• Conduit 2 Review - Nintendo Wii

    The original Conduit was muchly hyped as the Wii's "Most Anticipated First Person Shooter". There were others, but this was specifically designed for the hardware featuring mappable controls, etc. This is the sequel. Hype? Nope. Improvement? In places. Oddly, the use of Motion Plus makes no difference to the accuracy of aiming weapons, and can feel too sensitive. Leaving it off negates that worry of course.

    The single player campaign is rather short and can be completed with a few hours, though the player will definitely be wanting to revisit every stage until they've found as many of the scannable objects (conspiracy objects, graffiti, maps and upgrades) as they can. Not only do these unlock new weapons and abilities, but the player receives credits which can be used to unlock even more weaponry/upgrades.

    So is the story mode simply tagged onto the online/offline multiplayer? Although it is fun on its own, the multiplayer is the real fun of the game, and executed well. The player's performance in each match is accessed and they are awarded experience points and credit accordingly. For someone who has just bought the game to jump into playing it online is perfectly doable, but not recommended. By getting a better feel for the controls, finding what works for them and tweaking where necessary (and unlocking some of the more powerful equipment) the player stands a much better chance. Unlocking weapons in single player unlocks them in multiplayer as well, so playing the campaign first is an excellent idea.

    There are many modes in the multiplayer, split between Free For All, Team Deathmatch and Team Objective. The standard Deathmatch is ever present, along with Capture the Flag. In Free For All, there is Balloon Battle (yes, just like in Mario Kart) with melee attacks stealing balloons rather than bursting them, ASE Ball where the player simply has to hold the ASE for the longest time to win, and Bounty Hunter where each player is set a target to kill and can only score points by killing the target or the player assigned to kill them. Team Objective has: Killing Override, which is a frag/ASE capture score game; VIP, where one player on each team is assigned special status for the other team to hunt down; ASE Basketball, as the name suggests, the opposing team's ASE has to be thrown into the goal; Annexation, where control points have to be captured and defended; and Power Surge, where each team has to attack the other team's base and destroy their power generator.

    Umm, what's an ASE? That would be the small ball-like object used in the single player mode to scan objects and graffiti.

    Up to four "load outs" can be configured with one primary and one secondary weapon, one kind of grenade and up to four different abilities like unlimited run, two primary weapons, etc. Even the appearance of the player's in-game avatar can be changed independently for each load out. The load outs themselves cannot be changed mid-game.

    After being fragged, probably by someone camping out with a phase rifle no doubt, the player falls to the ground and can wait for one of their teammates to revive them...Or for an opponent to finish them off for a "double-tap" award and some bonus credits. Then the player gets to view the game through the eyes of one of their comrades until they are ready to respawn and jump back into the fray. Prior to respawning, the player can choose from their personalised load outs to see if changing it will help them to not meet their end quite so quickly again.

    Weapons are divided into three categories - ballistic, energy, and explosive. Depending on what the player is preferring to specialise in, different abilities can be equipped accordingly - increased ballistic damage for bullet-based weapons, for example. All guns now have secondary modes, which can be more than just looking down the sight. For example, the grenade launcher can switch between timed and proximity. The AR-C Eclipse would have to be this reviewer's favourite. Standard fire has unlimited rounds but a temperature limit which, if exceeded, forces a coolant reload. The secondary function is a cloaking device which cools the weapon to the point the barrel freezes and needs to have the ice broken off it before it can be used again. Switch between doing these two things (they can't be done at the same time of course!) to keep the weapon firing, the enemies confused and the player happy.

    For the eyes and ears, Conduit 2 is very pleasing. Both the single and multiplayer stages are designed, and vary between wide open tundra and tight, claustrophobia-inducing underground tunnels. The "unfocussing" view when the player is reloading their weapon is an excellent effect.

    While the single player story mode may only take a handful of hours to complete, multiplayer will keep the player occupied trying to save up enough credits to unlock everything.

    The Good:
    + Looks and plays the part
    + Range of control systems

    The Bad:
    - Single player is short and more of a warm-up for the multiplayer
    - Too many skilled players online!

