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SYFY WIRE Conan the Barbarian

Gaming: Conan Unconquered gets a date; Tomb Raider board game incoming; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Conan surveys the horizon in Conan Unconquered

The Horde is coming, and now we know when it’ll be at the gates. Pre-orders have opened for Conan Unconquered, the siege-warfare strategy game set in the universe of Conan the Barbarian, ahead of the game’s arrival in May.

Funcom and developer Petroglyph revealed the debut date for Conan Unconquered alongside a preview of both the standard and deluxe editions of the upcoming game, with deluxe players snagging some additional neat add-ons. Via VG24/7, those include goodies like a DLC add-on to expand your spellcasting powers, an audio-only game soundtrack, and an eBook short story based on Black Colossus, the 1930s-vintage Conan classic.

A fast-paced real-time strategy take on the Conan lore-verse, Unconquered puts you in charge of a tower defense-style stronghold where you must build up your army while consolidating scarce resources to stave off the Hyborian wave. Going solo or teaming up with a single partner in two-player co-op mode, you’ll be able to wield magic, deploy field forces, research new technologies to evolve your defenses, and even summon gargantuan colossi to unleash havoc the field.

Pre-orders are now live at the Steam store, where Conan Unconquered is set to release for PC on May 30.

How about a Tomb Raider two-for-one? First up, Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s clockwork DLC rollout continues apace with this week’s release of The Grand Caiman, a new storyline and map that brings a new volcanic challenge tomb, as well as a quest to save the villagers of San Juan from evil mercenaries who just want the mountain to blow.

As with all Shadow expansions, Caiman comes with a new outfit, weapon, and abilities, for Lara, too: “Survive the latest DLC with the Reptile Hide outfit, which heightens resistance against projectiles and boosts XP gained from assault kills,” says Square Enix, touting the new Whispering Scourge stealth shotgun, as well as a new “volcano” skill that lets players craft special incendiary ammo for the sound-suppressed weapon.

Available for free to Season Pass holders and buyable as a standalone, The Grand Caiman is out now for Shadow of the Tomb Raider on PlayStation 4,  Xbox One, and PC.

If you prefer your Lara Croft with a side of old school, then check out the upcoming Tomb Raider: Legends: The Board Game, which Square Enix announced at PAX East. Tour the Tomb Raider universe by exploring ruins, expanding your weapons and skills, and uncovering more than a dozen areas in a 3-4-player tabletop game that promises no two playthroughs will ever repeat.

Slated to release this May, Tomb Raider Legends: The Board Game will be available both in select retail stores and via the Square Enix eStore.

As we’ve seen with recent AAA games like Fallout 76 and Anthem, rocky starts can be hard for developers to bounce back from. But Valve is hoping that opening the lines of communication with fans, combined with aggressively fixing big issues before rolling out new features, will straighten the deck for its beleaguered Artifact trading card game.

Valve admitted in a blog post last week that Artifact’s late 2018 launch has been beset with its share of fan frustrations, but said it plans to focus on “addressing these larger issues instead of shipping updates.” That’s a shift from the original plan, which aimed to support the game “for years to come” by rolling out incremental updates early and often.

But “[i]t has become clear that there are deep-rooted issues with the game and that our original update strategy of releasing new features and cards would be insufficient to address them,” Valve said. “Instead, we believe the correct course of action is to take larger steps, to re-examine the decisions we’ve made along the way regarding game design, the economy, the social experience of playing, and more.”

Set in the Dota 2 universe and designed by Magic: The Gathering’s Richard Garfield, you can check out Artifact’s PvP card battles via Steam for PC and MacOS.