whilst this review is for the paperback, I'd advise, if you can, purchasing the hardback copy as it like me you love the series, you'll be wanting to reread every so often and as such this makes much more financial sense.

The stories really take you back to the outlander world giving them short stories with favoured characters as well as allowing you to enjoy something that can easily be dipped into during journeys or lunch breaks to give yourself a little historical romance to escape the real world.  As with Diana's other books it will hook you with top notch storytelling, give you characters that you'll love to spend time around and above all else give you a magical reading experience.  Cracking

Thursday, 21 June 2018

FANTASY REVIEW: The Fall of Shannara 2: The Skaar Invasion - Terry Brooks

RELEASE DATE:  21/06/18
PUBLISHER:  Orbit

SYNOPSIS:
Following The Black Elfstone comes the second book in The Fall of Shannara - the epic four-part conclusion to the Shannara series from one of the all-time masters of the fantasy genre.
Tensions in the Four Lands are high. The mysterious force that laid waste to Paranor has revealed a more human face. While some gain a new understanding of the invaders and what they are after, others continue their existing quests even as the peril rises. For what looked to be a formidable invading force proves only the forerunner of a much vaster army - one that is now marching against the Four Lands in all its fury.


REVIEW:
The second book in the Fall of Shanarra series and muddies the waters wonderfully so that the reader isn't quite sure whether the Ohmsford is what the worlds needs or fears.  Its quirky, its a tale that works wonderfully well for me and whilst there are some problems with pacing in the story, the way that it develops feels organic generating a story that was a huge amount of fun to read.

Add to this, solid prose, dlalogue that works well and all round I was a more than happy reader, here's hoping that book three doesn't feel like a filler for the conclusion in book four and continues to develop the overall arc with the characters.  Top notch.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

FANTASY REVIEW: The Traitor God - Cameron Johnston

RELEASE DATE:  07/06/18
PUBLISHER:  Angry Robot

SYNOPSIS:
A city threatened by unimaginable horrors must trust their most hated outcast, or lose everything, in this crushing epic fantasy debut. After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magician Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Lynas had uncovered a terrible secret, something that threatened to devour the entire city. He tried to warn the Arcanum, the sorcerers who rule the city. He failed. Lynas was skinned alive and Walker felt every cut. Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods - Walker will burn them all if he has to. After all, it wouldn't be the first time he's killed a god...


REVIEW:
Fantasy is a genre that many people think of as quite simplistic falling into the "there's a hero, he goes out, kicks some butt and that's about it" camp or "Its Elves, fairies and shit isn't it?"  Well sorry to disappoint but we've evolved as a genre, yes we do still have that sort of stuff but then you get kickass titles like this debut from Cameron Johnston who gives the reader a book of vengeance, high octane action, political double dealing and overall characters that really help to drive not only the story but the world involved forward.

The pose is solid enough and the world is definitely one of interest but for me, its the characters that stand out.  I loved the principle hero who whilst dislikeable at the beginning demonstrated the complexities of his situation who whilst seperated from a lot of others within due to his abilities, also has a caring side alongside being distanced.  Its well done, brings a lot of differing aspects to the fore and for me, I loved every minute of it.

All round a cracking debut and with a few twists and turns is a book that I hope will lead on to others for the author as I really did get a lot from it.  Magic.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Estocada - Graham Hurley

RELEASE DATE:  01/06/18

PUBLISHER:  Head of Zeus

SYNOPSIS:
1937. Dieter Merz is the Reich's most celebrated fighter ace. Flying for the infamous Condor Legion over the battlefields of Spain's civil war, Merz has been able to unleash the full potential of the Luftwaffe's new fighter against his Republican opponents. In Dieter's hands, the Messerschmitt Bf-109 is as graceful as a matador's killing strike: la estocada.
Dieter's aerial prowess has brought him into close contact with the top echelons of the Nazi regime. He is not a political man — all he wants to do is fly – but for how long can he deny the toxic nature of Hitler's rule?
Scotsman and ex-marine Tam Moncrieff is recruited by a nameless intelligence agency in London to go to Germany and sound out Hitler's resolve. Does he really intend to invade Czechoslovakia? Do his generals support him? Can the march to war be stopped?
As duty collides with conscience, fate will bring both men together. These are desperate times calling for desperate measures. To avoid war a killing strike is needed: la estocada.
The question is, who is the matador, who is the bull?

