Purenintendo Review: The Conduit
Better late then never for a review right? Kevin and I decided to combine our powers and each to part of the review. Kevin covered the single player and the intro to the review and I covered the online part. I have to say Kevin’s is really good…mine…well sounds like a drunken sailor wrote it.
In April of 2008, The Conduit was announced to the world. As a first person shooter for the Wii, many believed it to be a godsend for hardcore gamers. High Voltage Software, the developer of the game promised unparallel graphics as well as creating a top-notch experience that was truly lacking from the majority of most Wii games. Since then High Voltage has done their best to showcase what can be done on the Wii. Now that the game is out, did The Conduit hold up to the standards HVS promised or does this overhyped game crumble upon gamers’ expectations?
The Conduit- Single Player Campaign
The Conduit begins in what appears to be the aftermath of a subway explosion. Michael Ford, a secret service agent, regains consciousness; he then quickly discovers he must fight his way past waves of aliens, known as “The Drudge,” in order to survive. As he navigates through the subway system, he encounters a giant conduit (alien teleportation devices). As Mr. Ford enters the conduit the story flashes to five days in the past.
The story revolves around Mr. Ford as he tries to uncover the truth behind the alien invasion. He is the only person that can stop the threat but first he must discover whom he can trust. With the ASE (All Seeing Eye) in his possession, Mr. Ford has the ability to see invisible objects and solve puzzles, which makes him the most important person during this crisis. Throughout the game, he must travel across the city of Washington D.C. to stop the invasion and discover the truth.
The plot has a difficult time breaking out of the mold of typical sci-fi games. Most of what you see in The Conduit you have seen before. The game tries to throw a twist or two but can be easily seen coming. Despite the some-what typical plot, there are elements that are unique to this fps. For instance, the ASE is used to uncover hidden objects, unlock doors, hack computers, and solve puzzles throughout the game. The ASE is a fresh spin to the plot but overall feels underused.
The single player campaign is a linear experience. While this may seem like a negative aspect compared to open ended games, this game feels like a throwback to GoldenEye or Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64, which is a very positive thing.
Upon first seeing the game, it is instantly noticeable that this is a step above the majority of Wii games on the market. Using a Wii specific engine call Quantum3, High Voltage Software was able to deliver graphics and effects many believed were not possible on the Wii. From the lighting, depth of field, to the motion blur, everything runs fluid on the game. The game runs on a solid 30 frames per second. There were only a small number of times where the frames dip below 30, but never to the point where it was unplayable.
There are a variety of weapons in the game. From shotguns, sniper rifles, grenades, to bizarre futuristic weapons. Each gun handles differently and the variety keeps things fresh. Though there are a number of different weapons, I found myself sticking to a select few.
During the course of the game, players can unlock a number of achievements. This helps keep players coming back to the single play campaign. The game also keeps a number of stats ranging from the number of enemies killed to the accuracy of each gun. It is very satisfying to see these stats and realize I need to work on my accuracy. In a majority of the levels, there are hidden messages and data disk for players to discover. Finding these objects unlocks concept art.
HVS knew the importance of gameplay. So they implemented almost every option imaginable to customize the control for the Wii Remote. The player has the ability to change the controller layout, sensitivity, turning speeds, and so much more. The control scheme can literally be whatever the player wants it to be. There has never been another game that offers this level of customization for the controls. It took awhile to truly find the perfect layout for my gaming style because of the vast array of options. But once I found that sweet spot, the game became a truly incredible experience.
Overall the story feels a bit predictable and the ending seems to come out of nowhere, yet the single player experience is enjoyable because of the graphics, control options, achievements, and stats. This is a must for any Wii owner.
I have been waiting a long time, In fact ever since I heard that Nintendo would release it’s first truly wifi gaming console for an awesome online multiplayer shooter for my Nintendo needs. Two bad I had to wait about 2 and half years for it to finally happen, and I have to say the wait for the Condit was totally worth it.
I’m a video gamer, what I mean by that is I am not solely a Nintendo fan boy. Yes I love everything Nintendo but I will admit that I do own a 360 and play it. With all that said I have to say I become a hard-core Halo 3 player. I mean I a HARD-Core Halo 3 player. For any of you who play Halo 3 online, there’s always that one person who has 25 kills in the match while everyone else hangs around the 10 to 15 mark. Well I become that 25 kill person. Lets just say I realized that it was time to put down the game and take back my life.
I am telling you all of this to let you know I am going into this review knowing how a good multiplayer shooter should be (yes I will admit bungie has it down) and I am not going into this being my first online experience ever.
The Conduit online mode consists of 13 multiplayer modes 7 maps and 15 different weapons to choose from. Anywhere from energy weapons to the normal human weapons, Pistol and machineguns, can be used to destroy your foes.
Anyone who has been fallowing the development of Conduit has probably heard the beating of the hoarse with the word customization. It is really hard to describe what can exactly be customized with out actually getting your hands on it. The problem lies in the fact that everything can be pretty much custamized. You can choose from a few different already laid out controls or you can build your own controller map, placing each action to the button of flip you want. There is so much customization in the sensitivity and the dead zone that honestly I didn’t know where to start looking for my sweet spot. It probably took me 2 weeks on online playing to finally feel that I found my controller layout and sensitivity that works for me.
I have to say this is the weakest part for The Conduit online. Like I said earlier The Conduit only has 7 maps to play with. After a few hours of online play these maps may start getting a little old. Don’t get me wrong these maps are fantastic. With The Conduit each map brings it’s own uniqueness to online player and all seven are really fun.
Nintendo, Nintendo, Nintendo, when are you going to get you servers up to par with everyone else. Whatever system you play on there will always be dropped games or problems connecting, but for some reason Nintendo games are the worst. The first time I tried to get online with The Conduit, it wasn’t until my fifth try before I was able to play. I’m not going to put this as a mark against High Voltage and its game, but I am more pointing this to Nintendo.
I remember one of the High Voltage guys stating that they looked at what Bungie did with Halo when making The Conduit. With that in mind, I can see a lot of similarities between the two. I am not sure what it is but the feel of it just reminds me a lot of Halo. I am not saying the High Voltage just copied what Bungie did, but I do believe that they used Halo as a template to what they did with The Conduit.
The Conduit it not the perfect online shooter, but it is a really good start. I give the online play of The Conduit an 8.5/9.