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20120229

Review: The Conduit (Wii Retail)

Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
In a near future in Washington, D.C. a shadow government organization known as the Trust sends newly inducted agent Michael Ford into the area initially to disrupt a terrorist threat, but then he quickly becomes embroiled in an invasion by an alien race known as the Drudge who uses these eponymous portals called the Conduits to deploy their forces throughout the city, and it's up to Michael Ford to stop the invasion and save the capital from destruction.

Story
Believe it or not, the story in this game was actually good, if not for some "ok" moments, while it may not appeal to those who don't like the whole "alien invasion" storyline, it was pretty entertaining with its two plot twists that were really pretty great ! However, the story is told primarily through cutscenes between missions and the problem is that these cutscenes are the same conversation screens in almost all of the game, and while it is somewhat entertaining to listen to, it isn't entertaining enough to make it look appealing. The story also progresses through the gameplay, but it only ranges from decently to just a little, and while there are some radio broadcasts that are scattered across some missions that only provide background information that supplements the overall plot, they are not sadly helpful narratives to fully understand the whole story of this game... not to mention that they are boring to listen to as well...

Gameplay
The Conduit is a First-person shooter that only uses the Wii remote and nunchuk controller. The controls are great and can appeal to anyone who plays FPSs on the wii, since one of the key features for his game is that it has customizable controls and HUD, and it truly shows ! the controls can be set to whatever preference you can adjust, be it pointer sensitivity, control method, etc. and be comfortable to you ! and what's better is that you can adjust these options in real time, meaning that you won't have to leave the adjustment screen to try the changes ! and as for the HUD, the elements of the HUD can be moved to different locations around the screen or even removed, but there are some annoyances with this key feature however like the lack of deactivating the motion controls and the fact that it has way to many functions in each and every one of the buttons in your controller, meaning that you might end up with a rather messed up button layout if you mess with it and also the fact that there isn't a whole lot to change in the HUD. And another problem is that you can't look up or down, meaning that shooting at enemies upward and downward might be irritating to do.

Most of the game's objective is going through point A to point B while shooting your way out and also doing objectives, but there is also some variety in these levels while progressing thanks to a device called the "All-Seeing Eye," or ASE for short, which is recovered early on in the game and it is used for many things such as to solve various puzzles, detect hidden traps, uncover invisible enemies and reveal secret features in the environment that can help you progress through the game, and while it does sound like an a mazing feature, the problem with this is that it makes the game slow paced, which that means that it could be irritating, especially if you're in battle. The weapons in this game that you can use, while there are some typical ones like the pistol, the submachine gun, and all of that stuff, there are also some really unique ones even for a game on the wii since each have their own unique features, for example there's an energy based weapon called the Deatomizer Mk4 that can be charged to fire 6 plasma bolts and if one of the bolts hits an enemy, the others will seek out and hit the original hit point which this will result inflicting more damage to the enemy, and not to mention that there are also some hidden weapons that you can search out too by searching a puzzle with the ASE (which it's the same puzzle mind you), completing it and reveal a hidden door leading to a weapon, in which these weapons are a more powerful version of other weapons, but the catch is that these weapons have very few ammo in them, meaning that you have to use them wisely, while there are some annoyances with some weapons like the submachine gun MP5KA4 having too little magazine capacity, and that the hidden puzzles that lead to the powerful weapons are just the same puzzles just changing the difficulty a little, the arsenal of weapons in this game is good to use in general.

Another of this game's key feature was that it ran on an engine called the "Quantum3", in which enhances the graphics (more on that later on...) and supposedly the AI of the enemies of this game, and does it work ? well... kind of, because there are some times where the enemies does provide a good tactic when fighting them head on, but for other times... there is one where I saw an enemy getting stuck, and one where I was crouching and the enemy had looked at me and it had a lot of space to shoot me but it hasn't for some reason, and one where I was close to an enemy at one point and he was taking a lot of time just to melee me... but there are some enemies that does it's work TOO much, like a type of enemy called the Mites in which are the most annoying and frustrating enemies in the game, since they will always attack you and you don't even know where they are coming from until you figure it out, and speaking about that, this game wasn't that difficult to be honest thanks to its overpowered weapons... except for some things like  some cheap enemy spawning placement where you must destroy that last level though as it was ridiculously difficult !

The game supports only online multiplayer up to 12 people, it features a menu where you can choose which people do you want to play with being global, continent or closer, and you can also customize your appearance (though there isn't much to customize since you'll only change character and color only) and controls as well, the game's multiplayer also supports the Wii Speak peripheral and can adjust its settings like volume and such ! but it is only available between players who have exchanged friend codes and are on the same team... and the multiplayer modes consist of three categories which is "Free for all", "Team deathmatch" and "Team objective", and some of the free for all ones are pretty unique, like for example in Bounty Hunter it involves each player hunting a specific opposing player and receiving penalties if they kill the wrong one, and Three Strikes which limits players to only three lives per match, as for rules and stage selections, in the lobby you can vote for the in their respective category, you can vote for any rules, any map and even any type of arsenal to play too ! and the winner of the vote will be picked randomly. At first the multiplayer was horrible, since there was this glitch that when entering a match, the game spawns you far from the map and be stuck in an area and you couldn't do anything about it unless you reset the game ! but thankfully a patch reduced this glitch and as it is, it is fun with its random votes and some unique modes, but it needed a bit more for it to be really unique.