REVIEW:
 Graham Hurley is an author who always brings his thrillers to the fore with indepth characters who feel fully formed and believable for the story.  They have foibles, they have strengths and of course when they speak the words feel organic rather than something that is being used to drive plot forward to force a situation.  It's always something he does well and in this title really helps being the situation to the readers mind in crystal clarity.

Add to this a solid plot, good use of prose and a cracking overall arc that really keeps you glued as each of the pages turn regardless of which side of the conflict the characters are on.  All round another solid story and one that I've not only enjoyed but passed onto my grandfather who is not only making his way through it currently but loving it, a true compliment from a very fussy reader indeed.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Vampyr - Koch Media

RELEASE DATE:  05/06/18

PUBLISHER:  Koch Media

SYNOPSIS:
Prowl the disease ridden streets in Vampyr - a darkly atmospheric action RPG from the studio behind 'Remember Me' and 'Life is Strange', developed using Unreal Engine 4.;Set in early 20th century Britain during a bout of the lethal Spanish flu, the streets of London are crippled by disease, violence and fear. In a completely disorganized and ghostly city, those who are either fools, desperate, or unlucky enough to walk the streets lay prey to Britain's most elusive predators: the Vampires. Emerging from the chaos, a tormented figure awakes. As the player it is you who determines how to harness your new powers, by specializing in deadly, versatile RPG skill-trees that change the way you play. As a doctor recently turned into a Vampire, you try to understand your new affliction. Your quest of intuition, discoveries and struggles, will be filled with death and drama, while your attempt to stem the irrepressible thirst that constantly drives you to take human lives. As you cling to what remains of your humanity, your decisions will ultimately shape the fate of your hero while searching for answers in the coughing, foggy aftermath of the Spanish Flu.

 Explore a darkly atmospheric early 20th century London.
  • Play a tormented and powerful Vampire learning the rules of your new condition. A man of science, a beast of the night: Your toughest battles will be within yourself.
  • Build your own combat style through a wide range of crafted weapons and powerful Vampire abilities to defeat a large and unique bestiary.
  • Choose your fate: moral choices will shape your story. How human could a Vampire be, when he must feed?


REVIEW:
OK, so Vampyr has been out for just over a week and with E3 taking a lot of people's attention, I've been hard at work playing my way though the game and wanted to review and address a number of things with the title, there's some great points with the game and for me, one incredibly annoying one that could be not just a stumbling block for a number of people but may well cause a great many to quit prematurely.  But we'll come back to that later in the review.

Firstly I want to say that I loved the premise of the game, a newly turned vampyr doctor seeks to find the cause and a cure for the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic with an urban fantasy cause.  Its solid writing, the casting worked very well for me which when added  to dark, dreary deserted streets of the early 20th Century London alongside a haunting score all round makes the elements work wonderfully well together.

The supporting cast adds extra layers and with the Pembroke Hospital having military tents set up outside also adds another layer of authenticity to the game.

Within the title, players have a great many choices to make, who will live, who will die, is that person expendable for extra XP to make your life easier or do you want to play the virtuous doctor and leave everyone alive bar those who attack you.  (This secondary route adds extra layers of difficulty to the game as it takes a long time to get enough to boost your skills.)  Its tricky and with each character having additional layers and at times, hidden clues to quests, all round means that regardless of who they are and what drives them, not everything is as simple as you may originally think.

Add to this a solid choice of weapons and limited upgrade materials all round makes your choices pretty crucial and at times tricky as a wrong option can punish you quite harshly.  (Personally my main weapon of choice was the two handed barbed cudgel.)  Each choice has consequences and can close off lines of enquiry so much so that some of the sub quests become impossible to fulfill.

