Giant Bomb Review

183 Comments

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 Metal_Mills
@WEGGLES said:
" @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. "
 It shouldn't look good... for a wii game. It should just be... GOOD. "
I agree with this. There were some amazing games last gen on systems weaker than the Wii. Nothing is holding it back but developers.
Posted by Guerrilla_Mason

I don't know if this has been said before, but I kind of wish Giantbomb would do something like the 2nd opinion thing Game Informer does.  I'm sure Jeff whole heartedly agrees with everything he wrote there, and I'm sure a lot of other people do, too, but Ryan seemed to be enjoying it. I'd like maybe a few paragraphs from him on this 

Edited by gormers

Not very surprising, except for that it sounds like you didnt like the controls as much as others. This just look so.. bland and boring. The graphics is not pretty, even though it has some effects rarely shown for the Wii. I would take metroid 3, mario galaxy etc over this any day.

I actually kinda had fun playing red steel (even though that game too had slow gameplay and not so good voice acting), but I dont think  I would enjoy this one, no matter how great the controls is.

BTW the box art for the game looks like the next cover art for the mega man game, Im not sure if thats a good or a bad thing:P
The review was a little disjointed and a tad short, like this text:P

Posted by PureRok
@WEGGLES said:
" @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. "
I like how you turned what they said into graphics. Typical. He was talking about the overall quality. However, he was still wrong; it isn't good"... even for a Wii game."
Posted by Nasar7

Two stars seems harsh. No offense, but since Jeff doesn't like FPSs or the Wii in general, why is he reviewing this?

Posted by Oy

Glad to see a review that realizes the game should be good first, and not just settle for "good for a Wii game". 

Posted by ColumnBreaker
@Nasar7 said:
" ...but since Jeff doesn't like FPSs or the Wii in general, why is he reviewing this? "
Who on the staff would you prefer? I'm pretty sure the review would've came out the same way, and I'm glad it came from Jeff simply because he doesn't feel the need to hold back when a game is lacking. The Conduit is no exception, as the general consensus of most other reviews will tell you.
Posted by ChickenPants
@Nasar7 said:
" Two stars seems harsh. No offense, but since Jeff doesn't like FPSs or the Wii in general, why is he reviewing this? "
See Jeff's 5 star Killzone 2 review for how much he likes FPSs.

It's hard to like the Wii sometimes, especially if I'm looking for a FPS fix.
Posted by Metal_Mills
@Nasar7 said:
" Two stars seems harsh. No offense, but since Jeff doesn't like FPSs or the Wii in general, why is he reviewing this? "
Since when hasn't he liked FPS's? And not liking many games on a system isn't hating the Wii in general. He gave Klonoa and Smash Bros 4 stars. That's hardly disliking the Wii.
Posted by Nasar7
@ColumnBreaker: I don't think anyone on the GB staff holds back on a game or is afraid to criticize it for its faults. I would've liked Ryan to review it instead, he seemed more neutral on the matter. But I guess that doesn't really matter. Don't misunderstand, I was never going to buy this game and have no personal attachment to it. So more importantly I'm just saying from the tone of Jeff's review I would've given it 3 stars, average. Nothing special, but not a bad game either: Average.
Posted by Nasar7
@ChickenPants: Yes, I'm quite familiar with the Killzone 2 review, but that has nothing to do with this. Jeff says on bombcasts and such how he FPSs aren't really his thing. I believe he says it quite clearly also in the latest episode of the ER (97) when talking about ArmAII.

And yes, I agree that it can be hard to like the Wii, even if you're not looking for an FPS fix.
Posted by ChickenPants
@Nasar7: The Killzone 2 review does show that even if he doesn't like FPS games too much he will give a good example of the genre praise when he thinks it is deserved.
Posted by Krakn3Dfx

2 out of 5 is low, too low IMO, I would go at least 3.  No, it didn't bring anything new to the table really, but for the console it's on, it's fun and it was one of the few times I felt compelled to play until the end.

