Gameplay impressionsWhat do we like?
The extent of the customisation options may seem unusual and excessive, but the wide range of tweaks that can be made gives you total power to tailor the FPS experience to suit your skill and preferences. Every action and button is mappable to the Wii Remote and Nunchuck; you even have the freedom to ditch motion-control entirely if you wish. After about ½ hour of configuring the likes of turning speed and look sensitivity, and dragging-and-dropping parts of the HUD (Heads-Up Display) to areas of the screen that we found more preferable, the control scheme that we invented plays entirely to our strengths. Opting for very fine sensitivity on the turn, and reassigning buttons to cater for our big meaty fingers, tweaking around with our control options resulted in a smooth gameplay experience, allowing us to switch weapons and throw grenades intuitively, while killing enemies with pin-point precision. We were able to find a control scheme that feels natural to us. Tailoring our set-up to suit our needs has also come in extremely handy for the competitive online arena.
It’s online where The Conduit really shines, with a solid multiplayer component that boasts a ranking and matchmaking system, as well as supporting the voice-chat peripheral Wii Speak. There’s a good range of maps (8 in total) and plenty of diverse game modes to get stuck into, ranging from standard deathmatch games to team-based objectives. Furthermore, you don’t need to have all of your friend’s game codes to jump into an European or International server. There's an impressive range of options available before you jump into a match, including the option to create private games, join friends mid-game, or vote on match options while in the game lobby. Multiplayer mode is fast-paced and competitive. Despite a couple of issues we've experience with lag, the 6 vs. 6 matches are generally a smooth and enjoyable experience. The Conduit certainly provides one of the best multiplayer experiences that we've had on Wii.
It’s just a shame that that single player experience doesn’t live up to the excellent multiplayer component.
What don’t we like?
It’s clear from the outset that the majority of work on The Conduit has gone into its robust game engine and enjoyable multiplayer component. The single player campaign is short, repetitive and lacks any memorable or dramatic moments. The gameplay is very basic and requires you to do little more than just point and shoot at enemies who just keep coming at you via spawn pods. That's entertaining for a while, but The Conduit shows you its hand and everything it's got from very early on. There really is no depth to the gameplay. The only real attempt to shift from the run-and-gun mentality is to throw into the equation an All-Seeing Eye Device (ASE), but it's a monotonous tool to use. Though the game promises some puzzle solving, the ASE is really just a flash-light that you use to scan areas for hidden traps or a way to reach the next section.
It doesn't help that the locations are extremely dull. Whether you’re killing aliens at the airport or in an underground bunker the level design is extremely repetitive. Compared to other Wii FPS titles, The Conduit lacks detail in its environments and some areas look indistinguishable from the next. Though the vibrant graphics do give The Conduit a graphical edge over many Wii titles, you can expect to spend the majority of the single player campaign trawling through tunnel after tunnel and dozens of poorly detailed rooms. Overall, some poor design decisions have failed to make the most of the custom-built game engine, which shows its true power in the multiplayer modes.
Before deciding on our final score for The Conduit we’ve taken into account the fact that it’s been developed for a platform which has few mature-themed first person shooters. In that respect, and providing you haven’t hopped straight onto The Conduit from a game of Halo 3 or Killzone 2 on Xbox 360 or PS3, then you’ll certainly find a number of reasons to praise High Voltage Software’s admirable attempt at making Wii an attractive proposition to the hardcore audience. Whether you enjoy playing The Conduit or not, however, is ultimately going to depend on your previous experience with the genre and indeed whether you’ve come from a PC or Xbox 360/PS3-playing background. If Wii is the only gaming platform in your house, then you’ll probably have a blast and you'll almost certainly get a lot of entertainment and replay value out of its excellent multiplayer component.
Final Score : 6/10