The Conduit (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Mike Mason 04.05.2009

Review for The Conduit (Hands-On) on Wii

In February of this year C3 got some brief hands-on time with The Conduit, High Voltage Software's ground-up Wii FPS. The game's potential was obvious even after just a few minutes, so when SEGA offered C3 the chance to give the game a more extensive going-over there was no hesitation. Traveling to SEGA's Middlesex HQ, Cubed3's Mike Mason sat down with a limited number of other sites, some SEGA staff and, last but certainly not least, Kerry Ganofsky and Eric Nofsinger of High Voltage, to see if The Conduit could really live up to the promises made by its creators.

The primary focus of this session was the online multiplayer aspect of The Conduit - something that you may recall recently failed to work during a demonstration in America as a result of Nintendo’s test servers going down before the event began. There were no such mishaps here, though; eight consoles were easily hooked up to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection using the Regional setting (players from UK/Europe only, in this case), allowing us to get stuck in right away. A straightforward deathmatch kicked things off, and it was immediately obvious that The Conduit’s multiplayer is more Halo than Call of Duty - if the alien laser weapons didn’t seal it, the fast-paced, all-jumping gameplay certainly did. Gameplay was lag free and suffered no technical issues, though it must be taken into account that all machines were in the same room and matches were running through test servers rather than being open to anyone. Fingers crossed that the servers can keep the game running at full capacity when it’s released. Wii Speak support is present, but, of course, being in the same room as every other player removed the need to use it in this instance.

Before each match players are asked to vote for their preferred game type, Gears of War-style, as well as level and weapon set (if you select 'human' you'll get things like shotguns; 'alien' will produce laser rifles; and 'explosive' does what it says on the tin). There are several multiplayer modes in addition to the deathmatch, all of which can be customized in terms of points needed to win, number of respawns, time restraints, etc. The standard match types such as Team Deathmatch and Last Man Standing are included, but there are a few more interesting modes that could prove to be the game's real hooks when it's released.

Screenshot for The Conduit (Hands-On) on Wii

Three Strikes gives you just two respawns, meaning you have to be much more careful with your actions - a particularly interesting mode to play when you've got the explosive weapons set on and everybody is armed with rocket launchers! Bounty Hunter assigns each player with a specific target to take down, providing an intense hunter-prey dynamic. While you're stalking your prey in this mode somebody else will be coming after you, too, so you've got to keep looking over your shoulder at every turn. Anybody who isn't your target or your attacker is considered an 'innocent' and slaying them will lose you points. To mix things up further, the target-to-hunter ratio isn't strictly 1:1; sometimes you'll be chased by more than one hunter, or you'll be competing with an opponent in a race to eliminate a shared target. Bounty Hunter is probably the pick of the bunch, but that's not to discount the excellent ASE Football mode, a worthy adversary for the top spot.

ASE should be familiar to fans of the Halo series' Oddball and Ninjaball modes. It works like so: the All-Seeing Eye device is plonked on the field like an American football, and the aim is to pick it up (by running over it) and hold on to it for as long as possible, with points being added for each second you have it in your possession. If you're lucky/unlucky enough to have the ball your options are limited to melee and grenade attacks while the other players run at you all-guns-blazing to get their hands on your 'ball'. This setup typically leads to complete mania as everybody charges for one point on the map. Situations where one player will kill the current ASE-holder, be shot down in the brief run to the unoccupied ball by a third player only to have the ASE taken by a fourth player who jumps out of a window and legs it until being gunned down by the collective might of the pack are not uncommon.

Screenshot for The Conduit (Hands-On) on Wii

After around an hour on multiplayer I went through the first two levels of the single player mode (time limited me from going further). The opening stage essentially teaches you the controls - as detailed in my last hands-on report - in addition to explaining some of the core gameplay mechanics. It's here that I took the opportunity to test just how customizable this game really is. The answer: extremely; everything can be changed. The Conduit truly has to be the end of people complaining about controls being their downfall in the online multiplayer realm, because there is not one aspect of the experience that cannot be altered to suit your needs. You can change the cursor dead areas; how fast you run, turn or aim; the sensitivity of the motion controls; which buttons/motions do what. Heck, you can even drag the HUD wherever you feel like.

I personally found the motion-activated melee attack a tad unresponsive, so I upped it, found I still didn't like it and moved it onto a button. Simple. You can do all this on the fly through the options menu, whereby you'll be taken back into the game to mess about with settings while testing them in real time. It's probably not advisable to do this in rooms full of enemies or mid-online deathmatch, though. The last thing you could moan about in The Conduit is surely its controls, such is the level of... well, control you have over them. It might take a bit of messing about, and initially it's a bit overwhelming to have so much power put in your hands, but by the end of the session I'd reached a configuration I was happy with. This is something that all developers should be doing. I did have one complaint, however: when moving the sections of the HUD around the screen, it is possible to overlay them (they don't lock into place), so you might have your health meter obscuring the radar. Pay attention when moving things around, though, and this shouldn't be an issue.

