A bland campaign doesn't make the most of the good control scheme
A bland campaign doesn't make the most of the good control scheme

A bland campaign doesn't make the most of the good control scheme

When you talk the talk you have to walk the walk or face a lot of egg on your face. Developer High Voltage Software more or less built up Wii exclusive FPS The Conduit to be not only the best shooter the console has seen, but also a game that could compete with the best on other platforms. They'd set themselves up for a massive fall, but we'd hoped it wouldn't happen. The Wii is in need of more quality shooters (Metroid Prime comes to mind, but it's not really a pure shooter series), and The Conduit appeared to be the best shot we had. It seems walking the walk is harder than High Voltage imagined, at least when it comes to creating a single-player experience.

It's hard to ignore the noise the developer made about the game's visuals. More than any other aspect of the game, it's the next-gen style effects that have received the most attention. It's really quite disappointing then, that The Conduit's presentation is such a mixed bag. At times it can look quite impressive and certainly up with the best we've seen on the Wii (although never really doing anything breathtaking), but at others it's mediocre PS2 quality at best. The enemy designs are uninspired and the environments even worse. The tech behind the game might be extremely solid, but when you're shooting aliens in bland hallways and dull streets it's hard to get excited.

Those wanting a gripping storyline are out of luck too, with the plot on offer in The Conduit often bordering on the kind of quality you'd find in a budget children's sci-fi show. Washington D.C. has been invaded by an alien race known as the Drudge. These aliens spawn into the city through glowing orange portals and the task of stopping them has been placed on your shoulders. A government group called the Trust becomes involved and then things go very X-Files, with conspiracy theories cropping up all over the place. Things aren't helped by some truly terrible loading screen conversations, in which the voice acting is some of the worst we've heard for quite some time.

After working through the short single-player campaign (which will take an average gamer no more than a long afternoon to complete) it's easy to see why such a focus pre-release was on the visuals: the core game just isn't that good. There's a decent mix of human and alien weapons, but the actual missions, and objectives within them, seem dated beyond belief. At no point did something truly interesting happen that would have given the game an identity of more than "that Wii game with fancy graphical effects".

The Drudge come at you in various shapes and sizes, and with differing attack strategies. Some act like normal human soldiers, others roll towards you and then explode, and some hatch from pod-like devices before charging at you in packs. Thanks to an impressive control scheme you'll never have too much trouble taking them down (the Wii Remote aiming works well and there's lock-on should you need it), but there are a few terribly designed sections that raise the difficulty level to near breaking point.

High Voltage really has delivered one of the best FPS control schemes we've used on the Wii, which makes the rather by the numbers campaign all the more disappointing. It's an incredibly customisable game too, with everything from the aiming and camera panning options to the layout of the HUD being changeable. We did have a few issues with the default settings, though: moving the Wii remote forwards to melee attack feels hit and miss and the '-' button as both reload and pick up weapon caused a few unwanted weapon changes. Grenade throwing mapped to a thrust forward with the Nunchuck feels awkward at first, but soon becomes second nature, and works far better than the Wii Remote melee.

Visually it has its moments, but the environments are often quite dull.

Visually it has its moments, but the environments are often quite dull.

If you've been following The Conduit you'll know that you get to use a device known as the All Seeing Eye (ASE). This piece of Drudge technology is used to change the phase state of certain items, making them invisible to humans. In your hands you're able to bring the phase of these items in-line with our world and interact with them. It all sounds quite cool, but in terms of gameplay you just end up scanning certain things, opening doors and blowing up mines that are otherwise invisible to human eyes.

While the single-player campaign is mediocre at best, The Conduit's multiplayer component is altogether more entertaining. The whole thing still feels a little dated due to the fact that you need to add friends specifically to this game (although that's a problem in all Wii games), but a Wii game having an online mode this feature-rich is practically unheard of. There are solo, team and objective-based game modes for up to twelve players, and a ranking system based on XP earned through your performances. The objective modes aren't exactly revolutionary, all built around capturing the opposing team's ASE device, but get some friends together {you'll need to play with friends in order to chat online using the Wii Speak peripheral) and there's good fun to be had. Lag varied from game to game, but in our experience games with over 10 players tended to see people warping across the map.

For all the developer's boasts, The Conduit is nothing more than an occasionally attractive run of the mill FPS, backed up by a decent multiplayer mode that stands out due to the relative weakness the Wii has in this area. Wii owners looking for a pure FPS will likely plough through the campaign and spend enough time with the multiplayer to make their purchase worthwhile, but anyone who games across all major platforms will wonder why anyone made a fuss about The Conduit in the first place.

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User Comments

Stegosaurus-Guy's Avatar

Stegosaurus-Guy@ CheekyLee

Message to Wii friend:
"Hey, wanna play Brawl?

My code is 12489723970472833."

*5 hours later*

"Sure, mines 0045493439348573."

*5 hours later*

"What?"

*3 hours later*

"That was my code for Brawl"

*4 hours later*

"Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Ok, I'll add you."

"Hey what was your code again, I lost the message"

*1 hour later"

"0045493439348573. Already added you, ready to play?"

*next day*

"Ok, I'm ready."

*next day*

"Sorry, I went out but I'm ready now."

