Review by bengalsrz4
"One of the Most Entertaining FPSs this Generation!"
High Voltage Software's "The Conduit" has received mixed reviews so far from critics. However, most of the lower scores are the ones that place a higher emphasis on the Single Player Campaign Mode. Most gamers these days are looking for a robust online multiplayer offering. The Conduit delivers that and much more.
As the story unfolds it seems quite generic. Government conspiracy, early ally betrayal, alien invasion. Nothing we haven't seen before. And as the game unfolds, it will REMAIN that way. That is, if you choose not to go out of your way to pay attention to the much deeper back story hidden within the many side elements this games campaign mode has to offer. Throughout the campaign there are radio feeds, televisions, and hidden messages that offer new tidbits of the story. It turns out to be so complex, that nobody has fully deciphered everything yet. All in all, if you are willing to go out of your way, you'll be in for a very interesting story. If not, the story will appear to be bland and shallow.
The graphics in this game are very solid. It runs at 30 FPS and doesn't tend to stray from that. The art direction is rather plain, but from a technical standpoint, it achieves things no other Wii game has featured to date. The character models are very well done, as is the weaponry. The textures can be rather plain, though. Still, definitely one of the better graphical efforts on the system.
The controls of the Conduit are likely the best part about the game. Why is that? Because you can adjust them in any way you like. Don't like shooting with the B button? That's fine, you can map it to any button you'd like. This includes the 2 motion gestures available to the wii remote and nunchuck combo as well. Aside from button configuration, you can also fiddle with the sensitivity and bounding box. Unlike other console shooters, you don't simply set your sensitivity on "high" or "low." There are a plethora of options that you can set to your liking. With enough trial and error, everyone can find a control scheme perfect for them. These controls far outclass anything seen with dual analogs.
The Single Player Campaign is nothing to rave about. It's rather simple overall. Move through rooms and environments and fight through waves of enemies. The All Seeing Eye (A.S.E) does however provide puzzle solving that is not so traditional when it comes to FPSs. The puzzles are simplistic overall, and don't add too much to the game, but are a nice break from the action and provide for interesting story elements. There are a decent amount of enemy types and the A.I is about as intelligent as in most games. All that being said, the Single Player is fun and never feels tedious. It is an enjoyable experience and can be rather challenging at points. It lasts 6-10 hours depending on your speed.
This is where the game really shines. The multi-player in this game is phenomenal, especially in comparison to other Wii games. While the game does not have a local multiplayer option, it is without a doubt, the best online offering on the Wii so far. Up to 12 players can battle it out in a large selection of modes. While the game does incorporate Nintendo's pesky Friend Code system, HVS allows players to add friends already on their Wii Friend Roster and friends of friends without having to add a 12 digit friend code. In total, players can hold up to 64 friends. There are 3 major game types with 13 total sub-modes online. Those 3 game types are Free-For-All, Team Reaper, and Team Objective.
Free-For-All consists of the classic deathmatch and elimination modes, as well as new modes such as A.S.E Football and Bounty Hunter. In A.S.E Football, players attempt to take hold of the ASE and must avoid their opponents to try and hold on to it for the longest time. Upon dying, players drop the ASE. Another interesting mode is Bounty Hunter, where every player is assigned a target (which constantly changes) and every player is being targeted by somebody. Nobody knows who is targeting who and you may only receive points for killing your designated target. Killing an innocent will make you lose points, and killing the person that is targeting you does nothing to your point count.
Team Reaper is you classic Team Deathmatch game type. It consists of standard deathmatch, a mode called shared stock (where the whole team is given a set amount of lives and loses once those lives are all gone) among other rather simple, but engaging modes.
Team Objective has all of the CTF type modes. The difference is that the ASE is used as the flag. There is the Standard Two ASE Mode, a Single ASE mode, and a few variations of similar game types.
There are a large variety of weapons that are a lot of fun to use. All are good in certain circumstances, and overall, the weapons are very balanced. The 7 total maps are all very well done, though possibly a bit too closed off with not enough open space. As long as the players have decent connections, the game is generally lagless. This is an enormous feat considering other Wii online offerings. The game does take a slight graphical hit in the multiplayer mode, in order to keep the FPS consistent. The game also supports Wii Speak Voice Chat, but only when playing with friends. This means in public matches and in friend only matches (these friend only matches tend to run slightly smoother than public matches).
The Conduit provides a very impressive multi-player mode, but is slightly lacking in the single player department. The controls are fantastic, and any gamer looking for a robust Online FPS will not be disappointed with the Conduit.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 07/06/09
Game Release: The Conduit (US, 06/23/09)
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