Yeah, the control customization is somewhat daunting, but as someone who has spent 2-3 hours trying to get a game running on a PC, the 10-15 minutes I used to get the right feel from Conduit was time well spent for a worthwhile experience.

Personally, I would do like 3.5/5  It's definitely got its issues, but none of them are so bad that you shouldn't be able to get past them and enjoy the game for what it is.  For gamers who only have a Wii, this is, IMO, a worthy title to pick up.

Unfortunately, I can't imagine too many people who come to this site ONLY have a Wii, if they have one at all.

Posted by dahuman

I love it when some reviewers only touch the Wiimote when they absolutely have to because it's simply witchcraft in their eyes =) goto youtube, search for dahuman, check out my SP playthrough and see how it's controlled in the hands of somebody who's willing to try new things all the time. sure, I'm also a PC gamer(or HD consoles, whatev, dual analog isn't as good though,) shooters are still the best on PC, but I've also wondered about the potential of the Wiimote since day one, and this game proves it. If the reviewer is actually good at the controls, it's at least 1-2 stars up, if not, too bad =). If you do have a Wii, I urge you to get this and online mp time is well spent because you'd meet some people who are damn good at the controls too, if you don't have a Wii, just look at my playthrough and see how the controls feel and see the potential if there is a conduit 2 with higher budget and dev time (this game was only 10mil and about 1 and half year or lower dev time from a ground up engine.)

Posted by Cheapoz

What was anyone expecting?


No-name game developer creates a game in the genre nobody is going to play on a system not suited to it that looked blander than Goldeneye.

Ugh.
Posted by Crono

I love the first sentence of this review.  I went and grabbed popcorn after reading it; knew this was going to be good.

I liked the review a lot.  My initial response to the conduit when it was in the way-back-when unveiling phase was "That's sort of cool" but as I saw more and more it became so bland looking.  I think this review is fair.  Jeff is just being honest, isn't that what we come here and expect from reviews?  I know I do.

Posted by corgorav

Nice and IMO accurate review Jeff. I actually got pretty bored while playing this game.

Posted by coldmilk

I never actually understood the hype behind the Conduit; apart from overused gimmicks like depth of field, it didn't really look much better than a first generation PS2 game. Its a shame the standards for the Wii have been set so low, especially after very visually impressive games like Super Mario Galaxy...

Posted by dahuman
@Cheapoz: it really isn't that bad lol, guess you'd have to play to know that though.
Edited by Claude

I'm done with reviews and scores with this game. I just hope it sells well. And the word on the street has been pretty good. I'm just not a big shooter fan, maybe down the road I'll give it a whirl. I'm too busy with Tiger Woods 10 and Dawn of Discovery for the Wii to be worrying about this. It's so last week. I've already purged myself.

