Giant Bomb Review

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The Conduit Review

2
  • Wii

The Conduit checks most of the boxes on a first-person shooter features list, but it comes together in a very bland way.


The ASE lets you open doors and find secrets.
The Conduit is slow-moving first-person shooter with a flat story and dull enemies. Considering first-person shooters seem to be getting released at the rate of one or two a month, you'd think there wouldn't be room for a game that doesn't come close to meeting the standards of the genre. But The Conduit carves out a decent niche by being one of the few games that take place from this perspective and were developed solely for the Wii. As a Wii-only release, The Conduit is kind of neat and certainly unique. But it's more interesting for the way it uses a Wii Remote and Nunchuk than it is as an actual game.

The game's story is your typical alien-filled and shadowy government conspiracy that doesn't really go anywhere. All you really need to know is that the bug-like alien troops come out of glowing portals called conduits. So a lot of the gameplay tasks you with fighting your way up to a conduit, and then shutting it with a grenade. You'll also have to pull out the all-seeing eye, a glowing orb that acts as your primary way to interact with computers and as a beam that reveals hidden objects in the world. Sometimes you'll use this to unlock doors that block your forward progress. Other times, you'll use it to open up secret pathways to additional weaponry, disarm normally invisible mines, and so on.

You can hold two weapons at once, and you'll encounter weapons from different factions, including secret high-tech energy weapons, alien rifles, and regular human technology. You'll also grab a lot of grenades... seriously, sometimes it seems like every single enemy has a grenade on their corpse. You toss grenades by shaking the Nunchuk, which isn't always as responsive as you'd want.

Playing The Conduit requires a Wii Remote and a Nunchuk. The control is pretty intuitive, but it takes time to get used to aiming and turning by pointing at the screen. I probably fumbled around with the aiming control for around half an hour before I started getting comfortable. The game offers a lot of different sliders and options for tweaking the control, but I ended up leaving it alone in the end. The more I changed things, the worse the control felt. But even once you get the hang of the controls, it all feels a little delicate. The lock-on targeting jerks your view around, which can be disorienting. The turning radius never feels quite right and makes the game seem sluggish. In fact, all of the movement feels deliberately slower than the average shooter. But the game seems like it was built with that in mind, as it's a fairly low-impact experience overall. The instances where it gets more hectic quickly became my least favorite parts of the game, since that's when the game's control wasn't up to the task at hand.

You can open fire on live targets in the online multiplayer mode.
Overall, the campaign is short and uneventful, with plenty of repetitive moments and enough atrocious voice acting to make you almost glad that it's not particularly long. It's backed up by some decent multiplayer that comes in deathmatch, team deathmatch, and a capture the flag variant where players attempt to capture the ASE. While the control sort of got in my way here from time to time, there's really nothing else quite like it on the Wii. Heck, it even has support for the WiiSpeak peripheral, which hasn't seen any use since it was released alongside Animal Crossing: City Folk. Unfortunately, you'll have to exchange friend codes with other people who own a WiiSpeak if you actually want to use it, as it's disabled in games with random opponents. But if you've been following the way Nintendo rolls with its online feature set, that probably won't come as much of a surprise.

It has a generic look to it, but The Conduit doesn't look bad. The environments can get sort of large, and the areas are detailed well enough. You'll probably notice that those environments aren't destructible, and the enemy design is kind of lame. It also maintains a good, smooth frame rate throughout.

If you're just comparing it to other action games released on the Wii, The Conduit does some interesting things with its control and with its multiplayer modes. But other aspects, like the poor story, bland design, and awful voice acting, would be just as bad on any platform. It's that stuff that drags The Conduit down into an area where it's tough to recommend without providing a boatload of caveats. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
183 Comments
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Posted by Milkman

Wii fanboy freak out in 3...2...1...

Posted by Akeldama

totally agree. I just hope this is not considered high quality wii stuff. 

Edited by Gahzoo

Blah, I was hoping this would end up being worthwhile, but since I have a PC and 360, i won't pick this up.

Posted by PureRok

If only they had put as much time into the actual gameplay as they did into making the controls customizable.

