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The Conduit (Wii) Review

Review for The Conduit on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The Wii and shooters should come hand in hand - you've got an infrared remote with a trigger, an analogue stick on the other hand for movement. In theory first person shooters should be one of the easiest genres to get running on Nintendo's teeny box, but until now we can only name a few - possibly by using one hand. There have been gritty war shooters and suave secret agents but whilst these have looked the part, the controls haven't come close to matching regular dual analogue sticks or even keyboard and mouse. High Voltage has come along and, whilst not promising to do anything new with content, has mixed up a control system that hopes to bring the perfect shooting experience to Wii.

Shooters aren't typically known to have the most grand of storylines, and The Conduit falls nicely into that category. We start off in a slightly less linear way, as the gruff sounding Agent Ford. He's regained consciousness after an attack by ruthless alien race, the Drudge. After trudging through a huge portal we flash back 5 days earlier to where the action all begun, and how the newly recruited protagonist battled his way through hordes of slimy creatures and brainwashed humans to try and stop an invasion of Earth. It's a fairly standard tale of an invasion and rogue government agents, with some neat plot twists and turns throughout the nine or so different solo missions. You won't be running around looking for answers for hours, but it does the job of blending typical Hollywood action conventions into a day or two's worth of single player material.

Enemies. You shoot them and the same model reappears, over and over, and over. One of the unfortunate flaws in these missions is the lack of variety in these enemies and the weapons you pick up. There is a decent selection of things to fire and throw, from your standard pistol and machine guns to the more unusual extraterrestrial and tentacle-infested firearms. Whilst they all look pretty and handle well, there doesn't seem to be a major difference in power between them - they fire at a different rate, come in varying sizes, but there aren't really any that you'll search out for in multiplayer, or truly benefit in single. In most other shooting games you'll instantly hot swap a better gun, but here you may as well save time and stick to what's being carried.

Screenshot for The Conduit on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The alien creatures and towering boss sequences do make up that difference between helmeted guards and bog-standard chaps in suits, but once you're pacing and blasting through the fifth or sixth level, possibly even earlier, it all seems to be a bit of the same. It's not all about looks, but personality! Humans either shift from side to side, or oddly enough run towards and sometimes around your back, whilst the Drudge drones either jump around randomly or jog casually towards you. They'll pop up from behind chairs, in the same uniform, use the same weaponry and fall like puppets. Work through the room and into another, the same patterns result in a fairly repetitive and increasingly dull experience. What's really needed are differences between what you're firing at - heights, faces, clothing, running speed and so on, it's just ever-so-slightly early 90s in design and there's just too many of the same.

The All Seeing Eye, dubbed ASE - a small floating orb that's basically a modern secret-finding touch - is a nice addition to the main shooting mechanic. You'll be asked to seek out clues, occasional secret paths and the like. It's useful, quite often a little predictable and whilst it's a welcome device to include, the ASE does seem a little tacked on perhaps, useful but could have been more significant perhaps.

Visually The Conduit is a mixed bag, the majority of the game is presented well - weapons are all detailed exceptionally well, certainly one of the standout points in The Conduit's graphical efforts. From the simple but stylish pistols to the quirky All Seeing Eye, there's been a lot of care into squeezing that extra bit of juice into putting these items on screen. Enemies are also rendered nicely, despite the limited variety, through intricate clothing/skin, the subtle lighting and added layer of gloss. The same applies to most of the environments, it does look well put together overall, a solid sense of realism but cracks start to appear in consistency.

A fair bit of the texture work does tend to dip throughout the levels, where one room would be stunningly designed and the next border on pre GameCube standard. There really should have been more thought in arranging objects: boxes, chairs, filing cabinets, they'll be plopped in similar positions that you could almost swear it's the same room 5 doors back. Looking past the design and more at just how it looks, it does impress in a lot of places, but there does need to be more thought and care in getting some substance and originality in.

Screenshot for The Conduit on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Shooters occasionally have had exceptional sound production values, but generally it's not as important as the visuals or gameplay, but here it's apparent that production values do need to be pushed harder for what's being shown to be more convincing. Compositionally the soundtrack is strong and at times invokes some healthy toe-tapping, but the output quality does sound washed out and not prominent enough. The same goes for sound effects. Whilst your guns look nice and fire well, it's ruined by some weak sounding firing samples. Not quite snappy enough.