Posted by Kenzo287

no disrespect to jeff but maybe brad should of reviewed this one

Posted by supercubedude
@Oy said:
" Glad to see a review that realizes the game should be good first, and not just settle for "good for a Wii game".  "
What I was thinking. It doesn't matter what console it's on. A crap game is a crap game.
Online
Posted by dahuman
@corgorav: you get bored online?
Posted by dahuman
@supercubedude: this game isn't crap though, I don't understand why so many people are attacking this game lol.
Edited by Metal_Mills
@dahuman said:
" @supercubedude: this game isn't crap though, I don't understand why so many people are attacking this game lol. "
It's a pretty average game and if it was on the 360 or PS3, even with HD graphics it would have been forgotten in about 2 seconds. It's only had hype because it's an FPS on the Wii.
Posted by ez123
@Kenzo287 said:
" no disrespect to jeff but maybe brad should of reviewed this one "
Does Brad have a wii?
Posted by corgorav
@dahuman:  Nah I didn't try online yet.
Posted by supercubedude
@dahuman said:
" @supercubedude: this game isn't crap though, I don't understand why so many people are attacking this game lol. "
2 out of 5 sends a very clear message. This game is on par with Haze, Dark Sector, and Eat Lead. That ain't exactly a glowing endorsement.
Online
Posted by supercubedude
@toorbine said:
" if some people that consider themselves good enough to make reviews cant use a wiimote instantly and they need 30 minutes to feel comfortable lets see what will happen nextgen when all consoles will turn into motion gaming how is possible to make a wii review if you cant jump on a game and play it instantly? why we mortals can do it and pro reviewers cant and admit it in public? something is very wrong here but of course you are so blind to see it and you call people like me fanboys or whatever these guys are supposed "experts" hello and they dont even know how to hold a wiimote... they need time... seriously i dont give a damn about the conduit at all i finished it (was the only fps in years that made me want to finish its campaign mode) had a great time and thats it the problem is that people that say in public that they cant control a wii fps game correctly reviewing a game and give it 2/5 or 4/10 lol and you are supporting this shit? are u crazy or what? this is it dont bother to showcase your fascist beliefs and ban me again i will never ever post anything here c ya "
It's true, Fascists hate the Wii.
Online
Posted by dahuman
@Metal_Mills:  I don't see how that's a good reason to attack it though, I'm a long time gamer and I haven't seen any truly innovating things in the shooter genre in a long time, the question really are, how good are you with a wiimote, and how would you know if you really like it or how the game really feels unless you spend a good amount of time with it? people bitch about bland story line, while the last good story in a FPS I've seen was Half-Life 2 and that was years ago, people bitch about the graphics, but it's really the art style, not the tech behind it, which is something you can get used to( and it's more appealing to the masses tbh, there are 51 million Wiis out there, niche doesn't sell) people bitch about the bland environment, but it's in modern DC, that place isn't set in space or in the future, sorry but the real world is boring, these are problems yes, but how many reviews have overlooked some of those things entirely when reviewing other games? that's why this is confusing me, I mean, single player wise, I still haven't seen a better game than Half Life 2 with Fakefactory Mod, but that game doesn't really have online MP now does it?
Posted by Godzilla_Sushi
@dahuman said:
If the reviewer is actually good at the controls, it's at least 1-2 stars up,
Grrr.....

You are missing something with that logic man.
Posted by dahuman
@corgorav: it's pretty fun man, should try it.
Posted by corgorav
@toorbine:  c ya... oh and I dont think it's that they dont know how to use wiimote or something but rather that they didnt like it in the conduit...
Posted by dahuman
@Godzilla_Sushi: I don't see how, other reviews get higher scores because of better graphics or controls, how would that be different in this case? control is the most important part in any FPS.
Posted by PeasForFees
@Nasar7 said:
" @ChickenPants: Yes, I'm quite familiar with the Killzone 2 review, but that has nothing to do with this. Jeff says on bombcasts and such how he FPSs aren't really his thing. I believe he says it quite clearly also in the latest episode of the ER (97) when talking about ArmAII.

And yes, I agree that it can be hard to like the Wii, even if you're not looking for an FPS fix.
"

For a guy who spent 6 months of his effing life playing COD4 MW, and you say that he does not like FPS games, its nearly his favourite genre, and it seems that your disposition towards Giantbomb in general is negative, so leave. Look up Giantbomb in a thesaurus (If you know what that is) and you will find OPINION, it was one of the key points for Jeff to make Giantbomb opinion based, and I quote "Say no to arse/ass games, just say no...""It hurts, It hurts in here" (In response to crappy games) 'Jeff Gerstmann'. If anyone else reviewed it, Ryan would have said the same, Brad doesn't even have a Wii and Vinny wouldn't want to play it, If you want to read reviews which you like go to a website which is in the pocket of Nintendo through corporate ties, so be it and I once again reiterate, Leave.