Posted by Octaslash

Maybe I'm a little off base here, but it sounds like Jeff doesn't play many Wii games.

I know people get tired of hearing this, but The Conduit is good... for a Wii game.

Posted by OmegaPirate

Thats unfortunate, i was likingt he sounds of all the custmoization available for this game, but it doesnt seem they made much of a game for you to WANT to spend time customising for - ah well, still got islent hill and dead space :D

Posted by CL60

Oh snap.

Posted by Bremmy

Not a great start for High Voltage. I hope their other titles will work out better. 

Posted by Hyuzen

I really enjoyed the conduit, since the wii is my only console (in the process of getting a 360) my last real fps was probably half life 2 on the pc. i noticed that turning did seem a little slow, but i really liked the customization of the controls. (and theres probably some option to change your turn speed) I thought the difficulty would spike in a lot of places and i'd be redoing stuff over and over. Also the game is very dark. I would pull out the ASE just so that i would have a light. its probably the darkest game I ever played.
But like many have been saying, if you only have a wii the conduit is probably a must have game.

Also, anyone else have trouble getting into a free for all match in mutliplayer? i waited for at least 15 minutes to get a match going several times but it never worked that well. I didn't have the same kind of trouble for team stuff but i'm wondering if other people had similer problems?

Posted by spiceninja

Seems like IGN is the only place to actually like the game a lot. They have been hyping for a while. Oh well, I guess I'll be passing on this game. Next time High Voltage needs to maybe make their game look a little more original and that doesn't mean making it look super stylized and over the top. There are so many of those games coming out on the Wii that they're becoming generic.

Posted by ChunkyB

I haven't played the game, but all the videos I've seen remind me a lot of Half Life 1. Like, a lot. And I love Half Life, and I still find it enjoyable, but it's over 10 years old. Going from one room to the next room to a train car to another room doesn't really hold up in today's first-person shooter filled market. Even with the "for a wii game" caveat, I still think it looks really bland.

Posted by JJOR64

DUDE, OMG!  I HATE YOU GUYS NOW!  j/k  For some reason, this game just looked odd from the start.  I'm sticking with my 360 for shooters now.

Online
Posted by spiceninja
@toorbine: And there's Wii fanboy flipout #1. Can't wait to see more!
Posted by OmegaPirate
@toorbine said:
" Another JOKE review after the hillarious virtua tennis one! (the motion+ video)i still cant stop laughing watching those 2 playing tennis like my grandmother and complaining that is NOT workinghahahaha seriously this was the most stupid video review EVER i mean E V E RDont listen the crap u must have a serious problem if u need time to adjust to the PERFECT control scheme in conduitthe game rules and its campaign mode is excellentway better than halo and killzone combined (in campaign mode)i experienced some slowdown online that ruined the game but it was my connection's faultA+ game one of the best lately "
Your grandmother must be pretty spritely to be able to play tennis in such a manner ^_^
Posted by MaddProdigy

Nice review, knew most of this just from the quick look

Posted by BadazzSC

2 out of 5? man thats harsh... not fair Jeff not fair..

Posted by Hailinel

"Playing The Conduit requires a Wii Remote and a Nunchuk. The control is pretty intuitive, but it takes time to get used to aiming and turning by pointing at the screen. I probably fumbled around with the aiming control for around half an hour before I started getting comfortable."

I take it that Jeff never played Metroid Prime 3, then.

Posted by super_machine

This game always looked weak to me. Then again, I was playing FPS on PC that looked better than this six years ago.

Posted by TripMasterMunky

I never got why people got so excited for this game. Sure it's a more "mature" game, but it still never really looked that original.

