|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: High Voltage||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SEGA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jun. 23, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1, 2-12 (Online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
June 10, 2009 - Maybe its just our culture, but for some reason, people love a good conspiracy story. Whether its books by Dan Brown, or specials on the Discovery Channel about Area 51, theres always that little urge to follow the X-Files motto and Trust No One. The Conduit is a game that encourages this type of contrarian thinking.
With a story that makes connections to basically every conspiracy-ridden organization (including the recently popularized Illuminati and the Freemasons) as well as the joint arrival of a mysterious alien organization and an infectious virus, The Conduit has plenty of paranoia-riddled storylines to satiate even the most suspicious of minds. However, when we got our chance to go hands-on with it at this years E3, it wasnt just the conspiracy-laden story that we were excited to experience.
One of the biggest features that developer High Voltage has touted throughout the development of The Conduit has been its visuals. This game is the best-looking third-party Wii game that I have ever seen, hands down. The enemies looked crisp and sharp. The environments, while not incredibly detailed, also looked clean and free of any of the dreaded jaggies so many Wii owners have come to tolerate. Texturing was smooth, and while we were told by a SEGA rep that all the damage in the game was pre-rendered, explosion effects still look great.
But, enough about how the game looks, lets talk about how it plays. The Conduit has one of the most straightforward control schemes on the Wii, and as I was playing, I found myself saying why hasnt anyone else done this? The game uses both the Wii-mote and the Nunchuk and lets you run around by using the Nunchuks thumbstick. You are then able to shoot by pointing your Wii-mote at the screen and pulling the trigger. One of the things that impressed me the most about The Conduit was that it was the only shooter on the Wii that I have ever played that did not use a rails system for movement. Being able to have the freedom to explore maps and run behind objects and discover hidden areas was certainly a welcome change for the emergent Wii shooter genre.
However, we quickly learned that The Conduit requires much more than just shooting. In addition to the arsenal of guns and grenades that your character is packing, you are also in possession of an All Seeing Eye (ASE) device that allows you to uncover clues you wouldnt normally see. This ASE device allows you to view important notes scribbled on the walls, and it can also lead you to hidden passageways. Using the ASE is as simple as pointing your Wii-mote towards items you want to investigate with the ASE device equipped. Of course, all of this technology traces back to the mysterious alien race, or the American government, and as your character dives into combat, many of the games mysteries come to life.
One final feature that we were able to check out during our time with The Conduit was the customizable control scheme. The SEGA and High voltage representatives that we spoke to about the game were quick to point out that you could change your aiming speed and shooting style in real-time, without having to worry about any pesky loading screens or discovering that you set your options too high or too low. The customization aspect of the game certainly will please hardcore fans, and it might even make the game feel a little more accessible for the not-so-hardcore audience as well.
While playing, we were also told about The Conduits multiplayer modes, which will include various strategic and combat-based levels that will support online play for up to twelve people. And in even better news, you will be able to use the WiiSpeak peripheral in order to chat with other players! Although this may be a standard feature in other shooters, I was very surprised to hear about voice chat on the Wii, and was overjoyed with the prospect of being able to talk with friends while using the Wii.
The Conduit is definitely looking to be the definitive shooting experience on the Wii, and I have to say that I was surprised that it took this long to get a real shooter for the console. The Wii-mote and Nunchuck work very well for the shooter genre, and having a shooter experience that doesnt involve the word rails was really enough to sell me on this game. However, the incredible visuals and tight control scheme have just further proven that this is a game that must be experienced on the Wii if you consider yourself among the hardcore ranks of Wii fans.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor