Review by DraimanBelieve7

"The Conduit is the best Wii Shooter and lives up to its hype"

The Conduit is a very hyped and highly anticipated game created by High Voltage Software and published by Sega. When HVS went into develop this game they wanted to create a FPS game for the Wii that was based on a "Aliens Vs. Military" sci-fi setting. HVS also set out to do the unthinkable and create the best Wii FPS game ever made. HVS wanted to create a FPS Wii game with a very powerful graphics engine that would push the Wii to its graphical limits without sacrificing gameplay. Do they succeed at doing this? I personally believe they did but some have criticized it and I feel people's criticism is unjustified. After waiting what seems like forever for this game to come out its finally here and it lives up to all the hype or at least it did for me.

Gameplay 10: This is the #1 thing that draws me to any game is gameplay. In "how much fun is it to play" and its a complete blast. It uses a control scheme very similar to Metroid Prime 3's but at the same time everything is completely customizable down to the sensitivity, dead zone box, you can switch every button on your Wii Controller if you don't like the default setup and even the HUD is customisable with transparency levels and the HUD layout which all can be changed. Another nice thing is you don't have to back out to any menus to do this, you can go right into a game and mid-game change all your settings on the fly and see how it works without even stopping. I think this game is amazingly fun to play because of the pinpoint accuracy that you can achieve.

A lot of reviews I have seen so far have been kinda mixed and I feel just too harsh. As of this writing the highest review score I have seen for this game is an 8.6 with most reviews falling in the average 7 range. For some reason people complain about the controls yet the controls are some of the very best I have ever seen in a shooter. It is not perfect like a mouse and keyboard config on a PC but it beats out dual analog sticks any day of the week and next to Metroid Prime 3, I feel its one of the best shooters control wise on a console. The game plays a lot like Perfect Dark and Goldeneye, it has that "run and gun" gameplay where you just go from area to area shooting down anything in your path.

There is also puzzle elements in the game which involve a device called the "ASE" (All Seeing Eye) that allows you to solve puzzles, hack into computers, defuse invisible bombs and find invisible nodes. The ASE is used through most the single player campaign to advance the storyline. Some people have complained that you don't use it enough through the game but I felt that this argument made no sense since it was used over and over again. My only complaint with the puzzles and ASE stuff was they were a tad on the easy side but they gave the game a nice change of pace. There's upwards of 20 weapons in the game and they all are awesome for the most part. Like any shooter you will find a few weapons you like the most and probably stick with them as much as you can.

There different kinds of weapon groups but the main ones are "Trust (government weapons), Drudge Weapons (Alien Weapons) and Human Weapons (essentially normal weapons) and Grenades. There are also "Prototype Weapons" spread and hidden around the levels which are basically more powerful versions of other weapons in those categories. They all are neat and the guns all sound different and most have their own "Death Animation" depending which one your using. You can charge certain weapons up for more powerful attacks as well. It plays along at 30 Frames Per Second pretty much consistently without much lag at all in the game.

HVS really went above and beyond to get this game to play well and they did. People complain that little if anything is "original" or "revolutionary" but HVS stated that they wanted to make sure they didn't alienate fans of FPS games by doing too much new stuff. In a sense they created a game that is inspired off many other games such as Halo, Perfect Dark, Timesplitters, Goldeneye and Metroid Prime and took what works and is tried and true in FPS games. They didn't take a whole lot of risks and tried to play it safe and some people are not happy that they did. I personally get the point of the game and see what HVS was aiming for and will not dock this review points just because HVS's goal was to blend the best elements of FPSs into The Conduit. I can't really fault the gameplay no matter how I look at it cause I haven't enjoyed a shooter this much since Perfect Dark on the 64.

The online mode of the game is amazing with up to 12 players and Wii Speak support. This is one of the few games that supports Wii Speak and is perfect for it but you will only be able to hear your friends or "friend of a friend" but its pretty cool and it easily has one of the best online multiplayer in any Wii game. There is lag depending on your connection but if you and your friends have good connections you should have zero problems. There are many different modes online including Free For All, Bounty Hunger, ASE Football, Team Reaper, Marathon, Last Man Standing, Three Strikes and Quick Match to name some. You can vote on different weapon sets, modes and maps. There are also 9 maps which may not seem like a lot but its adequate enough. There are Friend Codes but HVS also had it where you can invite people via Wii Address Book which should make it a little easier to add friends to the game. The online multiplayer is amazing and easily The Conduit's greatest strength, so those waiting for a great shooter with great Nintendo Wifi should know this is it.

