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 El_Rickhead

ill stick to playing my COD4, Halo 3 and Gears 2, thanks for caring tho Nintendo, but u do suck :D

Posted by sunshadow3911

I have to totally disagree with this review.  FIrst of all, not all of the review is accurate. 
"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."    <---- This is wrong, apparently he never tried it.  This was the belief at first, but i have played enough games online to tell you that you can talk to others in a completely random game.  IF you play team, you talk to teammates, if you play free for all, you talk to the 5 closest people to you.

"The control is pretty intuitive, but it takes time to get used to aiming and turning by pointing at the screen." and then
"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."<--- ok.... so is this Conduit's fault, or operator error?? I will say the latter.

Just reading the review, and owning the game myself, I can tell a couple things.  Jeff was getting pwned, and he did not give the game a chance before he even started playing it.  I own a 360 and Wii, and ill admit Conduit is no COD4, I do believe that this game reminds me of another game that critics simply did not care for at first, and then mass sales "persauded" their opinion (halo).
This review just shows what I have been suspecting, games having become about aesthetics and not about what first allowed gaming to become prominent, which is having fun. 

Posted by Metal_Mills

Edge gave it 4/10. It's not only Jeff that doesn't like it and in fact only IGN has given a fairly good review but come on...they over hype everything.

Posted by evrdayblues

Jeff,

I think you had a less than enjoyable experience with the game due to the standard control settings.

I have a few suggestions that might make the game more enjoyable to you and to others.

1)  Cursor sensitivity needs to be lowered.  Anything between 15 and 20 is fine.  Otherwise it gets very twitchy.

2)  Turning speed needs to be increased.  Try 45 and as you get adjusted, feel free to continue increasing it all the way to 60.

3) Dead zone must be decreased a lot!  I have mine at minimum size and it works great with the low cursor sensitivity.

If you do these 3 things, you will find the game controls very soothly and naturaly.  Not as nice ad mouse + kb but as close as it gets anyhow.

Enjoy!

Posted by Haziqonfire

Pretty much agree with the review. I rented it, pretty poor.

Posted by spiceninja
@atomic_dumpling said:
" @PlasmaBeam44 said:
" Seems like IGN is the only place to actually like the game a lot. They have been hyping for a while."
You might want to look up why Jeff is here in the first place … "
Oh I know all about that. I've been a GameSpot user for about 5 years and I was there when all that went down. I've been on this site since before it officially launched.
Posted by TwoOneFive

glad you gave this game a proper review. 


seeing other webstes give this game props for having lots of controls options being awesome is fucking lame. 
Posted by Media_Master

Missed opportunity

Posted by MaddProdigy

Did the makers of the game like pay this toorbine retard to come on here in 2 or 3 different accounts and just rip on the review? Pissin me off just reading tisID IUTS fail gramar

Posted by Claude

I just wanted to say I did like the review. I felt it was an honest opinion. I don't care about scores anymore. Tell you the truth, I would rather people click Jeff's review on the meta more than...  well, you know.

Posted by insanejedi

Again to all you Wii Fanboys who say they should be comparing it to other wii-specific games. I have Left 4 Dead, I have Crysis, I have Halo. Why should I give a flying shit about this shooter compared to these other games?

Posted by kariyanine
dahuman said:
I agree, that's also why this game isn't a 2/5, because it's not that bad on those fronts either, been done before doesn't mean it's done bad, because everything on something like KZ2 has been done before and done better, except for the graphics in motion department, for a console game. /shrug "

The problem with that argument is that KZ2, at the very least meets the standards set for modern day shooters whereas parts of The Conduit work for today's gamers (controls, multiplayer) a lot of it meets the standards of FPS games from almost a decade ago (single player, level design, voice acting) and that is just not  acceptable.
Posted by PeasForFees

I have Dark Forces I do not Need this

Posted by lenitao

2/5?

are you sure it's not a typing mistake? we are not stupid you know, we got the game and we know it's great!