*2 hours later*

"Forget it..."

*4 hours later*

"Want to play Mario Kart instead?"

*1 hour later*

"No..."

^I bet that's happened to you.
Posted 18:18 on 14 July 2009
Marink's Avatar

Marink@ CheekyLee

Well, I only said that it put me off playing the game and you immediately seemed to have something to say about it, which indicated to me that you saw a fault in my post.

And I said, as you quoted, "the fact that you have to have the friend codes of the people you're playing against". I never said anything about adding them, I merely pointed out the necessity of Friend Codes in order to get the full feeling of playing online (the online communication).

The reason I said it "puts me off" of getting the game, as I mentioned earlier, was due to the fact that "Not very many of my friends will get the game."

In fact, I'm not sure a lot of my friends even own a Wii in the first place.

Therefore, if I cannot get the feeling of playing online from and online enabled game, I have every right not to be interested in it. Especially seeing how that is meant to be the strong point of the game in question.
Posted 18:05 on 14 July 2009
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ TomO

That's how it works, and it is admittedly one extra step, but I still think the entire internet is up in arms against them for no good reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marink
Anywhooo, the fact that you have to have the friend codes of the people you're playing against is what puts me off the most.
If you want to get picky, then I can point out that you don't have to enter any friend codes in your life in order to play people online. Sure, you didn't mention time consumption. But, you also didn't mention chatting. You did get pretty defensive pretty quickly when I suggested that I don't find them to be a problem. Why is that?

Hey look, I can hint at things too.
Posted 16:48 on 14 July 2009
TomO's Avatar

TomO

Not sure exactly what the argument's about, but aren't friend codes on Wii unique to each game? Isn't that what makes them different to gamertags? I can add a friend once on Xbox LIVE and then see him online no matter what I'm doing. On Wii I might have added the same friend six times, in six different games, but if I'm playing something new I won't be able to see him as a friend unless I add him again. Or am I completely missing the point?
Posted 16:42 on 14 July 2009
Marink's Avatar

Marink@ CheekyLee

What I said seems to have triggered a reaction though...?

And who said anything about time consumption?
Posted 15:13 on 14 July 2009
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ Marink

Who said it bothers me? I have absolutely zero problem with the friend code system. Friend codes are literally just gamertags. Like I said, I would prefer it if I had the option to add the FC of someone who I just played, like the time one particular player and I were constantly 1st and 2nd in a series of Mario Kart Wii races. But overall, they are no more time consuming than going to a thread such as this one, and adding people's code from that.
Posted 15:05 on 14 July 2009
Marink's Avatar

Marink@ CheekyLee

I like to chat while I'm playing videogames:

Online communication requires Friend Codes.
Not very many of my friends will get the game.
Why does it bother you? :s
Posted 14:57 on 14 July 2009
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ Marink

How is collecting friend codes any harder than collecting gamertags and PSN ids? Sure, I also wish that there was scope to add some of the random people I just played with in certain games, but finding people before matches is no harder on Wii than any other system you could care to name.
Posted 14:00 on 14 July 2009
wyp100's Avatar

wyp100@ Marink

Grammar fail - fixed.
Posted 13:57 on 14 July 2009
Marink's Avatar

Marink@ wyp100

Quote:
My opinion of it is, if High Voltage hadn't said such silly things about it...But they didn't.

Umm... shouldn't that be "did"? :p

Anywhooo, the fact that you have to have the friend codes of the people you're playing against is what puts me off the most. :(
Posted 13:47 on 14 July 2009
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Perhaps they should have called the All Seeing Eye the All Roaming Seeing Eye instead? :D
Posted 13:21 on 14 July 2009
CANCEROUS's Avatar

CANCEROUS

I have this game and i would agree with some of the points in this reveiw, every one has an oppinion i mean at first i thought the game was all it was cracked upto be, but my patients has paid off and i love the game. Forget that this was supposed to look like an early 360 game (which we all know being wii owners) was never going to happen the closest any one has come to that is Nintendo's Mario Galaxy. This game comes into its own on the online mulitplayer and yeah its a pain in the butt that they are using wii friends code's. One thing to note HVS is use what EA and Konami have done with thier recent online get up instead for the grinder. All in all i like this game the controls are the sweetest part of this game and when you then play KillZone 2 you realise just how sharp the wii mote is for an FPS, we just need that killer FPS which @ the moment is still to be forth coming.
Posted 13:10 on 14 July 2009
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Dont, i got REALLY bored of it mid point during the thrid mission and dont even get me started on the multiplayer.......

The game COULD have scored more if it had local multiplayer, it had the potential but it blew it.
Posted 19:28 on 12 July 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer

not even bothering about this
Posted 06:54 on 12 July 2009
renegade's Avatar

renegade@ Stegosaurus-Guy

Stegosaurus-Guy you do love to rub people the wrong way lol
Posted 22:49 on 11 July 2009

Game Stats

The Conduit
6
Out of 10
The Conduit
  • Controls are solid
  • Multiplayer is good
  • Story is weak
  • Bland campaign
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 10/07/2009
Platform: Wii
Developer: High Voltage Software
Publisher: Sega
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-12
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 8,184 61
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