Conan isn’t normally a franchise one might associate with a cheerful attitude. He’s a fellow of few needs: crushing his enemies, seeing them driven before him, and hearing the lamentations of their women. Publisher Funcom has done well to keep that mood intact throughout the likes of games like Conan Exiles. Even so, the upcoming Conan Chop Chop is looking like proof that a Conan game can be more than just angsty and dour. It can also be a foe-cleaving good time with pals.
Four stand against many
Where a lot of Conan games pit warriors against an unforgiving world of dark magicks, brutal violence, and treacherous lands, Conan Chop Chop pits warriors against a more pleasant and cartoonish world of dark magicks, brutal violence, and treacherous lands. Set up as a top-down co-op hack-and-slash roguelite, players take on the role of one of four iconic Conan characters in an up-to-four-player drop-in, drop-out adventure. A solid cast of Hyborian heroes including Belit, Pallantides, and Valeria join Conan in the playable cast, each featuring different weapons, skills, and equipment to gather along your runs.
What kind of runs, you ask? Conan Chop Chop features a quest in which you must kill your way through randomized realms with hopes of fighting your way to a final boss and cutting them down. Along the way, you’ll find treasures and gain rewards to be able to buff your characters and the village in which you start your adventures. Like most roguelites, getting killed only means taking the spoils you can carry with you back to a hub village and becoming stronger for the next run.
Easily, the standout feature of Conan Chop Chop is its color and silly art design. This looks like Conan married with something like Cyanide & Happiness or Castle Crashers to bring an altogether irreverent, but fun take to the burly and savage Conan we know. The characters and enemies are still full of ferocity, but it comes with quite a bit of slapstick as Conan cleaves unfortunate foes in twain or Pallantides stabs their faces with his mighty spear. The game can be played entirely online or with in-person friends in couch co-op, making it an easily adaptable adventure depending on how many buddies you have on hand, near or far.
Steel isn’t strong, boy. Bomb-builds are stronger
One of the other highly enjoyable-looking aspects of Conan Chop Chop is just how much you can change up your play depending on the weapons, skills, and upgrades you get your hands on. In the build I got to see, there was one run where the Conan player was simply able to jump from foe to foe, chop-chopping them in twain in a berserker fury. However, on another run, the Conan player got their hands on a bomb upgrade and utilized it to become an AoE killing machine when it came to groups.
It would seem that various options will be available to players before they even start the quest, and depending on the gear, upgrades, and weapons you invest in, you can change your playstyle quite a bit. Will you run Pallantides as a stalwart aggro-drawing tank or dizzying hammer of thunderous force? Will your Valeria be swift in a flurry of daggers or more attuned to unlocking secrets and otherwise unattainable treasures? The combinations of skill trees and items in the game seems to allow for a lot of freedom in playing your favorite hero the way you want to play them, or filling the needs of your party in fun and unique ways.
All the gods, they cannot sever us
Conan Chop Chop looks like it will fill a niche few games fill. The game looks filled to the brim with enough enemies, randomized realms, heroic upgrades, and buffing items to make it a glorious quest on each playthrough. What’s more, the co-op looks easy to access, making this seem like it will absolutely be a more-the-merrier experience. Conan Chop Chop has been kicking around in development for a few years since it was first introduced as an April Fools joke-turned-legit adventure. However, after all that time, it's looking like one of the most lighthearted and chaotically fun ways to crush our enemies yet.
These impressions are based on a hands-off preview build presented by the developer. Conan Chop Chop is set to release on March 1, 2022, on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Conan Chop Chop makes crushing your enemies a lighthearted & comical party
This would be fun on the Steamdeck.
It's always a lighthearted and comical party. For me.