design fits perfectly to the game, voice acting is super, and the story is ok

the perfect controls, graphics and online alone give it an 8.5 at least

i can't understand how a logical person can give 2/5 to this game

Posted by LordAndrew
dahuman said:
" well I think his main problem is "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." he sucks at the wiimote which would hinder his experience by a lot. "
The Wii Remote is not a difficult controller to use. If it is then it completely fails, because it's supposed to be simple and easy to understand.
Unfortunately, it's not an ideal control method for a lot of things, regardless of how easy it is to use.
Posted by LordAndrew
@lenitao: I'm sorry that you didn't feel the need to read the text or watch the video review.
Posted by TripMasterMunky
@lenitao said:
" 2/5? are you sure it's not a typing mistake? we are not stupid you know, we got the game and we know it's great!design fits perfectly to the game, voice acting is super, and the story is okthe perfect controls, graphics and online alone give it an 8.5 at leasti can't understand how a logical person can give 2/5 to this game "
That Wii Speak makes for some great online play, let me tell you.
Edited by MrCHUP0N
@LordAndrew said:
" dahuman said:
" well I think his main problem is "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." he sucks at the wiimote which would hinder his experience by a lot. "
The Wii Remote is not a difficult controller to use. If it is then it completely fails, because it's supposed to be simple and easy to understand. Unfortunately, it's not an ideal control method for a lot of things, regardless of how easy it is to use. "
I'd challenge it not being "an ideal control method" for a Wii FPS on subjective levels. There are those who can't and won't even get to a computer mouse for FPS who've gone so far as to say "dual analog sticks are better because they're more challenging and thus more rewarding to use, so screw a mouse."

That said, I completely understand the review. I'm having more fun with this game than Jeff seems to have had, but I am similarly bothered by the design issues (level design, enemy placement and AI, et cetera)--just not to the same degree.

@insanejedi said:
" Again to all you Wii Fanboys who say they should be comparing it to other wii-specific games. I have Left 4 Dead, I have Crysis, I have Halo. Why should I give a flying shit about this shooter compared to these other games? "
Giant Bomb reviews games compared to other games; a few other sites keep the comparison within a console's scope. Each site does it its own way, and I'm equally perplexed as you that this isn't clear by now. At the same time... while you shouldn't care about this game, there are others who should, and I'm not so sure they're worried about what you care about. Hard to believe, but there are Wii-only owners out there, and there are people who prefer the Wii remote to dual analog sticks. (Of course, that doesn't mean that this game is the bee's knees, though.)
Posted by metas

Seriously?  "everyone's yoked with the same controls" ?!?!  Did you not even bother to look in the option? At ALL?!  The controls are 100% customizable, turning speed, limits, dead-zone, running speed, every -$%@%- thing.  The games okay, but your laziness has gotten in the way of accurate reviewing, and your stating something that is blatantly wrong.

Posted by insanejedi
@MrCHUP0N said:

@insanejedi said:
" Again to all you Wii Fanboys who say they should be comparing it to other wii-specific games. I have Left 4 Dead, I have Crysis, I have Halo. Why should I give a flying shit about this shooter compared to these other games? "
Giant Bomb reviews games compared to other games; a few other sites keep the comparison within a console's scope. Each site does it its own way, and I'm equally perplexed as you that this isn't clear by now. At the same time... while you shouldn't care about this game, there are others who should, and I'm not so sure they're worried about what you care about. Hard to believe, but there are Wii-only owners out there, and there are people who prefer the Wii remote to dual analog sticks. (Of course, that doesn't mean that this game is the bee's knees, though.) "
How many Wii-only users have a PC that can't run a game from 4 years ago? If you don't like DA, there is mouse and keyboard and a huge pile of awesome PC games like UT2K4, Half Life 2, Far Cry, and Chronicles of Riddick which came out a long time ago. All of which look and have been reviewed better than The Conduit.
Posted by MrCHUP0N
@insanejedi said:
"How many Wii-only users have a PC that can't run a game from 4 years ago? If you don't like DA, there is mouse and keyboard and a huge pile of awesome PC games like UT2K4, Half Life 2, Far Cry, and Chronicles of Riddick which came out a long time ago. All of which look and have been reviewed better than The Conduit. "
I guess you just can't fathom the possibility of anyone who purchased a Wii as their only console due to any number of factors (cost, preferred game selection i.e. first-party Nintendo product, interest in the new interface/"falling for the hype", "soccer moms" who didn't really want to get a 360 or PS3 for their kids but might be ok with them playing The Conduit). Or the possibility of people who mistakenly think that PC gaming is pointless and didn't care to spend the money to put together a gaming PC (and it doesn't matter that they made a mistake; the issue in question ultimately is simply one of what's available to them).