Posted by DarkGamerOO7
@toorbine said:
" Another JOKE review after the hillarious virtua tennis one! (the motion+ video)i still cant stop laughing watching those 2 playing tennis like my grandmother and complaining that is NOT workinghahahaha seriously this was the most stupid video review EVER i mean E V E RDont listen the crap u must have a serious problem if u need time to adjust to the PERFECT control scheme in conduitthe game rules and its campaign mode is excellentway better than halo and killzone combined (in campaign mode)i experienced some slowdown online that ruined the game but it was my connection's faultA+ game one of the best lately "
Better than Halo or Killzone? I really hope you are joking, so a game you like got a bad review...cry me a river.
Posted by Irishjohn

I know this is a terrible reason to make your mind up about a game, but I was completely turned off this game by the box art.  This review (and the preview videos I'd seen before the game came out) seem to confirm the game is as bland as that art suggests.  Pity.

Posted by tactis

dont have a Wii but thats about right just looking at the QL you all did

Posted by Milkman
@Hailinel said:
" "Playing The Conduit requires a Wii Remote and a Nunchuk. The control is pretty intuitive, but it takes time to get used to aiming and turning by pointing at the screen. I probably fumbled around with the aiming control for around half an hour before I started getting comfortable."I take it that Jeff never played Metroid Prime 3, then. "
Probably not. Is that some sort of required playing for a video game reviewer?
Posted by spiceninja
@Irishjohn: Yeah, it seems High Voltage did everything wrong in terms of presentation. The game looks so generic and the box art isn't helping.
Posted by Meptron
@toorbine said:
"Another JOKE review after the hillarious virtua tennis one! (the motion+ video)i still cant stop laughing watching those 2 playing tennis like my grandmother and complaining that is NOT workinghahahaha seriously this was the most stupid video review EVER i mean E V E RDont listen the crap u must have a serious problem if u need time to adjust to the PERFECT control scheme in conduitthe game rules and its campaign mode is excellentway better than halo and killzone combined (in campaign mode)i experienced some slowdown online that ruined the game but it was my connection's faultA+ game one of the best lately"

hehe...
Posted by spiceninja
@Milkman said:
" @Hailinel said:
" "Playing The Conduit requires a Wii Remote and a Nunchuk. The control is pretty intuitive, but it takes time to get used to aiming and turning by pointing at the screen. I probably fumbled around with the aiming control for around half an hour before I started getting comfortable."I take it that Jeff never played Metroid Prime 3, then. "
Probably not. Is that some sort of required playing for a video game reviewer? "
It probably is if your going to review Wii FPS games since MP3 had perfect controls. Playing it would be a good point of reference for other Wii FPS games.
Posted by gidoff

It's sad how a revolutionary game like this ends to have so many flaws...
 

Posted by Babble

I think this may need to be pointed out before the fanboys freak out, which it appears has already happened. Reviews are simply opinion based articles where the writer gives you their thoughts on the game. If you like the game that that's awesome and if you don't that's your own choice.

Posted by GodzillaVsJapan

I just saw a commercial for this game and it didn't look impressive at all

Posted by ElectricHaggis

This isn't entirely surprising.  Nice review though.

Posted by C0V3RT

Ouch. 
The beauty of reviews is that it's one persons point of view.  For the people getting butt hurt - you probably had your mind made up before Jeff reviewed the game, so why get all worked up?
Good review though, Jeff.

Posted by spiceninja
@ViolentPsycho said:
" It's sad how a revolutionary game like this ends to have so many flaws...  "
When did anyone ever say that the game was revolutionary?
Edited by jakob187

So was this being played on the hardest difficulty at any point, and did you ever end up adjusting the dead zone unlike what you did in the Quick Look?  I'm just curious, as giving a 2-star review to this game will surely catch all kinds of Hell from the Nintendo fanboys.


I'll reserve judgment for my own hands, but I'm also not expecting too much.

Also...this game comes from the same folks that brought your Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude.  People were expecting that because it was a Wii game with depth-of-field and other graphical doo-dads, it would be a good game?
Posted by Nadril

I called this when I first heard about this game, to be honest. I don't know how someone could even praise this game.

Edited by Metal_Mills
@Milkman said:
" Wii fanboy freak out in 3...2...1... "
Jeff: "Intensify the forward batteries. I don't want anything to get through…Intensify forward firepower!"
*Sees fanboys*
Ryan: "Too late!"




