Conan (as it's known to its mates) is being billed as mature, brutal and barbaric, all in 7.1 surround audio to make the crunching sound of bone hit home even harder.
It's up to you to try and keep a lid on peace and serenity of the world but things are obviously on the brink of chaos and spiraling out of control. Wouldn't be much fun otherwise, would it?
Here Game Director, Gaute Godager speaks to CVG exclusively about the upcoming massively multiplayer online game based around Robert E. Howard's dark universe.
How closely does the game follow the Conan mythology created by Robert E. Howard and what familiar locations and characters can fans of the books look forward to?
Godager: I will actually start be being rather bold and say that Age of Conan is most likely the truest depiction of Hyboria ever in any computer game. That might not be saying much, but let me put it this way: We take the lore, Hyboria, extremely seriously! Not only are the bulk of the team avid Conan, and Hyboria, fans - we have lore specialists inside the team and as "consultants" to the team.
We for instance work closely with Mongoose Publishing, the renowned authors of the Pen-and-Paper Conan roleplaying game. As to the details of which characters you can meet, I truly would like to keep some of that under wraps. I can drop a few names, though: Kalanthes - is found in the opening scene of the game, and later you will meet him again. You meet Conan (more on his role below), his wife Xenobia, Valeria and many others.
Naturally, the Arch-Enemy of the story and setting of the MMO is that of the most notorious villain Conan ever encountered, without saying who ;)
As to the locations, you will encounter many of the locations Conan travelled through, fought and ruled through his life. You will hack your way through the lush, warm jungles of the Barachian isles, climb the peaks of Cimmeria and see Conall's Valley sprawl below you, you will climb walls as a thief in the dusty streets of Tarantia, the capital of Aquilonia and you will brave the scorching desert sands of Stygia - the Black Pyramid looming in the distance. There is a lot of mythos and depth here, but we cannot make everything, naturally. 70 odd years of books and comics have left us with a huge task of sifting and preparing for interaction.
I would also like to warn you lore lovers out there. There will be moments where not everything is exactly as you would like it to be, we might have spelled something wrong, omitted or edited something out or chosen one option of the many possible. Even Howard himself held contradictions within his lore, and this is a great place for us to make our Hyboria, our little twists and turns, bringing the world up to the 21st century and see where it develops from there without losing any of the meaning, depth or direction of Howards stories.
Please don't misinterpret me saying this as if we don't take the lore seriously and simply waltz around doing our own thing. Taking it seriously is precisely what we do.
The books are known for their extreme adult nature featuring strong scenes of violence and overt sexuality. How much of this will be transferred over to the game world of Age of Conan?
Godager: Let me start by saying: Conan will be the most mature MMO ever made, and that involves a lot of blood and sensual undertones, even though its not going to be tasteless.
The books are many things. They are violent, somewhat sexual, and they are a product of the 1930's.