Point being, in your last comment you talk about it as if your preferences are the law of the land, specifically the "why should I care" angle. By no means am I defending a game that can't even get enemy AI right (why can I pump a load of buckshot in an enemy who had his back turned, only to have him draw his gun and run in a completely different direction!? Why is High Voltage's idea of "challenging level design" nothing more than, "let's just surround him and provide him useless cover that's too low to crouch behind"?). I just find it a bit amusing that someone who doesn't give "a flying shit" about a game decides to go into that game review and then post a comment in said review, and furthermore directs it in a troll-esque manner towards a specific subset of people--many of whom probably are in a completely different situation in terms of available consoles.
Posted by Whisperkill

Its pathetic how people have to use the fact that a game is on the wii as an excuse.
Newsflash: The Wii is a freaking joke!!
Fanboys will always be there to troll, ignore them.

Posted by insanejedi
@MrCHUP0N said:
" @insanejedi said:
"How many Wii-only users have a PC that can't run a game from 4 years ago? If you don't like DA, there is mouse and keyboard and a huge pile of awesome PC games like UT2K4, Half Life 2, Far Cry, and Chronicles of Riddick which came out a long time ago. All of which look and have been reviewed better than The Conduit. "
I guess you just can't fathom the possibility of anyone who purchased a Wii as their only console due to any number of factors (cost, preferred game selection i.e. first-party Nintendo product, interest in the new interface/"falling for the hype", "soccer moms" who didn't really want to get a 360 or PS3 for their kids but might be ok with them playing The Conduit). Or the possibility of people who mistakenly think that PC gaming is pointless and didn't care to spend the money to put together a gaming PC (and it doesn't matter that they made a mistake; the issue in question ultimately is simply one of what's available to them).Point being, in your last comment you talk about it as if your preferences are the law of the land, specifically the "why should I care" angle. By no means am I defending a game that can't even get enemy AI right (why can I pump a load of buckshot in an enemy who had his back turned, only to have him draw his gun and run in a completely different direction!? Why is High Voltage's idea of "challenging level design" nothing more than, "let's just surround him and provide him useless cover that's too low to crouch behind"?). I just find it a bit amusing that someone who doesn't give "a flying shit" about a game decides to go into that game review and then post a comment in said review, and furthermore directs it in a troll-esque manner towards a specific subset of people--many of whom probably are in a completely different situation in terms of available consoles. "
I can't fathom someone owning only a Wii and a PC that is not any powerful then a Dell from 4 years ago. I don't care for playing the game, however I am completely sick of the hype and buzz around this game ever since people started talking about it 8 months ago. I am sick of people pointing out this game as a shooter "messiah" of wii games, or a graphics "messiah" of wii games, I am also sick of people constantly using this game with modifiers like "It looks good... for a wii game..." I wrote a whole blog post about it!

I think that there are better shooters than this game, and better looking shooters that came out 4-5 years ago on the PC. Which if you cannot run those with a decent framerate on any setting, donate your Sinclair 1000 or Amiga to your local museum and buy your self a decent PC. And I don't mean a decent PC for PC gaming, I mean a decent PC for general use.
Posted by MrCHUP0N
@insanejedi said:
"I can't fathom someone owning only a Wii and a PC that is not any powerful then a Dell from 4 years ago. "
:) ...right...and there are also absolutely no people in the world who would rather game on their Wii's, on the couch. There are absolutely no people who don't want to be bothered with hooking their PC's up to their televisions. There are absolutely no people who don't feel like learning the mouse-and-keyboard combination. There are absolutely no people who don't care about what a PC can offer them because they never bothered to learn, and they would rather not start today. /sarcasm, of course.

