Genre: First Person Shooter Developer: Publisher: Classification: M Release Date: 30th Jul 2009 Platforms:Wii
Average of 5 Ratings
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The Conduit focuses so much on being a functional, playable first person shooter on the Wii it makes many fundamental genre specific mistakes - a forgettable storyline, pathetic AI and poor pacing dragging back what could have been a pretty good Wii game.
You read correctly - The Conduit is a Wii game. A Wii first person shooter. And if you've never played a first person shooter before the refined and focused gameplay will probably give you the impression that it's a good first person shooter. Unlike many FPS games on the Wii before it The Conduit's controls (while extremely similar) go the extra steps necessary to make the game good to play.
Controls wise you need a nunchuk and a wiimote - no wiimotion plus necessary. Moving is as simple as manipulating the thumbstick on the nunchuk, and aiming is truly point and click - you point at the person you want dead and hit the B button. You don't need to worry about much more beyond this exactly - like most first person shooters all you really need to know is how to move and shoot, and the rest of it will come to you as you play.
TC actually does some interesting things control wise - throwing grenades resembles actually flinging an explosive weapon - though not exactly 1:1 replication. The All Seeing Eye - the device used to open doors and find secret passages - is a fairly cool (if generic) concept. Basically you have an orb which acts like a supernatural torch - it lights up and interacts with elements of your environment, allowing you to progress on. It reminded me of the Librarian from Halo - a small helpful orb - and it's probably no accident, as this game is supposed to be the Wii's Halo. Despite the controls it can be difficult to turn as fast as you need to - you'll find often you will point the wiimote too far off screen when being shot from behind, resulting in your character not turning at all.
This harms the pacing - out of necessity the game isn't a rollercoaster adventure ride - more a merry-go-round of thrills and spills. This allows you time to turn around and shoot the enemies as they approach/appear - a necessary evil. It seems these types of concessions pepper the game - the AI is woeful - you can find a corner to hide behind while each enemy runs into your line of fire in almost every encounter. The graphics aren't amazing - but it's a Wii game. Nobody is expecting Killzone 2. And the multiplayer is a bit hit and miss - the game works well and the servers are good, but I encountered massive lag spikes I attributed to the console's networking - not the game.
In fact, the only really unforgivable flaw in the game is the terrible storyline - you're contacted by a man from a clandestine organisation (he actually tells you he is from a clandestine organisation) to stop some unknown threat from destroying the world. Then you bust your hump through the game as various extremely predictable plot twists take place before you're eventually left with a feeling of apathy so strong it defies meaning. It pushes me to hope that if The Conduit sells well enough to warrant a sequel instead they take the money and start over - the game universe is so bland and uninteresting a sequel would be a massive mistake.
As an idea, a proof of things to come on the Wii, The Conduit is quite good. Playing a First Person Shooter on the Wii certainly takes more concentration than on any other console - if only to stop yourself from pointing off the screen too far - but once you get into the groove it feels very, very natural. Even as a game on the Wii it's fairly good - as I said earlier, people with no previous first person shooter experience will enjoy the game.
In a world where First Person Shooters come free with pizza (Pizza Hut gave away the Battlefield series for a while for those of you leading a healthier lifestyle than me.) The Conduit really doesn't stand out in the crowd. If anything; other, better games are sitting on its shoulders. Definitely only a purchase for punters who only have a Wii to fulfill their gaming needs.