Right so now we've addressed a lot of the game, its now time to address my main problem, when battling the Sewer Dog, I found the lighting to be a real pain, during the fight I was spending more time trying to change the camera angle because i was blinded by the light reflecting from the water which in turn caused me to die quite a few times.  It was infuriating and for many gamers may well cause them to put the title in frustration.  I'm hoping that a future patch will fix this problem but for now its more than annoying.

Don't get me wrong, I've had a lot of fun playing this game but at the end of the day, when something so simple as this takes you not only out of the moment but angers you because your death was due to not being able to do anything because you can't see whats happening let alone evade it will cause a number of people to put it down and not return.

All round it is a solid title and whilst in some respects I think that the area's could have been expanded upon a bit more with perhaps some quick travel points adding (as to get anywhere you're running through numerous locations each time you wanted to get to a new mission location, did cause things to slow down quite a bit) it is a game that quite a few people will enjoy, here's hoping that perhaps next time we can have an option for a female protagonist and perhaps visiting say Paris during the revolution which could add more alternate history and a deeper flavour to this world.

Friday, 8 June 2018

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Vindolanda 2: The Encircling Sea - Adrian Goldsworthy

RELEASE DATE:  01/06/18

PUBLISHER:  Head of Zeus

SYNOPSIS:
From bestselling historian Adrian Goldsworthy, a profoundly authentic, action-packed adventure set on the northern frontier of the Roman Empire.
AD 100: VINDOLANDA.
A FORT ON THE EDGE OF THE ROMAN WORLD.
Flavius Ferox, Briton turned Roman centurion, is charged with keeping Rome's empire intact. But from his base at Vindolanda on the northern frontier of Britannia, he feels enemies closing in on him from all sides.
Ambitious leaders await the chance to carve out empires of their own. While men nearer at hand speak in whispers of war and the destruction of Rome.
And now new threats are reaching Ferox's ears. Stories about the boat-dwelling men of the night, who have cursed the land and only come ashore to feast on men's flesh.
These are just rumours for now. But Ferox knows that rumours stem from truth. And that no one on this isle is safe from the great, encircling sea...


REVIEW:
Adrian has been a writer on the roman military for quite some time so after enjoying his first fictional outing in Vindolanda (the first of the series) Ias well as having come from the area where it was based, I was more than looking forward to the second outing and seeing how the discoveries on the wall about soldier life, would translate into his work.  (I have fond memories of a letter that translated to "send more beer.")

Whilst the books are set prior to the building of Hadrian's Wall (about 22 years before), I fell in love with the characters and of course getting to see the area through the eyes of visitors from afar.  So with the second installment burning a hole in my TBR pile, I just had to pick it up.

What this book brought to the fore was Adrian's research, solid understanding of the time period and of course making sure that the history was accurate and sadly that's all it brought.  The book and characters were forced into situations, it felt more like a middle book where nothing really happened as if to fill a contract for three titles and at the end, I was left wondering why so much extra fluff was added when it needed more character driven choices as well as plot points.

Add to this dialogue that didn't feel that it came from the same cast that were in the original and a rather lack-lustre pace, all round left me feeling that this book was short of the mark for me as a reader.  I will try the third part hoping that it will pick up the pace as well as getting back to the characters but the way that I feel at the moment, the tale is meh rather than more.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

URBAN FANTASY REVIEW: The Dresden Files Short Story Compendium: Brief Cases - Jim Butcher

RELEASE DATE:  07/06/18
PUBLISHER:   Orbit

SYNOPSIS:
Magic. It can get a guy killed.
Return to the world of the Dresden Files with Harry Dresden (the only wizard in the Chicago phone book) and friends as they solve supernatural mysteries, protect the helpless, and fight evil.
Brief Cases is a new collection of Dresden Files stories which will include an original novella, from international bestseller Jim Butcher.
Stories included in this collection: 'Curses', 'AAAA Wizardry', 'Even Hand', 'B is for Bigfoot', 'I was a Teenage Bigfoot', 'Bigfoot on Campus', 'Bombshells', 'Jury Duty', 'Cold Case', 'Day One', 'A Fistful of Warlocks', 'Zoo Day' (original novella taking place between Skin Game and Peace Talks)


REVIEW:
For me, its been a while since I have been lucky enough to return to the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Dresden with the smart ass sense of humour of Butcher brings chaos, combat and of course combustion as everything is thrown into the mix.

