theoracleofgame's The Conduit (Wii) review

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Great Game, Awful Design

The Conduit is a first person shooter that caught me with promises of having the most customizable and fuctional control scheme on the Wii, and the new technical engine made to take full advantage of the Wii's hardware. The game did deliver those things for me, and the gameplay was great fun. But the actual desgin of the game is bland, unispired, and dull. 

The story of the game revolves around Mr. Ford, a Secret Service agent who is recruited into the ranks of a clandestine organization known as The Trust. You're assigned to take down a terrorist who took a prototype item from the Trust, and things go on from there. There are plenty of twists to be had in the game, but not all of them are unforeseen. Like the twist of (gasp), a betrayal!? Or, a government conspiracy!? It says on the back of the box, "In the world of The Conduit, the truth may not be what it seems..." In this game, everything is exactly as it seems. It doesn't help that the dialogue is presented through textboxes and voices. Yeah. 

The gameplay itself is good fun, with satisfaction to everything you do. That may have to do with the controls, as they were ripped straight from Metroid Prime 3. There is also complete customizability to every action you'd want to customize. Running speed, HUD, turning speed, bounding box, button alignment and more. The only problem I would have with the gameplay is that the humans are way more fun to shoot than the aliens. All the humans are these guys in cool armor that just rappel in the room, throw grenades and generally act better in terms of AI. Also they sidekick you as a melee attack, so big plus there. The aliens on the other hand are not as fun to fight. They rush you, trying to take cover behind a crate when you're already behind them and shooting them. They have this sick-ish green tone to their bodies, they don't act smart, they just bash you, and it's no wonder the game considers them shock troopers (Dumb ones). I guess your enjoyment of the single player will really depend on how much you enjoy shooting people in the face with the controls at hand.

The design to the game is mediocre as well. It uses the same gags over and over and over again, and it gets tiresome quickly. Throw some hallways in there with some enemies and one infinite enemy respawner, then put 4 enemy respawners in one big room, more hallways, more big rooms, a minor boss fight, hallways, rooms- it just never stops. The single player campaign definitely loses it's steam by the end of the game due to this design. 

The multiplayer fares much better, with ranking, regional and world-wide matches, Wii Speak compatibility, games that are quick and easy to get into, and a wide variety of game modes, weapon selections, and maps. This is a lot more fun, as you actually get to see the real precision the Wii controls can offer you and your opponents as you duke it out. The maps are well designed, and there are some unique game modes, so it isn't exactly you're standard 4 on 4 extremely Nintendo-limited multiplayer experience. Once again, your mileage may vary according to how much fun you had with the single player.

The game looks good, with some good effects under the hood, and good models with clean textures. In the end, all these good effects take up creative space that SHOULD'VE been used for the general art style. It's just bland. From your enemies to the environments, to most of the weapons, it's basically the art direction of every other generic FPS out there.

In the end, The Conduit is truly a testament to how tragic the story of the Wii is. This is a game I've been waiting for years now, Nintendo even found room for it next to Super Mario Galaxy 2 and all the returning favorites at E3, but the game just isn't what Wii owners have been waiting for. But that doesn't mean it's a bad game.  The gameplay is fun, the multiplayer is the best on Wii, and the game looks good to boot. There are just a lot of problems with everything else. Buy it if you are craving for multiplayer on the Wii, but do not buy it otherwise.

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