When talking about its gameplay, the controls are great and varied, as for the rest it just didn't lived up to what it was hoping it would be thanks to some annoyances and other things that could've been better, but as it is, it was ok to play.

Graphics
As I've said before, this game uses the Quantum3 engine in which allows effects such as bump mapping, reflection and refraction, and gloss and detail mapping respectively, so that means that the game looks really good right ?... well... no, it doesn't, while there are some few good looking objects and places, the lightning is allright, the character models look good (but to some might look generic) and the weapons look unique, the majority of this game looks kind of blocky and believe it or not, you can actually see that the background in some levels look really fake ! for an engine that's supposed to make this Wii game look just as good as any PS3 and 360 game, it does a lazy job at it !

Music and Sound
Believe it or not, the soundtrack in this game is actually really good ! but it might not be memorable... with the exception of the theme song though ! however, the soundtrack sounds like something out of an action movie, with an orchestral score but some with a sci fi tone behind it, so it might be generic to some people, but for what it was, it's still good on its own.

The sounds in this game are ok, some sound just like it should be like the explosion sounds and the energy based weapons, but some lack impact on it, like for example the shooting sound with the submachine gun MP5KA4 and other explosions like the grenade and the trap mine. The voice acting is provided by TV and movie actors William Morgan Sheppard, Mark Sheppard, and Kevin Sorbo, William Morgan as John Adams did a great job, Kevin Sorbo as Prometheus is really amazing ! and Mark Sheppard as Michael Ford... is bleh, he just mostly sounded monotone and he didn't have enough emotion in his expressions... so as a whole the voice acting is good (I'm going off topic here but... did you know that William Morgan Sheppard and Mark Sheppard are father and son respectively ? and they're both acting in this game !), the game also supports other languages... but only on the subtitles.

Presentation
The game does a decent job at creating the setting of this game thanks to its radio frequencies in the game, it's weaponry and the way you are progressing throughout Washington D.C. (most of the time), but the thing that that doesn't stood out is because it feels a little generic, because of the whole "alien invasion" setting and the future-looking laboratories, and the way it was presented was not bad but it felt small and not expansive enough, since most of the game relies too much on corridors throughout the game... and the development in the characters are ok, if not a little generic at times.

As for the replayability, there is a lot to do in this game ! you have a list of accomplishments called "Achievements" (... no I'm serious, they're actually called that...) that requires you to do a certain task, in which mostly involves killing a certain amount of enemies and with certain weapons, that 3 of them can unlock you cheat codes ! there is also hidden messages and hidden discs called the "Thrust Discs" throughout the game that you can uncover with the ASE, and uncovering a certain amount of discs can unlock concept gallery, and finally, you can input promotional codes if you have any to unlock skins for both single player and multiplayer.

Overall
The game was allright, it had some annoying and slow paced moments and the graphics didn't live up as it should be, but the gameplay was good and everything else was ok, but it might be unappealing to some people who don't like the whole "alien invasion" setting so if you're one of those people, then don't get this, but if you're interested in this or just want a decent FPS experience for the Wii, then rent it, but if you love these type of games and didn't mind some of my problems with this game, then get it, as for me, this game gets...


a 7/10

7- Good This game may have a few flaws or may have somewhat shoddy controls, or minor sound/graphics flaws, but the game itself should be fun if you like the genre, and can overlook the potential flaws!








____________________________
If you only have these two choices, which one will you choose ? to have a game with no story ? or to have a game with the most ridiculous, boring, cliché-filled and horrible story ever ?
Do games need to be epic ?... or fun ?...
Wii #: 0018 2269 1524 9019 (codename Jnes)
Also on PSN ! PSN: jnesDX
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Comments

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on February 29th 2012, 5:26 pmMarth
I remember the hype surrounding this game and everyone proclaiming High Voltage would be the next big developer...urk. That said, at least this game is decent for what it is.
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on February 29th 2012, 6:27 pmKingreX32
This was a good game. Its funny though in my reviewI also gave it a 7. More specifically i gave it a 7.5

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Is this game available in Germany?
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Nell TU wrote:Is this game available in Germany?

I guess so, seeing how the game also supports German language as well.
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This is one of your best reviews Jnes5 Smile
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Sailormoongal wrote:This is one of your best reviews Jnes5 Smile
I second that good work mate!
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I think the hype this game got was its undoing since it's a good game that didn't live up to the Final Fantasy VII caliber hype the game got pre-release.
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