Petroglyph Games knows how to build real-time strategy games. The developer, formed by former Westwood Studios employees, has worked "Command & Conquer," "Star Wars: Empire at War" and other projects.
They've experimented with the genre, adding an unusual twists with games like "Grey Goo." For Petroglyph's latest title, Funcom handed the studio the Conan license, and the Las Vegas-based team created "Conan Unconquered," what designer Renato Orellana calls a survival RTS.
"You're given a base," he said. "You must fortify your position. You need to explore the desert. You need to look for the resources you're going to need and expand out because you'll be defending yourself from incoming waves."
It's a player-vs.-environment experience, but the notable element is that players can team up with a partner for a co-op experience. They'll share resources and keep some for themselves. They'll also each have a different hero unit who gains experience and levels up over the course of the campaign. Those heroes also have special moves if they reach a certain level.
Players will have to endure 25 waves and adapt to the enemy types. They'll have to build barracks, hovels, walls and other structures to keep their base safe. Barracks can produce Warriors, which are useful for early adversaries. Spearmen attack from range and can be loaded up on towers to augment defense. "Conan Unconquered" lets players build within a certain zone around their base.
As the session advances, players can building more advanced structures that produce healers and other powerful troops. They can even summon the god Mitra, who can sometimes do more bad than good. He can obliterate a wave single-handedly, but at the same time, the god can damage a town unleashing that devastation.
On top of that, players have to worry about diseases. If they defeat a lot of enemies and leave their bodies out in the sun, it spawns illness that can harm the stronghold. Players have to find a way to get rid of the remains before they become a problem.
Along with this, they'll have to balance their resources to keep their stronghold going. That means collecting enough materials such as lumber, water and food to sustain their armies and build more troops. It's a balancing act that can be more complicated with a partner, but it also has the potential to be more fun as they coordinate attacks and manage their own troops.
"Conan Unconquered" is scheduled for release May 30 on PC.