Screenshot for The Conduit (Hands-On) on Wii

Throughout the portion of the single player campaign I played there wasn't much in the way of groundbreaking content. The All-Seeing Eye is unique and used to solve puzzles such as the unlocking of alien doors by finding pods that are only visible with the ASE, or the uncovering of invisible scrawlings on the wall. There's also a neat pseudo-cover system which involves holding down the C button to crouch behind environmental obstacles as swarms of enemies (who also use this system) come charging at you. Otherwise, The Conduit will feel quite familiar to people who have played sci-fi shooters before, though that isn't meant to be taken as a slight against it; it's definitely feeling like one of the stronger shooters on Wii and there's certainly scope for things to change up later on, given that I was only made privy to the first two levels in full.

Screenshot for The Conduit (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

The Conduit is looking great: its main draw is its multiplayer - especially the fantastic Bounty Hunter and ASE Football modes - but the single player certainly isn't looking too shabby either. The extensive customization options should put to rest any whining about FPS controls on the Wii, too. Definitely one to keep an All-Seeing-Eye on.


High Voltage




First Person Shooter



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (30 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


Excellent Preview, it basically answers the questions I had about this! Good Work!

This preview makes me consider the pre-order package with added bonuses.

I mean, so much effort in multiplayer... could it be one of those multiplayer modes we haven't long had since goldeneye...?

Looking better and better!

I wish it was getting released sooner. Can't wait. Smilie

Really can't wait for this one, I don't expect the single-player to be very groundbreaking, but its going to be great to finally get a third-party Wii game that has the "whole package" if you will -- attention to detail in all areas. Controls sound great. If they're as good as MOH, then I'll be satisfied.

Nice preview Mike!

Nice! Read it this morning but didn't have time to comment - glad you had a good time, and that the game's shaping up very well! Can't wait to give it ago, single player hasn't really wowed me at all but this is sounding very promising! Good stuff Mike Smilie

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

This game looks so freaking sweet. I can't wait. It looks to be worth moving my Wii back into my basement to play online Smilie

NNID: crackedthesky
My blog, mostly about writing:

Nice preview. On the C3 score it says "4" out of 10 so I kinda got confused at first p.P

.:Zelda Adventures:.
u guys are DNA.

Zephyr said:
Nice preview. On the C3 score it says "4" out of 10 so I kinda got confused at first p.P

At the bottom of the review it says 4/5, but at the top it obviously just got entered as a 4 as well, even though it is out of 10.

Good preview! Online is where I put most my time at so this is a must buy. Now I need to get a new router to get my wii online again lol.

jb said:
Nice! Read it this morning but didn't have time to comment - glad you had a good time, and that the game's shaping up very well! Can't wait to give it ago, single player hasn't really wowed me at all but this is sounding very promising! Good stuff Mike Smilie

Imagine these guys getting together with Retro to make a Metroid of Starfox with this Engine Smilie

This game impresses me more and more with every preview. Although it sucks having to wait this long for the game, no doubt it sounds/looks to be well worth it.

Zephyr said:
Nice preview. On the C3 score it says "4" out of 10 so I kinda got confused at first p.P

Yeah, it's using the review score template at the top. Aware of the issue so hopefully it can get sorted soon. Smilie

Thanks for your comments guys. Any questions you've got please post and I'll do my best to answer. We should have an interview from High Voltage back soon too.

So Mason, how exactly does the game inform you in "Bounty Hunter" mode which player to kill? Does it just flash their name on the screen or does it come through the wii-mote's speaker like Red Steel?

Also did you notice any type of ranking system?

A white square box appears around your target. This box actually overlays the environment and other characters and almost acts as part of your HUD. It\'ll move around tracking where your target is and the distance you are from them is written underneath (and changing constantly as you move nearer or further away). For example, if your target is on the other end of the map the box will still appear even if they\'re through several walls, but as you get closer you\'ll see that the box actually centres around your target. Your target also shows up as a yellow dot on your radar, while others are red. The same applies for ASE football, just replace \'target\' for the ASE.

And yep, as far as I can remember there\'s a ranking system. I don\'t know how far up it goes, but I\'m pretty sure there\'s one in there. You gain experience as you get kills and if you get kill streaks you have experience multipliers adding up.

( Edited 05.05.2009 19:13 by Mason )

yea thats alsome. Look for our exclusive interview with High-Voltage Software for The Conduit, and our Hands-on with the game from the multiplayer event on The Conduit Network ( )

-Cory T.

Visit to support the conduit and learn about the latest news updates on it. Also has a full community and forums!

I sure hope I have the money when this comes out. For me, this is the game to get right now.

TAG: That American Guy

"If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Romans 12:18

Looks sweet gonna buy it

I..I can't watch porn. My Mommy finds out


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