E3 2019 Hands-on – Conan Chop Chop

The beauty of E3 is witnessing a completely crazy announcement during a press conference, not believing what you’re seeing, and then realizing that said game was the “mysterious announcement” the publisher had invited you to play during the actual event. Conan Chop Chop is a prime example. What was initially believed to be an April Fool’s joke turned out to be an actual announcement: a brand new Conan roguelike, with cartoonish visuals inspired by the Cyanide & Happiness webcomics and the Castle Crashers games. Cartoonish Conan!¬†Who would have thought that would actually be a thing? I’m glad Funcom is sticking to its guns and actually developing the damn thing, because I ended up loving it.

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It looks so terrible, but so awesome at the same time.

In Conan Chop Chop, what you see is what you get, and I love that. It’s truly as ridiculous as its premise: pick up a character, buy a weapon, wait for your friends to do the same (single joycon compatible, woohoo!), then venture out in a randomly generated map, collecting more money to buy new abilities, until you all eventually die. Even though your allies can revive you in case you die, it’s just a matter of time before a horde of zombies outnumbers you ten to one. You know the drill afterwards: pick a new character, new weapon, and repeat the process. It’s a roguelike, it’s supposed to be simple, and I’m thankful for that.

I had the chance to play the game with one of the developers, and I didn’t even see the time flying by. I almost missed my following appointment due to how much fun I was having with Conan Chop Chop, even though the difficulty would spike up dramatically from out of nowhere. In no moment I wanted to rage quit, I just wanted to choose a new intentionally poorly-drawn character and venture once again onto my inevitable doom. Conan Chop Chop has an absurd premise and a simple yet addictive gameplay loop. It is stupid, self-aware, and tons of fun. I want the full release right now, because killing cartoonish barbarians hardly gets old.