Conduit 2 Wii Review
Publisher – SEGA – Developer – High Voltage Software – Genre – FPS – Players – 1-12 – Age Rating – 16+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A
Many lived in hope that Wii’s The Conduit would be a real contender to rival the heavyweight FPS games on other consoles, although it just wasn’t to be. What it did do was show off how well an FPS game can play on the Wii, with a vast number of control options assuring that, if the default settings just didn’t work out for you, there was bound to be a comfortable set-up for you to discover elsewhere.
Conduit 2 picks up straight after the events of the first game, with the villain, John Adams, escaping through a conduit and the protagonist, Michael Ford, doing the heroic thing and following him through to attempt to foil his plans. The story is actually pretty bland and is seen it all before science fiction nonsense, although at least the awful tongue in cheek humour of the lead character is so bad that it’s mildly entertaining.
Conduit 2 once again presents you with an impressive array of control options: you can alter settings such as the dead zone of the Wii Remote, the turning speed and the cursor sensitivity. Nintendo’s neglected MotionPlus Wii Remote add-on can also be used with the game, which makes targeting enemies slightly more precise, while the Classic Controller is also another option. If you can’t find some control options to like here, then perhaps you should make sure that you’ve still got a pair of hands attached to your arms.
What’s certain is that, with or without MotionPlus, using the combo of the Wii Remote and nunchuck feels great in High Voltage’s Wii FPS, and the way an FPS feels is certainly an important thing for a development team to get correct. Sadly, the controls are actually superior to the game that contains them.
Don’t get me wrong, the short campaign of Conduit 2 isn’t bad at all, but, for various reasons, it just all feels a bit bland. The enemy AI is generally predictable and lacklustre, while the environments are slightly dull to shoot through. On the more positive side, there’s a collection of guns – ranging from the generic to quite imaginative – which feel good to shoot, with standouts being the Phase Rifle, which has the handy ability of firing through walls at unsuspecting targets, and another example is the AR-C Eclipse, which allows you to cloak yourself for a short while. The All-Seeing-Eye (or ASE for short) makes its return, which once again indicates objects that can be scanned (doing this can unlock various secrets, so it’s worth keeping a look out) and comes in handy when you need to do some hacking.
New additions include being able to tip objects over to create cover and you can now actually quicken the pace of Ford by holding a button down in order to sprint, which will be a welcome inclusion for many. But, I still do think that the best is yet to come for High Voltage Software and the Conduit series, at least as far as the campaign goes. The abrupt ending certainly suggests that the series could make another return in the future.
Visually, Conduit 2 looks very nice. High Voltage Software have certainly proven themselves as a developer that can really show off the Wii at its best, and here there’s a likeable enough art style, with bright colours standing out, while the frame-rate rarely drops for any serious length of time. It’s a beautiful Wii game, joining a batch that can perhaps be counted on a single hand. Sound wise, the cheesy voice acting is likeable for what it is, but the music is completely forgettable.
Multiplayer once again makes its return, but this time it’s in more form than one. Joining the online options is split screen for up to four players – a feature which was apparently one of the most requested for this sequel. The multiplayer may not have anything truly unique but it’s still nothing less than impressive for an FPS on the Wii. There are lots of modes, including ordinary options such as Deathmatches, Domination, Capture the Flag and more, while also boasting less typical modes such as ASE Basketball and Balloon Battle. There’s also a Horde-like cooperative mode, which allows you to take on waves of AI enemies with other players locally.
The multiplayer options are definitely Conduit 2’s strongest portion, as the blandness of the single player campaign does bring it down somewhat. There’s nothing truly dreadful about it, but it’s hardly a campaign that will live long in the memory. High Voltage Software has certainly achieved a lot of their goals on the Wii, with lovely visuals and highly customisable controls, but I do think that the ambitious and talented developer could do even better.