OK, so this isn't a brand new full Harry Dresden full novel, but a collection of short stories, but as a reader, I love these departures as idea's are explored, adventures are had and the whole thing up into manageable chunks for journeys or lunch breaks. 

Here within this title readers are treated to 11 short stories that have been published in various anthologies before  and one brand new novella.)  Its a great addition for any fan and with it being a hardback means that it'll survive multiple rereads.  All round i had a ton of fun with this book and its a great stop gap while I wait for Harry's next big adventure.  Cracking.

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Adrift - Rob Boffard

RELEASE DATE:  07/06/18

PUBLISHER:  Orbit

SYNOPSIS:
In the far reaches of space, a tour group embarks on what will be the trip of a lifetime - in more ways than one . . .

For one small group, a tour of the nearby Horsehead Nebula is meant to be a short but stunning highlight in the trip of a lifetime.
But when a mysterious ship destroys Sigma Station and everyone on it, suddenly their tourist shuttle is stranded.
They have no weapons. No food. No water. No one back home knows they're alive.
And the mysterious ship is hunting them.


REVIEW:
Books that try something different are often the ones that stay with me long after the final page is turned, and for me that is a key selling point for this book by Rob Boffard.  Whilst its essentially a survival story after a mystery attack on the Red Panda's destination, its one where we get to see how a small space with unknown consequences can be the best place to see emotional context and character development come to the fore which is exactly what this book does.

The plot is relatively simple when you look at it and whilst this is the key, what the author has done is wonderfully flesh out the relatively small cast into not only individual leading cast members but a community cast that develops and works well from each other as the tale develops.  The prose is sharp, the dialogue wonderfully abrupt at points and you can feel the tensions reach climaxes due to the natural pressures which made everyone feel quite real to the reader.

All round a cracking book and definitely one I'm going to be recommending to a good few people this year.  Magic.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

VIDEO GAME REVIEW:: Space Hulk: Deathwing Enhanced Edition - Koch Media and Games Workshop

RELEASE DATE:  22/05/18
PUBLISHER:  Koch Media

SYNOPSIS:
Space Hulk Death wing Enhanced Edition is a First-Person Shooter based on Games Workshop's cult classic board game set in Warhammer 40,000 universe. Expanding upon the original game, and featuring a host of new content, new features and a richer multiplayer mode, the Enhanced Edition is the ultimate Space Hulk: Death wing experience for the first time on console.


  • Play as a Space Marine Terminator.
  • Customize each class in solo and multiplayer and unlock devastating weapons, including an expanded arsenal exclusive to the Enhanced Edition.
  • Plunge into the Space Hulk and experience a desperate battle against the Genestealers, including new, deadlier enemies.
  • Special Missions bring infinite replayability to both solo and multiplayer modes, with randomly-generated objectives and enemy spawns for every game chapter.


REVIEW:
OK, so I ordered this title as I have fond memories playing Space Hulk (the games workshop board game) in my youth and i felt hat this would rekindle a bit of nostalgia for me whilst adding something with a bit more flair to those long lost days, however whilst expecting it to be a reboot of an older title, I wasn't expecting the world from it.

Which was probably a good bit of forethought on it on my part as sadly whilst the graphics had been upgraded a lot of the game remained with a huge amount of problems:
1)  There were quite a few game crashes and whilst it didn't happen to often to me, I have heard of a good few people having to do full system reboots.
2)  The AI:  Sadly the brothers who were with you were pretty dense and got in your way more than helped.  This could easily have been avoided with perhaps the addition of either other players or an update on their mobility.
3)  Controls:  The controls for this were a bit clunky and weren't very intuative often causing overshoots and really slow turns so taking fire was unavoidable.

