Let's Go Conan and Let's Go Red Sonia
Announced at the PC Gaming Show, Funcom’s Conan Chop Chop originally was revealed on April 1 and many people thought it was an April Fool’s joke. It ended up very much being real, and I got the chance to try it both on TV (with Xbox One controllers) and in Switch's handheld mode. If you’re down with the procedural generation, Chop Chop is a fun take on the Conan formula of beating up everything in sight.
After choosing from several characters, we were dropped into a tiny village with a few coins to do some light preparation before setting out to explore the world. Chop Chop’s chief difference over a traditional roguelike or a Cadence of Hyrule is that you have free movement within a large area, and the arrangement of the areas is what’s randomized. Some areas off the main plains were blocked by sandstorms, blowing snow, fire, or poison, with the promise that finding an item from the boss would clear the poison. The rest of the areas could then be unlocked in sequence: the poison area has a sandstorm clearer, the desert has an ice-melting item, and so on. Unfortunately, I was not able to put together a full run in our demos and was forced to restart in full upon death.
The combat system is pretty simple, one button swings your character’s weapon of choice. The weapons can be modified in town, so if I would have been able to unlock a later area in the chain, I’d probably head back to see if I could get a fire weapon before popping into the snow areas. Enemies were the typical orcs and slimes, and they exploded into some ludicrous gibs when slain. Despite the cute appearance, I’d say the floor for the final ESRB rating is going to be a T.
For the demo, I got hands-on with Matt in co-op playing on Xbox One before playing with the Switch in handheld mode. The game didn’t feel any different between the two, as would be expected with the art style. In playing co-op, weapons are first come, first served, and so is the money: I ended up with a huge cash advantage because of picking up the cash doubler item early on. With limited roguelike experience, I wasn’t sure going in what would happen if one of us died, but resurrection was available and the runs only ended when we both ate it.
Conan Chop Chop will be out in early September, and it seems like a fun twist on the Conan universe.