Yeah, sure, they could benefit from doing these things; hell, for a dollar I'd drive to their houses and show them how.
But they don't want me to, and whether or not it's ideal isn't the point: The point is, there's a market for The Conduit, so what you do "give a flying shit" about really doesn't matter to that market. (There's no problem with anything else in that last comment; them's be your own issues to sort out. Though...frankly you'd probably sleep a lot better at night knowing that you get to play better games instead of getting bothered by everyone fawning over this game.)
Posted by insanejedi
@MrCHUP0N said:
" @insanejedi said:
"I can't fathom someone owning only a Wii and a PC that is not any powerful then a Dell from 4 years ago. "
:) ...right...and there are also absolutely no people in the world who would rather game on their Wii's, on the couch. There are absolutely no people who don't want to be bothered with hooking their PC's up to their televisions. There are absolutely no people who don't feel like learning the mouse-and-keyboard combination. There are absolutely no people who don't care about what a PC can offer them because they never bothered to learn, and they would rather not start today. /sarcasm, of course.Yeah, sure, they could benefit from doing these things; hell, for a dollar I'd drive to their houses and show them how. But they don't want me to, and whether or not it's ideal isn't the point: The point is, there's a market for The Conduit, so what you do "give a flying shit" about really doesn't matter to that market. (There's no problem with anything else in that last comment; them's be your own issues to sort out. Though...frankly you'd probably sleep a lot better at night knowing that you get to play better games instead of getting bothered by everyone fawning over this game.) "
Okay... what kind of market is this game targeting to? People who like shooters but don't want to learn mouse and keyboard as well as dual analog stick, but are willing to learn and fiddle around with dead zone boxes and turning radius as well as a controller that is neither as responsive as a mouse and keyboard, or a DA controller (Response meaning latency), and does not have a decent PC from 4 years ago and will only play games while sitting on a sofa in front of their TV, that doesn't make any sense when the Wii can't do HD anyways.

I don't know how big that market is, but $20 says that is not a very large audience.
Posted by genderless

huh?

Edited by langdon1975


@metas
said:
" Seriously?  "everyone's yoked with the same controls" ?!?!  Did you not even bother to look in the option? At ALL?!  The controls are 100% customizable, turning speed, limits, dead-zone, running speed, every -$%@%- thing.  The games okay, but your laziness has gotten in the way of accurate reviewing, and your stating something that is blatantly wrong. "




Now here is where you guys go all wrong:  What happens when you attach all those things you mention to a game that is average? You still get an average game. From AI to voice acting to the enviroments, this game is screaming mediocre. No other way to put it. At some point during this new console cycle Nintendo fans started screaming "but you can customise the controls!", in the meanwhile forgetting that no matter how much you customise a mediocre game....it still is a mediocre game. I didn't even notice the comments Jeff made about the controls because that is not the main issue about the game. It was all the other stuff he had issues with that made sure I will never touch this game. I don't care about customisable controls if the game ain't good, and this game doesn't look good, sound good or interest me one bit. It looks bland, the voice acting you can hear on different reviews is horrible and AI looks retarded. After all those things....WHO CARES IF YOU CAN CUSTOMISE THE CONTROLS?!
Edited by MrCHUP0N

@insanejedi -- can't find your original comment but I got it in my PM box. Your problem is, you keep making comments that emphasize that you simply can't envision such scenarios where The Conduit would have a market ("Ok...what kind of market is this game targeting to?"). Just because you can't conceive it doesn't mean it's not there. Take it from me and many others with whom I've conversed about the very concept of the Wii remote itself: When the Wii remote was first shown at that TGS, I said to myself, "This is bullshit. No one's going to want to play games with a big fat A button. After all the progress we've been making, who wants a remote control with an A button and last-generation graphics?" Well, whaddaya know!

