Review by miserere01
"How does the sequel of a generic FPS developed by a small company on an underpowered console fare in 2011? Quite realistically."
Story: While I've played the original Conduit game, I found the storyline to be a shallow, rehashed premise of "Oh no aliens! You're the only one that can stop them!". Unfortunately you can't expect any good changes from what is very much the same idea over again, with all new snappy comebacks and some jokes even the "T rated" audience it is attempting to appeal to finds immature and often just embarrassing. If you suppress your gag reflexes long enough to make it to the new centralized hub station, you'll then get your regular dose of pointless fan servicing you can always expect from a game trying too hard to cover up the lack of substance. To the game's merit, it is an improvement from the first, and you are also allowed to create customized load outs that can be equipped, which is very nice.
Graphics: I was initially impressed to see the fine work they did with limited hardware capabilities. The models are nothing special themselves, and the boss fights left much to be desired. Many multiplayer map designs leave me puzzled as to what was running through the heads of the developers, but there were also many new ones that were quite nice, Serenity for one. The biggest negative in this department would be the amount of glitches produced from this graphically ambitious piece of work, but that more reflects into the gameplay section.
Gameplay: The crux of Conduit 2 is most definitely in the gameplay. The problem seems to initially begin with how many leaks HVS had to fix from their first release. Close attention was paid to the complaints of the first. Controls are in general more customizable and more accurate thanks to Wii Motion Plus integration. If however, you think this means you can go online with a Classic Controller Pro and expect not to be steamrolled instantly, you have another thing coming. Another good idea from HVS was beginning the semi-frequent patch updates. Even in cases of no bugs being fixed, at very least this changes memory addresses frequently enough to keep hackers from becoming overwhelming. The big problem is how badly the initial equipment, online game options, networking and room creation options were handled. These days, gamers have infinite choices at their disposal. On any other modern FPS you can filter rooms down to even the most specific of selections. Despite the small improvements from The Conduit, HVS has offered its users almost ZERO choice in actual gameplay online. You can, and will spend hours at a time being held hostage by the overly simplistic matching system connecting you to maps or rulesets you absolutely do not want. Your only actual choice is to establish private matches, or to choose from what they call "Grab Bag and Hardcore" modes, Team or Free for All. To simplify, one has radar and lock-on, the other does not. No rule selection. No map selection. No item spawn selection. You can't even swap teams when the automated process has you fighting a 4 vs 1 match. It's limited and simplistic to the point of being just lazy and counterintuitive. Splitscreen has its slew of issues as well, maps including Serenity and possibly others have been reported to freeze, often 2-3 hours into an invasion session. I've actually had this happen to me personally on more than one occasion. Patches are often released and the Changelogs indicate some success in solving some of the more simplistic issues such as the helmet item not working at all, or the base player running speed. Unfortunately HVS has shown to be less than stellar on fixing the games' bigger problems, such as the invasion splitscreen freezing, host migration problems, and a myriad of connection issues that often leave some users with hours of frustration. To top all of this off, Grab Bag online mode is mostly dominated by a narrow, and somewhat specific stealth related load out, so if you are interested in being anything other than a giant obvious target, you may want to play something else. This massive list of problems and many more I haven't bothered even listing leave me curious of if HVS had this game playtested at all.
Sound: Nothing special at all. Same old actors and lots more shamefully cheesy lines. Music was alright, but nothing out of the ordinary or spectacular.
Replay Value: Only the most hardcore of fans will find any replay value in the campaign mode, however the addition of splitscreen and inclusion of Hardcore mode spices things up. The only problem with online is having mostly nothing to do once you reach max ranking. Those looking for a game on the Wii to get friends together for a killfest have many options these days. Conduit 2 isn't a wrong choice, but it certainly won't ever be called the best one.
OVERALL SCORE: 4.8
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 06/06/11
Game Release: Conduit 2 (US, 04/19/11)
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