The first Conduit game came out on the Wii a few years back with an almost unheard of internet buzz amongst Nintendo fans. The developers promised Xbox 360 matching visuals and gameplay to rival Halo. Unfortunately, the game failed to deliver both visually and in the gameplay stakes. The sequel has now arrived with yet far less hype and looks to be the last big FPS on the Wii.
I did not take to the original Conduit very well. At the time of playing Call of Duty 4, it looked and played like a PS2 FPS. The graphics were actually pretty good, but the level design consisted of dull grey corridors, which were repeated throughout the game. The sequel aims to eradicate this grey memory with levels set in vastly different locations. The designers have really gone to town in some areas, such as the main hub, which has an awesome TRON feel to it, with steps that appear in mid air as you walk. The China level is another highlight which promotes the level design and the weather effects. Unfortunately, there are still drab, grey levels in between which are just dull.
The Wii is not exactly prime choice for FPS games. This is mainly due to the control using the wiimote. So far only Metroid Prime has nailed it spot on, with a few others offering acceptable controls. Conduit 2 offers a high level of customisation, but I must stress how awful this game is to control. Initially I opted for the Wiimote and Nunchuck, with the Motionplus accessory. I found the aiming to be suitable enough, but the buttons aren’t mapped very well. Then there is the melee attack. You have to thrust the Wiimote to attack, but this then screws up the aim of your gun, often leaving me pointing off screen or at the floor. Coupled with the fact that High Voltage throw an endless amount of alien creatures at you to melee, it really ruins the experience. I used the classic controller in the end and it was OK, after I got used to the slow turning and flimsy aiming of the control sticks.
Graphics are generally impressive. Some levels are littered with poor, dull textures, where others, like the TRON –like hub are fantastic. It’s a real mixed bag. The special effects are actually very decent, such as stepping through a conduit in game. Which gives off an awesome Stargate style vortex effect. The storyline is the usual clichéd tale of America at war with aliens and space troopers. It’s not much to write home about and the voice acting is awful. The developers have borrowed every phrase from the Duke Nukem phrasebook and used them here. The game runs at a pretty decent speed, normally only slowing in a gigantic boss battle. These battles are very well done, but they are few and far between.
There are multiplayer modes available. There aren’t that many players online so finding games took a little longer than usual. When in though, the multiplayer is decent enough, though it’s all been done before.
Conduit 2 is a good game, but not a great game. The whole thing feels like a FPS cliché, with the same weapons, locations and mission types as all other games. It doesn’t feel like a massive step up from the original, but offers some challenging gaming if you can stick with the awful controls.
Decent shooting, but it can be repetitive
Great level design but some poor textures
Average music and awful acting