I have never watched anything to do with Conan at all. Thankfully, this game has next to nothing to do with it, so I'm not out of the loop too much. However, I've been a fan of survival based games sense Ark: Survival Evolved, 7 Days to Die, and depending on your interpretation of "Survival Based Games", since the dawn of Minecraft. I love the open world, the struggle to find/make shelter, the salvaging of the world's resources, and the great unknown of survival games.
I compare Conan: Exiles to Ark for a few reasons, but it is unfair to say it is exactly like Ark. They are similar, but that may just be due to the nature of well-made survival games (which 7 Days to Die was not). While they are both pre-made worlds (not procedurally generated), Ark's denizens are randomly spawned, and generated throughout the map, and will always respawn at random. With Conan, things are where they are, ALWAYS. If I find a band of cannibals (which is around every corner), they will be there on every other server you play on, and will respawn there, exactly where they were when you found them, always.
That's not necessarily a bad thing, however. Ark's experience is much different than Conan's. While it appears Ark is all about struggling to survive and sprawling out over the entire map searching for and taming dinosaurs, while constantly improving your technology to reach crazy limits within the world itselt (all the way up to space age, by the way), Conan is far different. It focuses more on the medieval aspect, with heavy emphasis on that era. It has tons of different types of weapons, tools, armors, etc. and it plays FAR more like Minecraft than that of Ark. It's building is way easier and relaxed than Ark's (I built a very nice, ocean-front resort in a matter of about a day or two, as opposed to it probably taking me around a week or longer on Ark, and without all of the senseless dinosaur related deaths attempting to collect materials).
Conan Exiles provides a very predictable experience. It is scary to venture out sometimes, mainly due to carry-weight and not being able to take back your entire haul to your house, but once you've explored a location, you pretty much know how it will ALWAYS be. This can be bad if you feel like you're an avid explorer looking for different experiences each time you enter an area. But, for those looking to build and create, this is AWESOME, because those iron ore rocks in my front yard will always be there, and those Pirates will ALWAYS be far enough away from me to not pose a threat while I'm out of their area.
I've spent HUNDREDS of hours in Ark; online, offline, private server, friend's server, etc. I loved it, and that passion for Ark is what drove me to purchase and look forward to Conan: Exiles. I've put in dozens of hours into Conan, but none of it was with a friend or on an online server. While I intend to put several dozen more hours into this game on my private server, I feel as though I could double or triple the lifespan of this game with extra people to play with, after all, it seems more geared towards the rich building mechanics behind the game.
You can conquer and enslave the humans in Conan Exiles, and have them work for you and take away the loneliness of your solo, ocean-front getaway. They can defend your home on PVP servers as well. There are gods that you can praise your loyalty too, and eventually someone giant, titanic avatars to smite the map with.
While there is divinity in this game, there are also terrible monstrosities that inhabit the regions of Conan Exiles. Their diversity ranges from Turtle-Gorillas, Crocodiles, Giant Lizards, and Terror Birds, to a city of ferocious Apes, a castle of undead soldiers, and a snowy wasteland of wights and draugr. The map is also split into 3 difficulties; the bottom left to lower central area is the easiest; the middle of the map stretching all the way to the eastern side of the map is the middle difficulty; and the top region is the hardest. The harder the land is to survive, the rarer the resources, and the greater the loot.
The character customization is also fair at best. While the characters and armors look very nice, the actual options for customization seem lacking and limiting, which is okay since you're usually dressed in some form of body cloaking garb. For those who spotted the "nudity" rating on the game, you'll only get the top half of women revealed. If you were expected full nudity, buy a PC because that's where it is allowed (ESRB's decision). This is fine to me, as nearly ALL enemy humans are next to naked - not all of them, but most of them. Also, if you are a server host, or a host of your own offline server, there are countless options to customize the setting of each session or server. It gives you near total control of how your experience or the experience of those on your server will go.
If you happen to turn on the option, which I initially had ticked on, there is the Purge mechanic. I had no idea what this was at first, and after a little digging, I decided it wasn't for me, so I switched it off. It is basically a meter that builds up on your server, and when it gets to 75% all the way up to 100%, there will be a random, colossal hoard(s) of monsters that spawn randomly on the map. Their sole purpose is to target player made bases, ranging from broom closet homes from a one log-in player, to giant player made kingdoms (including my relaxing ocean condo). They can wipe away entire player homes and villages, so the goal is to prevent that and fortify your defenses with strong walls, armed guards, and extra players outfitted with higher end equipment. I feel like I may turn it back on some day when I grow far stronger, but while I'm lone-wolfing this unforgiving land, I think I'll sleep better at night knowing I won't be receiving a forced eviction from my home.
Another thing that is important to point out is that I've yet to explore more than probably 10 - 15% of the map, so you can imagine that it is very big. So, all you explorers who were disappointed when I said this game can be predictable, you've still got quite a lot of gameplay before you, and loads of fun to boot.
I bought this game at the 20% discount offered by Best Buy's (now restricted only to current members) Gamer's Unlocked membership, so I can't exactly say if I'd recommend this game at full price. If you have been eyeballing this game for a while, or already love survival-based games, then I can say you won't be disappointed with this game if purchasing at full price (especially with friends). But, if you have no idea what this game is about, or the genre in general, I'd wait until the game goes on sale, say $30?