At this point the game just barely skims past other efforts, but fortunately there are some saving graces that help overlook some of The Conduit's flaws: control and online multiplayer. Moving and firing with the remote has been an issue for most Wii shooters, with the exception of Retro Studio's first person adventure, Metroid Prime 3, and fortunately High Voltage has got the setup just right. There's no need for over the top Wii remote tomfoolery and pointless waggle, just precise aiming, flexible turning and the option to customise the experience, and that's exactly what we've got with the game's control system. By default there's already a smooth enough setup - it's tight enough to give room to pick out head shots and smooth enough to turn about and stop oncoming foes. The turning box, on-screen displays and button layouts can be extensively tweaked to near-perfection, and it's this aspect that comes especially handy for online play.

Screenshot for The Conduit on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

With single player turning out a fairly average affair, one of the extra features - online - is a saving grace. Human players will almost always prove a more exciting affair over single player computers, that's a given, but here it offers a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience to put the control schemes to good use.

There are several modes, maps and options to play around with; these are all fairly common options, but that's certainly not a bad thing. Choose a map, different weapon set and length through voting (a la Mario Kart), and go head to head with a bunch of strangers or fellow Conduit enthusiasts using Nintendo's friend codes system. We tried it out with three different internet providers and surprisingly it's held out well, finding opponents in around five or so minutes and barely dropping even in the slightly longer 20 minute matches. Other than straight up death match, the team variants are nifty to play with, especially using Wii Speak, and do add a different objective as opposed to blasting anything that moves. Lag? There hasn't seemed to be any so far, except for the expected 'warp effect' in most online titles, but for the most part it's a rewarding and meaty online experience that really does outweigh the main game.

Screenshot for The Conduit on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Single player is repetitive and a lot of the time unimaginative. Solid controls and online player however are are solid, and are a side of the game that boost up the gameplay score.

Graphics

Despite being slightly ugly in places, and some uninspired art direction, the game is one of the Wii's most beautifully presented. Good weapon and character rending, lighting and visual effects.

Sound

Solid composition, and some memorable action tunes, however falls short in the quality/production - washed out sound effects and background music.

Value

Online play, complete with different modes and ranks does help expand the time you'd spend with The Conduit, however the main game is over and becomes dull way too quickly.

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

Near-perfect first person shooter controls, and solid online play make a game worth considering - especially if you're in need of shooting loving on the Wii. With improved level design and variety, The Conduit does have potential to become a fully-blown series. A strong first effort from High Voltage, showing that first person shooters can work on the Wii. All that's needed really is more care and variety in the gameplay itself.

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19.07.2009

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Developer

High Voltage

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

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   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Great job JB a very honest review. Although I agree with every thing except "firearms. Whilst they all look pretty and handle well, there doesn't seem to be a major difference in power between them - they fire at a different rate, come in varying sizes, but there aren't really any that you'll search out for in multiplayer". Other than that I found your review to be spot on with my opinion of this title.

Did you manage to finish the single player? I didn't, I was only playing that to get some practice in before I jumped in the online pool. I was already bored by the single player then I ran into some crazy glitch that sent me falling through the floor to my death. For me that was the last straw of that campaign. The multiplayer surely did make up for it so I'm still happy with my purchase.

They put in too much thought on the guns Smilie

( Edited 01.09.2009 13:22 by Captian )


John:
I..I can't watch porn. My Mommy finds out
:}
Senior ModeratorCubed3 Member

I like the game, it\'s repetitive and a lot of hallways look so bland that it\'s deadly, but the rest of it plays well, it\'s action packed. I\'ve played about 2 hours of single player today and I\'m on the Streets level after the whole pentagon thing. For me it took about an hour to find a decent control configuration that I was happy about because I don\'t like mellee or grenade on motion controls, so it took some time discovering dead zone and other customization.

My main problem with the multiplayer is that I seem to get loads and loads of simultanious kills (both me and the player die) E.g. I\'ll be shooting at him and vice versa and I will wack them, they will get another 2 shots in and die (from the mellee) and then I die from the 2 shots that they fired when they died, even though technically I killed them before me. It\'s just an annoying niggle.

