We all know how popular the Wii has been since its launch in 2006. Nintendo’s console made gaming more mainstream and accessible but unfortunately the Big N made a Big Mistake by dropping the hardcore fans and constantly release party, family and kiddiegames. SEGA tries to reach the hardcore audience with The Conduit and make them blow away the centimeters of dust from their Wii.
The Conduit is set in Washington D.C. where Michael Ford, a Secret Service agent, gets involved in a conspiracy. The Trust commands you to take on some insect-like aliens called The Drugde. It comes down to preventing an alien invasion with your arsenal of weapons. Unfortunately the story is extremely cliché and at no time manages to fascinate, amaze or even amuse.
Despite the weak story, the game does shine in gameplay, more specifically the perfect integration of the Wii-mote. Of course it’s used for aiming while you move through the levels with your Nunchuck. All buttons are used cleverly and are easily accessible. The controls can also be completely adjusted to your liking by means of several bars. A small downpoint is experienced after doing a melee attack. As you have to waive your Wiimote the camera dares to act strange so that you have to reorient yourself again.
In total The Conduit has nine missions but unfortunately these pass by faster than the ending credits. You’ll need only a small four or five hours to finish the singleplayer which is extremely short! Luckily the guys from High Voltage added a decent multiplayer mode that performs excellently for a Wii game. No crap with exchanging Friends codes, but immediately shooting each other online in 6vs6 games. The multiplayer also supports the optional Wii Speak with which you can tear down opponents or run over the strategies with your team mates. The seven playable maps are based on the singleplayer levels with as result an uninspired “been there, done that” layout though.
Overall the game is put together quite skimpy. Next to the simple story and inspirationless multiplayer maps also other shortcomings are present. The opponent AI is certainly not the best we’ve seen. Adversaries either come straight to you or jump behind a crate or wall at regular intervals. Also increasing the difficulty degree won’t deliver smarter aliens or more hostiles but only a small increase of their health.
Audiovisually The Conduit is the best we’ve seen on the Wii. The developers promised equal graphics to the first generation on the PS3/X360 but unfortunately the game doesn’t live up to that promise. Still, the enemies look detailed, weapons react correctly and the moves your character makes feel realistic. Next to that the in-game soundtrack makes for a good atmosphere and the sound effects are pretty decent as well. Unfortunately all levels look similar with only here and there a small difference in color and there are no outdoor landscapes.
High Voltage spent a lot of time and energy in developing The Conduit and the end products shows it. The Quantum3 engine delivers nice graphics compared to other Wii games and the controls can be called near-perfect. Unfortunately the singleplayer mode lacks inspiration and is incredibly short. The developer promised a superior FPS-experience that would be a benchmark for the Wii in graphics and controls but although everything is ok, it’s nothing special. Luckily this is partially compensated by a very accessible multiplayer mode. Hardcore Wii gamers can relax again as in the end The Conduit did turn out quite fine.