Do You people not agree


Posted by dahuman
@supercubedude said:
" @toorbine said:
" if some people that consider themselves good enough to make reviews cant use a wiimote instantly and they need 30 minutes to feel comfortable lets see what will happen nextgen when all consoles will turn into motion gaming how is possible to make a wii review if you cant jump on a game and play it instantly? why we mortals can do it and pro reviewers cant and admit it in public? something is very wrong here but of course you are so blind to see it and you call people like me fanboys or whatever these guys are supposed "experts" hello and they dont even know how to hold a wiimote... they need time... seriously i dont give a damn about the conduit at all i finished it (was the only fps in years that made me want to finish its campaign mode) had a great time and thats it the problem is that people that say in public that they cant control a wii fps game correctly reviewing a game and give it 2/5 or 4/10 lol and you are supporting this shit? are u crazy or what? this is it dont bother to showcase your fascist beliefs and ban me again i will never ever post anything here c ya "
It's true, Fascists hate the Wii. "
I think the main issue here is that we all know how long it took for dual analog controls to get where it is today and a lot of people took a long time to adjust to it, and while I'm saying that, I can give you a testament that the Wiimote has a lower learning curve vs dual analog, been there, done that, but if you don't spend enough time on it, you will suck at it, bad, just like the dual analog transition.
Posted by theoracleofgame

I hate to say it, but this review wasn't great. The fact is, by now everbody is going to the Conduit for multiplayer purposes, rather than the singleplayer. So to criticize the game just because of the story and acting is really bizarre. Those things are just decoration compared to the actual gameplay. Also, most of the points being made in this review, like "bad enemy design" and an  "uneventful campaign" , are subject to opinion. Just because Jeff doesn't like this that much doesn't mean that this game is bad. Personally, I like the gameplay because it makes shooting guys in the face satisfying. It possibly isn't worth $50, but what's GameFly for anyway?


Sidenote: How many people who are commenting here have actually played the game firsthand and can second Jeff's opinion?  This is the type of game you have to play to appreciate.
Posted by Godzilla_Sushi
@dahuman said:
" @Godzilla_Sushi: I don't see how, other reviews get higher scores because of better graphics or controls, how would that be different in this case? control is the most important part in any FPS. "
I don't know. Maybe someone can make my point better then I can.

It's just not as simple as 2 stars for this, 1 star for that. Too many other factors. Giantbomb also wants to help people spend their money wisely. Many moving parts involved....
Posted by supercubedude
@dahuman said:
" @supercubedude said:
" @toorbine said:
" if some people that consider themselves good enough to make reviews cant use a wiimote instantly and they need 30 minutes to feel comfortable lets see what will happen nextgen when all consoles will turn into motion gaming how is possible to make a wii review if you cant jump on a game and play it instantly? why we mortals can do it and pro reviewers cant and admit it in public? something is very wrong here but of course you are so blind to see it and you call people like me fanboys or whatever these guys are supposed "experts" hello and they dont even know how to hold a wiimote... they need time... seriously i dont give a damn about the conduit at all i finished it (was the only fps in years that made me want to finish its campaign mode) had a great time and thats it the problem is that people that say in public that they cant control a wii fps game correctly reviewing a game and give it 2/5 or 4/10 lol and you are supporting this shit? are u crazy or what? this is it dont bother to showcase your fascist beliefs and ban me again i will never ever post anything here c ya "
It's true, Fascists hate the Wii. "
I think the main issue here is that we all know how long it took for dual analog controls to get where it is today and a lot of people took a long time to adjust to it, and while I'm saying that, I can give you a testament that the Wiimote has a lower learning curve vs dual analog, been there, done that, but if you don't spend enough time on it, you will suck at it, bad, just like the dual analog transition. "
So it's Jeff's fault that there aren't that many FPSs on the Wii?
Online
Posted by theMcNasty

Unfortunate, but foreseeable.

