Note: The pictures provided, DO NOT, do this game justice. If you really want to see how beautiful this game looks, go find a high quality Youtube clip to watch go better, GO play the game!
Its been almost two years in the making and it's FINALLY here. I'm talking about the long awaited Wii game from High Voltage Studios, The Conduit. The Conduit is not just any first person shooter, many Wii owners might consider this game to be the "golden child" of Wii games. When High Voltage first started this project, they set out to deliver a game that would give Wii owners a "hardcore" experience similar to that found on the X-Box 360 and PlayStation 3. Did they deliver? Yes!
The game has two major modes, a single player mode and a online only, multiplayer mode. In the single player mode you play as Agent Ford. I will do my best to not reveal much of the story but it involves the traditional alien invasion gimmick. What makes this game different than other "aliens taking over the world stories", are the government conspiracies that take place in the background. There are a few twist and you will spend some time trying to figure out who is friend or foe. Overall the story is a bit short with just nine levels but pretty enjoyable if you take it for what it is.
During the story you come into possession of a item called the "All Seeing Eye" (ASE for short). The ASE serves its purpose as the puzzle element of the game. To be honest this feature is hardly used outside the following; secret room with weapons, invisible mines, hacking into computers and unlocking doors. There are times where the use of this device seems logical and even interesting. The down part is, there are a lot of times where the ASE becomes very annoying. There were many times where I found myself in the middle of a gun fight, only to have the ASE start beeping because of some invisible mine. This forces you to choose to finish off enemies or take a few hits and focus on disabling the mine. Doing the latter becomes increasingly more frustrating when there are spawning points for more enemies to appear.
While there are also a nice variety of weapons, you find yourself reloading a lot and ammunition in some levels is scarce. There were times where I even found myself running and punching enemies, just to survive. I have to admit that some of the weapons were a joy to play with and while I did end up punching a lot of enemies, there was something slightly gratifying about it. Weapons are divided into three main types, Human, Trust (think futuristic human) and Drudge (alien weapons). Human weapons of course use bullets while Trust weapons use plasma energy and Drudge weapons use bio mass. Eventually as you play, you will begin to figure out which weapons are right for certain situations.
When it comes to controls, there is no shooter like The Conduit. Almost every aspect of the game is fully customizable. You can change actions to different button, change how fast you run, how fast you turn and even the placement of items on the heads up display (HUD) and how transparent they are. If you purchase this game and find yourself not liking the default controls, feel free to play around with the options. You would be hard pressed to find something that does not work for you!
Aside form the gameplay and controls The Conduit is BEAUTIFUL! High Voltage set out to make this game visually comparable to anything found on the 360 and PS3 and with the help of their Quantum 3 engine, they succeeded. This game features such effects like bloom lighting, reflections, interactive water, HDR imaging, detailed and animated textures as well as bump mapping. The textures are so detailed that I often times found myself walking extremely close to a wall just to look at them. Things like tiles and wood and metals, textures do not pixelate, no matter how close you are. Granted there were a few things that really didn't match up with the rest of the game (i.e. the city backdrop image) but aside from that the game looks like your playing a early 360 title in standard definition and that's saying a lot.
While playing, you will come across a lot of unlockables and the game even features an achievements system. There is special developer artwork as well as special codes that will serve as reasons for players to keep moving forward. The final part of this game, the multiplayer mode is a little slice of WiFi heaven on Earth. All of your settings form the single player mode can be used in this one. You can play against 11 other people (total of 12 per room) with Wii Speak voice chat supported. There are three main categories of games, Team Reaper, Team Objective and Free For All. You can also play all three types in a friends match, regional or worldwide match. Within the three main multiplayer types are sub games such a ASE football where a player tries to hold onto the ASE for as long as he or she can without being killed. Bounty Hunter is another mode in which each player is given a target. Players are deducted points for killing a player, but gain points for offing their target while defending yourself from your hunter has no effect on your score. Overall the WiFi mode in this game is one of the best experiences I have had on the Wii.
If you are still trying to decide on whether to purchase this game or not, do it! Personally I cant seem to pry myself away from the multiplayer mode. The game is beautiful to look at and plays like a charm. It may be lacking in certain small areas but more than makes up for that by creating a very solid first person shooter experience. The Conduit is a must have in any Wii owner's library!