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Wii: The Conduit


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The Conduit


The Conduit is perhaps the most hyped Wii game from a 3rd party developer, it came with the promise of PS360-like graphics, eletric fast Gameplay, outstanding controls and seamless online matchmaking, all under the FPS trade.

The game started its hype while still without a publisher when High Voltage Software released a tech demo of it´s new engine, the Quantum 3, from that day, passing to SEGA taking as the publisher until today, we held dear to those promises, now, how does it fare, are graphics that good? Is gameplay revolutionary? Can it take out Medal of Honor controls? Can we go online with no fear of blue shells?

Stick around, Well see...

Presentation/graphics 8

This must be taken apart, first, the presentation...

The single player campaign talks about a Conspiracy deep within the USA, with secret agencies, a disease outbreak and an alien invasion.

You get to control one Michael Ford as he tries to uncover the truth behind all this and keep himself alive, while doing so he visits some landmark locations coupled with military instalations and research facilities, all filled with corridors and non destructible environments.

Said corridors where the handful of different enemies appear to get mowed down, this is the weakest part of the game, the art direction, all look
bland, not the brown/grey bland of today´s FPS´s but not exciting, at all, the best stages are the ones near the end and the one on the streets, the enemies while not more varied are very good looking, kinda HALO-ish, but way more inspired than the places they are set in.

Creepy is that you get big chunks of voiced text between missions delivered from talking heads and symbols, if the talking heads came from the little monitor on Michael´s suit, it would be cool but on a black screen it is just lazy.

Second, the graphics...

Kinda mixed to be honest, let´s begin our journey inwards, Michael´s hands are only good looking after he gets his power suit, before they are just fugly.
The weapons are cool as hell, especially the bumpy feely Drudge ones, all weapon models are top notch and there´s a blur while reloading that´s kinda cool too.

The enemies are all bump mapped and shiny, no complaints at all, there could have been more types but the ones we get are A-OK.

The environments are the downer because while there´s HDR lighting at some spots, some bump mapped walls, reflective water and all, i could not see any dynamic lights and if post Doom 3 games taught us anything is that lighting is key to believable environments.

All in all, the game better than most Wii games but nowhere near PS360 quality and worse than Mario galaxy, dunno about HDTV´s because my TV is CRT.

Music/sound effects 6

The menu music is one of those that you keep hearing during the day, very nice one, the ingame music sets the tone to the set pieces alright but is largely forgettable in such way that i already forgot.

Sound effects are fitting, nothing weird or worth mentioning, some reviewers picked on drudge voices being like the HALO guys, i don´t know how an alien insectoid voice should sound, so...

Gameplay 7

It is perhaps the most barebones FPS i´ve ever played, really, it reminded me of Quake and Doom, in a good way.

The Conduit is all about running and shooting, it features no NPC´s so if it is in sight, gotta be killed, the puzzles come in ASE flavor, the All seeing eye, a gadget you get early in the adventure and render you defenseless while in use, it serves for revealing the hidden, being it a "safe combination" kind of puzzle, some messages and one type of enemy, being the sole innovation
of this game it is heavily under utilized, the puzzles are way too easy, the messages have no direct impact to the game story and serve only to unlock concept art, and the one enemy you reveal with it cares not for stealth, a shame, the most basic use for the ASE and the tech behind it, the use as a flashlight, does not appear.

Gone with NPC´s are also bosses, all this make it sound that the game is a rubish but, well, it isn´t, in fact it is one of the most fun games i played in a while, the AI is good and the makeshift boss battles are very challenging, specially the showdown at Jefferson memorial.

The AI is killer with different enemies behaving to better suit their strenghts, sometimes AI routines break and they just toss grenades on walls.

Wii factor 10

Here´s where the Conduit blows every single Wii game out of the water, the controls, you can customize all stances of the control scheme, from buttons to sensitivity, it is all up to you, this amount of customization allows for a very tight and entertaining experience both single and multiplayer, it connects you to the game in a way i´ve never seen before, such tightness of the control response, if you can spare a little of your time to tweak the controls to suit you best The conduit is sure to bring a smile on your face.

Learning curve 8

Ever played an FPS before, well you passed the Conduit´s basic training...

Lasting appeal/game modes 9

You can revisit Single Player to use some of the unlockable cheats you get on your first playthrough, but you wont, seriously, you wont, you will though get hookedby the online multiplayer (no splitscreen, thank god.) with lots of weapons, some nice maps and circumventing the friend codes, The Conduit has the best online multi of the Wii, clever game modes, Experience points, it is all there if it sells well you may play it all the way to christmas.

Final considerations

Rereading it all till now, it seems that it is all doom and gloom but it is not, The Conduit is the Red Steel for the rebirth of the Wii´s core audience (without the bullshots), a game filled with promise but that fell short from them, same as RedSteel, it has soul.

Different is that TCon has tech, an amazing setting, a cry for epic that i´d love to see fully realized.

This game needs a better storytelling, bigger stages with more variation among them, open spaces, epic boss battles nad some more things, technically i missed dynamic lighting and destructible environments, it is weird to hold a shotgun to a computer monitor and the monitor coming out winner.

While not the "be all end all" game, it is highly entertaining and the multiplayer is killer, go get it, meng!

Final Score - 7, absolute, not an average.
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Heavy Metal Master
Let's hope in a better sequel, at least someone proved what Wii can do technically.