Hardware Performance Review
Released: May 20 th 2008
Price: Click to Compare
Links: Age of Conan - Hyborian Adventures
Funcom, developers of the ever popular Anarnchy Online, are at it again with another big release. One of the year's most anticipated MMORPG’s, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures transports players into the fantasy world of the "Hyborian Age", inspired by writer Robert E. Howard over 70 years ago. The land of barbarians and magic not only immerses gamers in an epic adventure of conquest, but completely drenches them in graphics and game features never before experienced in the online realms.
The most notable attraction is that Age of Conan (or AoC) is one of the first ever MMORPG's with a DirectX10 capable engine, referred to as Dreamworld. Since the release of Windows Vista, game developers have been slowly incorporating DX10 as the new standard API; unleashing stunning visual and multimedia effects, making for a whole new gaming experience. Unfortunately, as it currently stands, AoC’s DX10 capabilities have not been unveiled and are not planned for released until late Summer 2008: crippling one of the most important attractions to the game. That said, the graphics quality of the game still surpasses anything to date and is truly a treat for the eyes.
Other allures are the closely simulated realism aspects in the game play. Users are able to control the direction and timing of their attacks in accordance with where foe shields themselves, motion captured animations that closely replicate the physical world, and while controversial, the mature rated play, which falls directly in line with what would be expected in such a fantasy era.
This review, however, is not intended to discuss the game’s amusement merits. Age of Conan undoubtedly has stunning graphics. The trade off is that unlike others in its genre, playing on a toaster is not possible. Funcom has pegged the bare minimum requirements with hardware that just a few years ago would have been considered high end and even the recommended requirements rival that of touted system killer, Crysis. We will be looking at different requirements of the game along with what types of hardware upgrades should be taken into consideration in order to get the most out of the Age of Conan adventure.
The video below is a trailer put out by FunCom documenting the Dreamworld engine used in AoC. Viewing is highly recommended in order to understand all aspects of the game’s system demands.
YouTube - Age of Conan - Glimpse of the dreamworld engine<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/d7zwQIYhRWs&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/d7zwQIYhRWs&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>