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The Conduit Review

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Developer: High Voltage Software Publisher: Sega
Release Date: June 23, 2009 Available On: Wii

In need of a good First Person Shooter for the Wii, High Voltage went to work on one. It was unveiled at E3 2008 as The Conduit, although it lacked a publisher at the time. It quickly gained attention of the gaming media as a Wii shooter that could satisfy hardcore gamers. Now that The Conduit is finally out, does it live up to the hype?

The storyline is certainly out there. It reminds me somewhat of the X-Files in the conspiratorial nature of the plot mixed in with sci-fi. An alien invasion is taking place in Washington D.C. and your job is to stop it. The game takes place across the city with a number of different landmarks being featured as levels in the game – everywhere from the Library of Congress to the White House and Pentagon.

There are nine missions in all spread across these various landmarks, as well as the base of the invaders. Some of them remind me a lot of GoldenEye in their design. A part of the Pentagon seems a lot like the Control Room with floods of enemies coming at you as you hack computer terminals (instead of protecting Tanya you have to protect yourself). Others seem to have a clear Perfect Dark inspiration, particularly the later levels.

Most of the enemies seem to be inspired by Halo and Perfect Dark. They even make noises that are similar to the Covenant. There are also human enemies that look like FBI agents, special forces units and these Moonraker looking spacesuit guys known as the “Trust”. Some of the little alien guys are one shot kills, although most of the enemies take 2 to 3 solid shots. The enemies can regain their health just like you, so you have to keep constant fire on them. There is a lock-on ability with Z to help you with your aim. This button also tells you the health of the enemy.

The game supports “achievements”, although not exactly what you get on the Xbox 360 or PS3, since it is strictly specific to The Conduit (i.e. no gamer score). You can unlock a number of cheat codes that you can turn around and use in single-player, which can be pretty neat and add some replay value to the game. A couple of them include a one shot kill and unlimited ammo, among others.

The game runs in 480p if you have component cables. I highly recommend that you drop the $15 that they cost as the resolution is roughly twice as good. I played through most of the game with composite cables on my 1080p HDTV and it looks like garbage. The component cables help bring out the ambient lighting, bump mapping and just generally provide better clarity.

Most of your replay value is going to come in the form of the online multi-player. I have to say that this is definitely the best done online multi-player game for Wii. Not only does it support Wii Speak voice chat, you can stick with the same lobby of people throughout, as well as vote on different game elements. You can play with Friends, Regional or Worldwide in three game modes: Free for All, Team Reaper and Team Objective.

Free for All is of course just you against the world in game types such as Deathmatch, “ASE Football” (similar to capture the skull in Halo) and others. Team Reaper is a team-based mode where you just do the same game types with other people on your team. Team Objective of course incorporates various objectives into the mix. The game connects you with people that have similar rank as you do. It is fair to say that this is the Wii’s Halo, at least as far as the multi-player is concerned, as the two are quite similar.

The Conduit mostly lives up to the hype that preceded it. The single-player story only lasts about five or six hours, but can be replayed on higher difficulties. Which reminds me, the AI in The Conduit is absolutely brutal. Of the five difficulties offered, I had trouble just getting through on the second easiest. The online multi-player is where most of the replay value is though. I have one thing to ask High Voltage and Sega: please release a sequel on a platform with HD graphics! I can only imagine what this game would play like on a true next-gen system like the PS3. I am all for motion controls, but the Wii does not have enough power to compete with the likes of Killzone 2 and Gears of War 2. The Conduit proves that it can hold its own, but not much beyond that.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8.3
Written by Kyle Write a User Review