Posted by Azteck
@toorbine said:
" Another JOKE review after the hillarious virtua tennis one! (the motion+ video)i still cant stop laughing watching those 2 playing tennis like my grandmother and complaining that is NOT workinghahahaha seriously this was the most stupid video review EVER i mean E V E RDont listen the crap u must have a serious problem if u need time to adjust to the PERFECT control scheme in conduitthe game rules and its campaign mode is excellentway better than halo and killzone combined (in campaign mode)i experienced some slowdown online that ruined the game but it was my connection's faultA+ game one of the best lately "

If you're going all butt hurt over Jeff's review, then you probably realized that the game is in fact a piece of shit and you're doing everything to justify your waste of money.

Or maybe you're actually enjoying it in which case, good for you. Go play the game and stop your crying.
Posted by spiceninja
@toorbine said:
" I didnt say is BETTER game than Halo!i said it has better CAMPAIGN mode of course is not overall better than Halo, halo is my fav fps (although i never finished its campaign mode because its super boring although im level 39 in multiplayer)in my work office more than 30 people played the conduit and everyone LOVED IT also virtua tennis with motion+ toobut the bashing that these 2 games take never happened before!and because some people still CANT play with a wiimote. u know what? i dont care if someone prefer a normal controller or mouse and keyb then play another console. its a wii game and u have to review it based on what it has and how it works. "
I smell a liar.
Posted by TheMasterDS
@PlasmaBeam44 said:
" @Milkman said:
" @Hailinel said:
" "Playing The Conduit requires a Wii Remote and a Nunchuk. The control is pretty intuitive, but it takes time to get used to aiming and turning by pointing at the screen. I probably fumbled around with the aiming control for around half an hour before I started getting comfortable."I take it that Jeff never played Metroid Prime 3, then. "
Probably not. Is that some sort of required playing for a video game reviewer? "
It probably is if your going to review Wii FPS games since MP3 had perfect controls. Playing it would be a good point of reference for other Wii FPS games. "
Well honestly, it could easily be that the controlls of conduit are just bad. Prime 3 wasn't really about the manual aiming, more the lock on system modified by manual aiming. Plus in Prime 3 you didn't have to line up your pointer with the guy to lock on, causing the moment where you have to readjust, he just had to be in the screen if I remember right.

Actually, didn't they compare the graphics to Prime 3 in the quick look? There you go then, they know of it.
Posted by Babble
@toorbine said:
" I didnt say is BETTER game than Halo!i said it has better CAMPAIGN mode of course is not overall better than Halo, halo is my fav fps (although i never finished its campaign mode because its super boring although im level 39 in multiplayer)in my work office more than 30 people played the conduit and everyone LOVED IT also virtua tennis with motion+ toobut the bashing that these 2 games take never happened before!and because some people still CANT play with a wiimote. u know what? i dont care if someone prefer a normal controller or mouse and keyb then play another console. its a wii game and u have to review it based on what it has and how it works. "
Yeah but at the end of the day Jeff didn't like the game. Apparently you did. That changes nothing. If you like that game then fantastic, enjoy your purchase. You have an opinion that is different from the one presented in the review, neither is more valid then the other.

A bad review for a game shouldn't affect the enjoyment you are already have, if it does you are just insecure about a purchase and want to justify it.
Posted by Cynic04
@Azteck said:
" @toorbine said:
" Another JOKE review after the hillarious virtua tennis one! (the motion+ video)i still cant stop laughing watching those 2 playing tennis like my grandmother and complaining that is NOT workinghahahaha seriously this was the most stupid video review EVER i mean E V E RDont listen the crap u must have a serious problem if u need time to adjust to the PERFECT control scheme in conduitthe game rules and its campaign mode is excellentway better than halo and killzone combined (in campaign mode)i experienced some slowdown online that ruined the game but it was my connection's faultA+ game one of the best lately "
If you're going all butt hurt over Jeff's review, then you probably realized that the game is in fact a piece of shit and you're doing everything to justify your waste of money.Or maybe you're actually enjoying it in which case, good for you. Go play the game and stop your crying. "
You gotta try to understand the mind of a fanboy, enjoying a game is secondary to: 
1) Shitting on anyone who doesn't love every game for your system.
2) Shitting on anyone enjoying a game for a different system.