Also, one of the charge weapons sounds exactly like samus\'s power beam Smilie
As well as the eratic difficulty settings. The level where


Your suddenly put up against about 4 portals worth outside DC and tonnes of Druge and it\'s difficult, the erratic change from relatively easy to decisively hard happens in about 5 seconds flat on that level.

And anyway, I didn\'t but it because I thought it was going to be an excellent game (Bar the multiplayer) I bought it to support the studio who seem to be one of the most promising 3RD party Developers for Wii\'s Future. It\'s a gateway game into using the Quantum 3 engine to see what they can do and how they can pull it off and it can only invariably get better for games such as Gladiator AD and The Grinder.

( Edited 19.07.2009 20:30 by Echoes221 )

Perfect Dark was the last FPS I've played (I can't stand twin analog), so I hope this one reminds me of it. I'll definitely get it eventually.

Unfortunately, it seems like HVS dropped the ball on the single player, but since I never care about story in games, and multi-player is much more important in FPS, that seems okay. I just wish they would allow bots in local multiplayer.

I\'ve spent about 13 hours in total on the game. About 6/7 on both single player and online. I have no idea how I got that time on single player as I\'m only on level 4 but I\'ve enjoyed it quite a lot. It is very linear and the scenery does get repetitive but the controls make up for it IMO. I don\'t think I\'d ever get bored of the Wii controls for FPSs.

The online has been really fun and I\'m at about rank 9/24 which I\'m quite happy with. Smilie All of the maps are really well designed. The online also reminds me of Team Fortress 2 which is a good thing. Even the graphics look similar to the Source Engine that powers TF2. Smilie

For their first effort on a big title, I think High-Voltage have done an amazing job and really can\'t wait for the sequel (if there is one). I\'d even go as far as saying that The Conduit is now my favourite 3rd party Wii game. I give the game an 8 or 9/10. Smilie

Echoes221 said:
For me it took about an hour to find a decent control configuration that I was happy about because I don\'t like mellee or grenade on motion controls, so it took some time discovering dead zone and other customization.

It took me about hour also. I actually like the motion controls for grenades and melee and use them a lot in online matches. Punching with the Wii-Remote during close combat works perfectly for me. Smilie

Also, one of the charge weapons sounds exactly like samus\'s power beam Smilie

For me that\'s a good thing. Smilie It should have taken more sound effects/music from Metroid. Smilie The big yellow drudge also sound exactly like the big aliens in Halo: Combat Evolved.

( Edited 20.07.2009 10:07 by wAyNe - sTaRT )

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The score for me really is because of the effort that\'s gone into the control (which is near flawless), and the decent online play. Visually there are some very nice sections - particular the decent weapon and enemy rendering, and some good use of lighting in places, but as for the main game - it\'s so boring, and repetitive imo.

Did you manage to finish the single player? I didn\'t, I was only playing that to get some practice in before I jumped in the online pool.

I didn\'t finish the single myself, gave up after the 6th mission, where a friend took over and I saw how it played out. Really got tired of the incredibly predictable enemy patterns, especially in the hall/train-type parts. Goldeneye\'s train, for example, was by far more interesting!

Don\'t get me wrong, it\'s not a crap game and I do applaud High Voltage\'s efforts, it\'s just that there needed to be a bit more variety - even by giving them more \"faces\", mixing up heights and stuff could have helped.

To me it reminds me of the difference I felt playing Pefect Dark and then World is Not Enough - that sense of shoddy design and repetitive enemies.

Hopefully they\'ll boost up the single player aspects, there\'s definitely room for a sequel and improvement. Definitely not a 9/10, it *could* scrape an 8, barely, but anyone who gives it higher than an 8 really needs to play a lot more shooters.

( Edited 20.07.2009 00:12 by jb )

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

Fantastic review jb, very accurate. I couldn't agree more with it.

jb said:
Don\'t get me wrong, it\'s not a crap game and I do applaud High Voltage\'s efforts, it\'s just that there needed to be a bit more variety - even by giving them more \"faces\", mixing up heights and stuff could have helped.

