The Conduit Review
The Conduit box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: High Voltage Software 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SEGA 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Jun. 23, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-12 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Sadly, the story in The Conduit is pretty cliché, although I do give it credit for trying to keep players interested. It revolves around the game’s main character Michael Ford, who is recruited by a secretive organization known as the Trust. Very early in the game you’re following orders from the Trust and trying to hunt down Prometheus, a character you know little about other than it’s your job to take him down and retrieve a prototype called the All Seeing Eye in order to help the Trust to combat an impending alien attack. From there, the story makes some pretty obvious twists and turns, but I’ll remain spoiler free and leave those for you to discover on your own. Just know that there is clearly an intention here to make a sequel.

The Conduit screenshot

Beside using the All Seeing Eye frequently to solve minor puzzles, find hidden weapon caches, hack computers and doors, uncover data disks and invisible messages, and to deactivate invisible mines, the gameplay in The Conduit is very straightforward. You are able to carry two weapons at a time, which you can switch out when you find better options, be them human or alien-based, in order to make quicker work of the opposition. You’ll need to make quick and effective use of your available weaponry in order to survive, as you are constantly led through the game’s incredibly linear levels, basically just moving down corridors from one enemy kill room to the next. The twist here, though, is that you don’t always know whether they’ll eventually stop coming if you simply just kill enough of them or if you actually have to find where they’re spawning and destroy whatever is causing it. It may initially seem like standing your ground is the best course of action, but you might just have to somehow wade through the horde of never-ending aliens in order to find the pod or conduit which is continually sending even more your way. This can get pretty frustrating, especially with some being difficult to find, such as being tucked away in a dark corner on the ceiling.

However, if playing against human opponents online is more your style and you only own a Wii, then you simply need to pick up The Conduit. With perhaps the best online component of any FPS on the Wii, The Conduit provides a wide assortment of modes and options to enjoy with up to twelve players, even with voice chat between friends thanks to Wii Speak support. Before every match of free for all, team reaper, and team objective play, players are given the ability to vote on what rules are used, the weapon set, and which map is played, with the most popular in each category being used. Some highlights of the rule sets include ASE Football (basically like Oddball from Halo 3), Last Man Standing (whoever is left alive wins), and Bounty Hunter. Bounty Hunter is by far the most interesting, as it tasks each player with killing a specific enemy and penalizes them for killing anyone else. For the most part, the online play works without a hitch but if you’re up against some players with slower connections, you will have to deal with some lag jumping that can get very irritating.

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There are definitely some good things happening in The Conduit that many third-party developers could learn from, but there is certainly still room for improvement here. With its inconsistent visuals, reliance on disorienting waggles for some abilities, cliché storyline, and the linear and often frustrating design of the single-player experience in this game likely won’t pull many multiple console owners away from their plethora of readily available FPSs. However, if you only own a Wii, this game does provide sporadically impressive visuals, one of the best online experiences on the console, perhaps the best/most customizable controls of any Wii FPS, and a reason to blow the dust off of your system for awhile. So, while The Conduit doesn’t end up being the Wii’s Halo 3 or Killzone 2, it is a pretty good game that will likely be very appreciated by anyone who only owns a Wii and has been anxiously awaiting another FPS that’s worthy of investing some time into.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

While there are some pretty impressive visuals for certain things, there are also a ton of blurry and bland textures making up the game’s environments.
Although the controls still aren’t completely perfect, at least you are given the ability to tweak and customize just about every aspect of them.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The enemies sound like they came directly out of Halo, but the music is good and there is also some competent voice acting from the likes of Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys).

Play Value
The single-player experience, while being far from terrible, is incredibly linear, repetitive, and can get rather frustrating due to endlessly respawning enemies. The multiplayer on the other hand is some of the best on the console, with enough variety to keep you coming back for more.

Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Conspiracy-driven Action: Dive into an engaging story set in modern day Washington D.C. involving secret agents, invading aliens, and centuries-old government cover-up conspiracies.
  • Wii specific Controls: Robust calibration and controls customization built from the ground up for Wii allow you to tailor the game to your preferred style.
  • Intense Online Multiplayer: Up to 12 players can join up online to battle in a variety of multiplayer modes.
  • Ruthless Enemies: Vast numbers of incredibly realistic A.I. enemies react to player’s moves by taking cover and utilizing elements in the environment to their advantage.
  • Highly Detailed Visuals: The award winning graphics feature dynamic environment mapping, interactive water with real-time reflection and four-stage texture composition that includes gloss, diffuse and bump-mapping.
  • Peripherals: Supports the Wii Speak peripheral during multiplayer matches.

  • Screenshots / Images
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