That being said, Jeff's review is going to come in a the very bottom of the metacritic rank's, a good bit below all the other reviewers, where its currently sitting at a 75.
Edited by ChickenPants
@toorbine said:
" Another JOKE review after the hillarious virtua tennis one! (the motion+ video)i still cant stop laughing watching those 2 playing tennis like my grandmother and complaining that is NOT workinghahahaha seriously this was the most stupid video review EVER i mean E V E RDont listen the crap u must have a serious problem if u need time to adjust to the PERFECT control scheme in conduitthe game rules and its campaign mode is excellentway better than halo and killzone combined (in campaign mode)i experienced some slowdown online that ruined the game but it was my connection's faultA+ game one of the best lately "
Deluded fanboy alert!!!!

I mean, the guy's got Mario as his avatar...

Agree 100% with the review Jeff.

Posted by Azteck
@toorbine said:
" @Babble: Yes i agree but this is why i mentioned the wii motion+ video reviewthere you can see the shocking truth about how these people review gamessearch for the video and look how they even hold the wiimote and they are complaining that it doesnt make ANY difference in the gamefor VT 2009!everyone that played it was blown away by its accuraccy at least my friend know how to hold a tennis rackert and we played tennis in our livesthese 2 are not even worth to review a tennis game they are just waving the wiimote to make the flies go away or smthif i have to try these guys for my purchases then sorry there is a problem here.look the video and judge by yourselfim not going to reply anymore a a 3 or4 is OK for the conduit even if u are a biased hater but 2? i mean cmon 2? is a LIE "
First of all, how old are you? Your grammar and spelling looks like a 7 year olds.

I think you should seriously stop trying to justify your purchase of these two games by ranting/flaming on a review. If you enjoyed it, good for you!

I watched the video, it looked like they were trying, did you watch it in LOW quality, since you saw something I didn't?
Posted by DarkGamerOO7

Quick Run Jeff! I feel we have another Twilight Princess reaction on our hands!

Posted by Skillface
@toorbine

"Date Joined: June 21, 2009"

Hmm...
Posted by ChickenPants
@toorbine said:
" @ChickenPants: it was the best avatar i could choose i dont care for mario or nintendo, i own all consoles i even have 3DO and Amiga CD32 im not a nintendo fanboy but some things are just stupid.. like the conduit getting 2 out of 5 here. "
He didn't like the game and pointed out its obvious flaws that aren't acceptable in games nowadays.It's his opinion, and if you don't like it fine by me.
I myself would have given this game 1 star.

Posted by Hailinel

It's not like Jeff's opinion on this is make it or break it, anyway.  Going by metacritic, the game has scored average to well, with some poor reviews.  No one is calling it a 10.0 knock out, but it's hardly the worst game in the world, either.

Posted by Metal_Mills
@toorbine said:
" @ChickenPants: it was the best avatar i could choose i dont care for mario or nintendo, i own all consoles i even have 3DO and Amiga CD32 im not a nintendo fanboy but some things are just stupid.. like the conduit getting 2 out of 5 here. "
You know it's gotta pretty average scores everywhere not just here. 1up gave it a C+, Gamespot have it 6.5, Gamespy 3 and a half stars. All complaining about the same things Jeff has a part from the controls.
Posted by insanejedi

After my Prince of Persia review, I feel for reviewers who feel like they have to put a bad score on a well written review on a game that most people find better than what I think. Like Greg Kasavin says, "You can't argue with someone's experience. All you can say is "I'm sorry for wasting your god damn time."".

Good job speaking on your own opinion Jeff.

Posted by WEGGLES
@Octaslash said:
" Maybe I'm a little off base here, but it sounds like Jeff doesn't play many Wii games. I know people get tired of hearing this, but The Conduit is good... for a Wii game. "
But the wii isn't a major console. It shouldn't look good... for a wii game. It should just be... GOOD.
Posted by RVonE

ZOMG! The review is not consonant with my own experience; the review must be wrong!

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