All in, whilst it does have some reasonable graphics, managed to get the look of the space hulk right, overall this game would have been better had it been taken back to basics and perhaps undergone more rigorous testing and perhaps utilised other titles idea's such as ducking behind cover etc.  Its OK but against a lot of other shooters out there, this one is sadly lacking.  A great shame.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Conan Exiles - Deep Silver




RELEASE DATE:  08/05/18
PUBLISHER:  Deep Silver


SYNOPSIS:
Conan Exiles is an open-world survival game set in the brutal lands of Conan the Barbarian. Survive in a savage world, build your kingdom, and dominate your enemies in brutal combat and epic warfare. Start with nothing but your bare hands and forge the legacy of your clan, building anything a small home to gigantic fortresses and entire cities. Wage war using swords, bows, siege weapons, and even take control of giant avatars of the gods and lay waste to enemy cities. Explore a vast, seamless world full of challenge and opportunity. Hunt animals for resources, slay monsters for treasure, and delve deep underground to discover the secrets of ancient civilizations. Conan Exiles can be experienced in both local single-player and in persistent online multiplayer.
  • EXPLORE A VAST WORLD: Explore a giant world, from the burning desert in the south to the snow-capped mountains in the north. Discover ancient cultures, ruins, and dungeons.
  • SURVIVE: Stay warm, cool yourself down, drink and eat, weather scouring sandstorms, prevent your mind from being corrupted when exploring dark dungeons, and battle vicious monsters to stay alive.
  • BUILD: Harvest resources to craft tools and weapons, then build anything from a small home to entire cities piece by piece. Build walls, traps, elevators, and more, then deck out your creations with a wide variety of different furniture, crafting stations, and NPC guards.
  • DOMINATE: Wage war against your enemies, use siege weapons and explosives and see their walls crumble to dust, then unleash your savage fury in violent and brutal combat.
  • BUILD AN ARMY OF THRALLS: Capture NPCs, drag them back to your base, and use the Wheel of Pain to break their will. Turn them into archers, crafters, entertainers, and more for your settlements.
  • BECOME A GOD: Sacrifice your enemies on the altar of your god then summon and take control of their huge, towering avatar. Crush enemies and entire buildings under your avatar's feet.
  • PLAY TOGETHER OR ALONE: Play alone locally or fight for survival and dominance in persistent multiplayer on public servers. You can also host your own server and invite others to join you.


REVIEW:
I've been a fan of the Hyborian age for years, watching as well as reading of Conan's adventures as well as playing the variety of titles out there alongside thier knockoffs (yes Barbarian's I mean you.)  So when I found a survival title featuring Conan in part where you had to not only survive but build up everything from shelters to crafting stations with mining and of course tree felling I couldn't wait to embark on this adventure.

Whilst this title has been out for quite a while on PC its recent release on console has given gamers a new opportunity to try something new, yes it makes a big feature of the PVP options but there is also group PVE as well as solo mode so that you can sit down and learn the game.  It is complex, it doesn't hold your hand and to be honest with you, learning various things the hard way is often the best way to go.

I've loved all the hours I've put in, learning nuances, fighting multiple creatures going from stone age tools through to obsidian as well as crafting my own unique base of operations that has not only expanded but been upgraded with better materials as I've learned how to not only do things on my own but also attempting to gain thralls.

OK, so that that's the good stuff, however on a negative point of view, there are quite a few bugs in the game that whilst patches are available sadly haven't fixed quite a few of the problems that I've been having (for example getting thralls to do my work for me.)  Don't get me wrong I know that this will be fixed in time but when we've already had quite a few data intensive updates I sort of hoped that a lot of these errors would have been fixed by now.

All in. it is a fun game and if you like to play survival as well as learning how to create something magnificent out of your own mind alongside crafting abilities this is certainly a game for you and with all the details alongside graphics, I have to say that for me, this is one of the best out there.   So go on, give it a go, get that blade forged and get out there slaughtering away to your hearts content.  Cracking.