Here's what kind of market this game is targeting to, once again, even though I've mentioned it time and time again and you refuse to acknowledge it: Simply put, a person who likes playing games on his Wii and chooses to do so rather than on any other platform. Simple as that. It doesn't matter that a 4 year old PC could run the same games better. It doesn't matter that s/he could get such a PC for REALLY cheap. It doesn't matter that fiddling with deadzones may seem like a PC-like burden that they *shouldn't* want to mess with in the first place. When people see something they'll be interested in, on their preferred platform, without them having to switch over to something they simply don't prefer, they'll either adapt to what's given to them by default or learn to fiddle with those deadzones. Is it silly? Sure. Does it matter to them? Either it doesn't, or THEY DON'T EVEN REALIZE IT.

This is an anecdote, and you can choose to believe it or not, but I guarantee to you that I won't lie just to prove a point. At the client site where I work, one of the clients is a middle-aged father of two girls. He has a Wii. He doesn't even know how to take it online. But he plays Mario Kart incessantly. Could he have a better experience by learning to fix the online play? Sure. Does he care enough? No--he got used to what he had, and stuck with it. Much like he'd likely stick with the default Conduit controls. He admitted to me that he played Perfect Dark incessantly. When he asked me for some advice about buying a PC, I asked him if he'd be playing games on it, and he said, "Nothing more than Zuma." When I said, "You know, you can get something better than Perfect Dark on it," he said, "No, I don't care about games on my monitor." When I said, "You know, you can attach it to your TV; probably really easy," he said, "No, I don't care about that. My PC is for PC stuff, and Zuma. My Wii is for TV games. That's it." (He doesn't have an HDTV, by the way.) Are people like him widespread? I don't know, and I doubt it, but you never know--THAT'S THE POINT: Just because you can't imagine it in your own world, doesn't mean it can't happen. Regardless, I'm also pretty sure he's not the only middle-aged conservative male who likes shooting things in digital form, but doesn't want to mess with a PC...even if it really isn't a hassle nowadays, because the sad truth is, that's the misleading image that a PC projects to such people. The image the Wii projects, for better or worse, is something you plug in and wave around and have fun with, hassle-free. And for those to whom such an image appeals, they simply fall for it.

The seedier side of marketing is getting people to fall for shit they otherwise wouldn't. It was part of my double major. It's also why Gerstmann and Co. would always make fun of the word "gamer" back on That Other Site and still probably do today. It's mostly bollocks and trickery to get you to think how marketers want you to think. And right now, the Wii has a market--however small--that thinks that The Conduit is the game for them.

I think you're mistaking me for SUPPORTING The Conduit and the market to which it caters. I'm simply saying that it exists, and whether or not you personally can fathom it, or care about it, doesn't matter.

(Me? I don't like the Conduit, but I certainly do enjoy the sensation of shooting things with the Wii remote. THAT is a personal preference thing. Nothing will dethrone M&KB for performance, but that doesn't mean I don't--or can't--enjoy the different sensation of the Wii remote for shooting. You can take it or leave it.)

Posted by aclark

Wow, Jeff Gerstmann you continue to prove to me of how much of an idiot you really are. Another review that proves that your are the wrost reviwer I had ever seen. I am going to watch Mark Bussler review a game now, at least he is not a complete retard like your are.

Posted by damnboyadvance
@lenitao: An 8.5? You realize this site rates games either one star, two stars, three stars, four stars, or five stars, right? There's no 8.5 to it.
Edited by digitalocean

With all the crap in videogames these days, I wonder why it is that a game like Conduit justifies such a low review score.

I found The Conduit to be a fun game, and it was well worth my time.  I play HL, Halo, L4D, etc. so I'm not ignorant to FPS games.  2 out of 5 stars really is bullshit.

I found this game website during a search to find out what others are saying about The Conduit, and after seeing this review, my impression is that Giant Bomb is a ghetto reviewer site.

Posted by Schmidter

you are completely wrong about that everyone is wit hthe same controls as you... there are a HIGH level of making the ocntrols move as fast as you want, also moving boxes, etc etc... you can make the controls JUSt as you like.... :-) 
 
not saying I like the game, I only played it very short, didn't catch me... but it is nice that you can customize your controls with every tweak, also your turnspeed, wich you where nigging about! :-)
Posted by chinakat

It says in the text review: "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." 
 
Before you comment on a review, you should probably read the actual review.