Posted by dahuman
@supercubedude said:
" @dahuman said:
" @supercubedude said:
" @toorbine said:
" if some people that consider themselves good enough to make reviews cant use a wiimote instantly and they need 30 minutes to feel comfortable lets see what will happen nextgen when all consoles will turn into motion gaming how is possible to make a wii review if you cant jump on a game and play it instantly? why we mortals can do it and pro reviewers cant and admit it in public? something is very wrong here but of course you are so blind to see it and you call people like me fanboys or whatever these guys are supposed "experts" hello and they dont even know how to hold a wiimote... they need time... seriously i dont give a damn about the conduit at all i finished it (was the only fps in years that made me want to finish its campaign mode) had a great time and thats it the problem is that people that say in public that they cant control a wii fps game correctly reviewing a game and give it 2/5 or 4/10 lol and you are supporting this shit? are u crazy or what? this is it dont bother to showcase your fascist beliefs and ban me again i will never ever post anything here c ya "
It's true, Fascists hate the Wii. "
I think the main issue here is that we all know how long it took for dual analog controls to get where it is today and a lot of people took a long time to adjust to it, and while I'm saying that, I can give you a testament that the Wiimote has a lower learning curve vs dual analog, been there, done that, but if you don't spend enough time on it, you will suck at it, bad, just like the dual analog transition. "
So it's Jeff's fault that there aren't that many FPSs on the Wii? "
absolutely not, it's the 3rd party(MP3 shooting felt fine, but that's first party, and this game is in fact better on the control front,) but that's another topic, however, you can't deny that a lot of people(reviewers) are having problems with this game at the start because they are not as used to the controls, and will not mark it very high but the truth is that this is the best "console" FPS when it comes to controls to date, the question is, do you suck at it?
Posted by stillmotion
@theoracleofgame: If you play the game, you'll feel the pain of this review. It's a really, really bad game.
Posted by faiwaka
@PeasForFees:
if you think just because a review is bad or good  they are either paid or not then why read any review. I think the major reason why people that are called  "hardcore gamers" generally hate wii games and the wii  in general is because THEY CANNOT PLAY IT(as seen by the video preview of the game) I love video games ,not anyone  system because i support them all  and I can tell you that it took me a whole 30 secs to get the contols down and own fools! I feel to be truly hardcore you need to adapt to the gaming landscape and not complain about  how u should or should not control something because i think if you cant play it you will find any reason (even if not really true) to hate it
Posted by dahuman
@Godzilla_Sushi said:
" @dahuman said:
" @Godzilla_Sushi: I don't see how, other reviews get higher scores because of better graphics or controls, how would that be different in this case? control is the most important part in any FPS. "
I don't know. Maybe someone can make my point better then I can.It's just not as simple as 2 stars for this, 1 star for that. Too many other factors. Giantbomb also wants to help people spend their money wisely. Many moving parts involved.... "
Personally, I've always wanted to see how a Wiimote would work in a real FPS and online MP, so for me, this game does deliver, it's not PC level by a long shot because we all know shooters are best on PC, but I do see much potential in a sequel with much higher budget and dev time if given the chance, which is great for console gaming in general if you think about it. 2 maybe too much though, maybe 1-1.5 star higher if you understand it, you need to try it and try to master it and you'll see what I mean.
Posted by dahuman
@stillmotion said:
" @theoracleofgame: If you play the game, you'll feel the pain of this review. It's a really, really bad game. "
care to explain? outside of most FPS have bad story and art style or linear game play and have gotten higher scores than this? o_O; lol
Posted by deerhaunter

The highest other score is from Matt at IGN who is (coincidentally?) actually featured in the game's credits.

http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/5809/picture5v.png
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z2XO36kueo

Fair review Jeff.

Posted by theoracleofgame
@stillmotion:

I did play the game.
Edited by dahuman
@deerhaunter said:
" The highest other score is from Matt at IGN who is (coincidentally?) actually featured in the game's credits.http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/5809/picture5v.pnghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z2XO36kueoFair review Jeff. "
yes, I'm sure that's why it got an 86, because IGN is always biased, sigh...... some of you guys really amaze me, it's only there because they are the ones who pretty much got the exclusive first look at the game before it even had a publisher. I've never seen Matt really over rating games in general btw since the IGN crew are all multiplat gamers and not fanboys(Greg Miller is a hater though =P,) maybe they are just better with the controls so their impression of the game is better eh?
Posted by TheFreeMan

And this game continues to polarize gamers :l

Posted by dahuman
@TheFreeMan said:
" And this game continues to polarize gamers :l "
lol I hear ya, I just wish people would keep an open mind about this game and try it at least, it's not nearly as bad as some reviewers make it out to be, it just has a much lower production value and dev time in general, and a good first try for a dev who've never made a FPS before with a positive attitude.
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