I read something saying HVS are going to be doing height changes and slight variation in color with the monsters(mainly the vampires) in \"The Grinder\" so I\'m guessing this title gave them the knowledge how to utilize their engine more efficiently.

JB I still wanna challenge your opinion of the weapons in an online match. Are you game?Smilie

PMD said:
Unfortunately, it seems like HVS dropped the ball on the single player, but since I never care about story in games, and multi-player is much more important in FPS, that seems okay. I just wish they would allow bots in local multiplayer.

I kinda seen that coming. Every time HVS had an interview they seemed to infer that their primary focus was on controls, multiplayer, and graphics. So I was very relieved to see those points effectively done in the game.

EDIT:

Echoes221 said:
My main problem with the multiplayer is that I seem to get loads and loads of simultanious kills (both me and the player die) E.g. I\'ll be shooting at him and vice versa and I will wack them, they will get another 2 shots in and die (from the mellee) and then I die from the 2 shots that they fired when they died, even though technically I killed them before me. It\'s just an annoying niggle.

I\'m wondering if there would be as many lag problems if they had help from EA\'s servers since MoH:H2 had hardly any lag at all.

( Edited 20.07.2009 06:44 by J Tangle )

Still better then the first Killzone game then.
Yet people where still really hyped for that sequal.

Please give our little random review show a try;
http://randomreviewshow.com/index.html
We have special effects and umm...stuff...

As a FPS I'd give it a 7/10 but as a Wii game, it definately deserves a +1 for effort.

I've got a 360 with Halo, Half-Life and Modern Warfare. Those games may be better overall, but I do think The Conduit is worthy enough to be mentioned along side them. It's about time the Wii had such a game.

It doesn't seem like it is selling well. I had hoped that this would pave the way for bigger 3rd party developers to start making similar titles on the Wii.

This is a strange game for me. Sometimes I get along with it quite well and other times I despise it, I feel this way for both single and multi player. Over all though I would say that I definetly regret buying it.

Echoes221 those frequent double kills is due to lag. The game just wants to appease both parties so it awards them both kills, its bullshit. Once I had already spawned and then I got a kill on the guy who killed me.

Overtime though I have found that the games are becoming less laggy. I also find that theere is a lot of inconsistent damage in the game. Sometimes its couple shots, sometimes its a couple hundred. The multiplayer maps are fairly well designed but they look awful, there is clearly a massive drop in graphical quality from single player to multiplayer.

I could only reccomend this game to people who dont have a 360 or PS3. Those consoles can handle and FPS so much better. For instance you dont have to wait around for 4 minutes before you are in a game and you're less likely to experince to lag. To be perfectly honest I think I prefered Red Steel as an FPS.

-Have you any idea what it's like to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?
-What?

Also, one of the charge weapons sounds exactly like samus's power beam Smilie

I said this MONTHS ago when in-game footage was released.

Good review JB, personally from what I've heard of the game I would have given it a 6.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Good review JB, personally from what I've heard of the game I would have given it a 6.

Don't go rating a game you haven't even played now! Smilie


I agree with your review Jb. I have found the singleplayer to be pretty boring and generic. I knew it wasn't going to be great, but I would have liked to have seen them vary things a bit more. I can deal with a very linear game without complaining too much, but when all the rooms start to blur together with little to differentiate them, it enhances the problem

The graphics are a mixed bag. Technically, its awesome to see so many cool effects going on like reflections, cool particles etc. You don't see too much of that on Wii. I also love shooting a rocket down a hall and watching the lighting on all the walls and objects. Nice stuff. The tech is great, the art fails the tech though.

All in all, I pretty much agree with all that you've said Jb! Good review. I hope there is a Conduit 2 -- they have the controls down and the tech set, but they just need to be more imaginative with the game itself.

C3 Moderator

does anybody want to trade friend codes

i do

DMAN THE KING OF AWESOME

after playing multiplayer and then Single player alot of changes were made and is begging for a Conduit 2
They were perfect making the stages I love them all but some weapon sets in multiplayer (Close Range) I never use them but they\'re good variety

( Edited 01.09.2009 13:20 by Captian )


John:
I..I can't watch porn. My Mommy finds out
:}

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