Story 8: The storyline is very cliche to be honest. Its nothing we haven't seen before its basically a government conspiracy sci-fi storyline. Think X-Files or something along those lines. Basically your a government agent who saved the President's life and are sent on a mission to uncover the truth behind a terrorist named "Prometheus" by the Trust. It involves a government conspiracy based on Aliens and takes place in Washington D.C. There are a few twists to the story but you kind of can guess what they might be before you get to those story scenes. I have certainly seen worse storylines in games but this one is good, not great but its got a good storyline to with good custscenes to tie things together and make you want to uncover more. Story is probably the biggest complaint I have with the game and its still not that bad.

Graphics 10: This game easily has the best looking Graphics of any game on the Wii. HVS developed their own graphics engine for the game built from the ground up for the Wii called "Quantam 3". Its very impressive and possibly one of the best looking Wii games ever pulling off stuff that the Wii isn't supposed to be capable of. Its easily one of the very best third party games out right now as well. I think the game looks beautiful and eventhough it might not be your fancy HD 360 type game it gets the job done. There has been some criticism with the art direction and at times the environments don't do anything for the eyes depending what level your on. Some are awesome and some are a tad repetitive and bland but this is more of a "level design" problem than a graphics issue.

This game does have some parts that just really really shine. It looks better than most Xbox 1 games and at times it does start to look a little bit like certain 360 games but of course 360 is much more capable than the Wii is in terms of graphics. The Guns all look amazing, the textures are real good for the Wii and the enemies look awesome. If you really look into this game HVS put a ton of detail and love in to it. I will say that it can hold its own against games like Metroid Prime 3 and Mario Galaxy pretty easily eventhough I am not sure if its better looking? I don't really play games for graphics but this game does give a real good feel and atmosphere to the game.

Sound 9: I have never been a huge sound nut but the sound in this game is really good. I think that the voice acting is great feature Kevin Sorbo (Hercules) and Mark Shepherd (Battlestar Galactica) and all the VO is done awesome. Sometimes it gets overly dramatic but that's few and far between. I like the sound of the guns and the music that plays during the game but honestly I have heard better out of games but for this kind of game the sound and sound effects work perfectly.

Replay Value 9: The Conduit is pretty replayable with unlockables, cheats and of course the online bumps this score up by 2 points. It is gonna take a long time to tire of the online especially if your like me and only own a Wii out of the 3 current systems. I think that its possibly one of the most replayable Wii Shooters out since the online is just so good.

Overall 9/10: I am giving this game a near perfect review. Despite a few problems with the Sound, Storyline and level design almost everything is completely solid. The Online makes the game much more worth buying. HVS really did deliver with this game and did what most developers are either afraid or too lazy to do. Make a great third party game and they stuck their necks out for the "Hardcore" audience. This so could have done them in since the Wii is a system that is perceived as a casual system for kids and old people.

This game could have easily ended up like MadWorld where it would only sell a very limited amount of copies and fall down to $30 in a month but considering the massive amount of hype and marketing they put into this game I doubt its not gonna end up selling well. Then we will probably get a sequel and I can only hope they enhance the Quantam 3 gaming engine and release more games on it. Also remember that HVS took hardly any publishing money from Sega to actually create the game since most the game was complete before Sega even got on board. HVS which isn't a huge development team funded this by theirselves and really took a risk by releasing a great shooter on the Wii when they could've made it on the 360. I think that they deserve my $50 and I am glad I bought it. Don't listen to all the negativity concerning this game unless your a 360/PS3 or PC shooter fan.

If you just simply own a Wii or loved Perfect Dark and Goldeneye's gameplay you should enjoy The Conduit. That being said this is a Wii game this isn't some HD shooter on an extremely powerful system but its the best looking and controlling shooter I have played on Wii. Don't listen to the nit picky critics just buy the game and if you are skeptical then rent it first.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/29/09

Game Release: The Conduit (GameStop Exclusive Special Edition) (US, 06/23/09)


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