    The score: 6/10

    Genre: FPS
    Players: 1-12 (1-4 offline)
    Developer: High Voltage Games
    Publisher: SEGA
    Platform: Nintendo Wii
    Region: NTSC
    Reviewer: Steven Walker
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. Daragon's Avatar
      Daragon -
      I'm beginning to notice a slight trend in your reviews, Stephen. You're faulting the majority of the games on account of their difficulty level.

      While reviewers should be encouraged to rate the games they play however they choose, I cannot help but feel that someone who really had their heart in gaming probably wouldn't consider difficulty level a major turn off (unless the game was far too easy of course).By chance will you be covering Dark Souls at any point in time?
    1. Fader209's Avatar
      Fader209 -
      There are 2 types of difficulty though aren't there.
      A tough game that requires you to better yourself and up your skills in order to beat it.
      And games that use cheap tactics to beat you and ultimately turns out to be frustrating, unbalanced and unfair (Ninja Gaiden 2)
    1. Daragon's Avatar
      Daragon -
      To be fair, you could apply either of those points to any difficult game.
    1. Fader209's Avatar
      Fader209 -
      Not really, sorry it's tricky trying to explain my point. Take Ninja Gaiden 2 for example, it had projectiles firing at you from off screen which was unfair and most times unavoidable. Similar to this would be Lost Planet where a rocket would blow you off your feet but the recovery time was stupidly slow that you then got hit by another.

      The good hard games introduce the difficulty slowly so the trickiest parts are for the dedicated like maxing out the Stars in Super Mario Galaxy 2, by the end of that game your skills have prepared you to take on anything so they give you a solid final level with a one hit kill. There are loads of great games that have a high difficulty - most shmups like Ikaruga and Gradius or even Metal Slug where you are rewarded for sticking with it and learning the game.
    1. Daragon's Avatar
      Daragon -
      So which category of difficulty would you place Dark Souls in, because by the sound of things the difficulty is not introduced slowly - it kicks your arse right from the off!
    1. egparadigm's Avatar
      egparadigm -
      I suppose it also depends on how the game chooses to deliver the learning curve, if that makes sense. People have different styles of learning, so one method of educating the player will be successful for one type of player. So a game that uses a lot of text will be fine for people that find it easy to learn that way, and others would find icons helpful, or learning by practice, audio instruction, etc.

      So, if the game chose a method that was difficult for a particular person to understand they might dislike a game that others enjoy without perhaps articulating it.

      The above is not a comment on the review, by the way! I'm just thinking aloud, as it really frustrates me the way some people are accused of 'playing it wrong' when they aren't enjoying a game. It is the responsibility of the developer to make their games accessible, and so little is spent on user testing (if that's the right term), on whether everyone regardless of their learning style can enjoy the game, within the industry.
    1. Fader209's Avatar
      Fader209 -
      Dark Souls is a bit of a rare beast by the sounds of it with the lack of easing you in and death waiting around every corner. Tbh I don't like much hand holding in games and despise tutorials at the start as they break the immersion every time.
    1. kryss's Avatar
      kryss -
      Thank you for the feedback and questions, at least I know that someone reads my reviews. I'm not looking at getting Dark Souls any time soon as I have less popular games to be focusing on.

      I rank how fun a game is to play above all else, to which there are many contributing factors - one in particular being how much a game annoys me. I only have one life to live, that means I'll not be wasting it on crap like "Ougon no Kizuna" (sold 2 days after purchase, the only game I have EVER done that to), I would rather spend it fishing on Animal Crossing.

      I'm curious where you read about me faulting Conduit 2 on its level of difficulty, unless you think the single player campaign being short (which I did mention) makes it easy, which it does not. I got killed many times in many places but at no point was it frustrating enough for me to quit (which was the only real problem I had with Xenoblade). I'm a Monster Hunter. I've died on those games a hundred-fold more than any other. Yet I still go back because they are fun in their own way, and immensely satisfying.

      I'm quite happy to be challenged on my reviews, but at least spell my name right.
    1. Daragon's Avatar
      Daragon -
      Ok, I'll admit defeat on that one. I'm too used to typing out the name with a PH as opposed to a V. I sincerely apologize SteVen.

      In regards to the conduit review, I was picking up on how you said the online mode had too many skilled players on it. How does that differ from any other competative online game? Doesn't matter which one it is, you'll always get players with no job and/or social life who whittle away their hours 'pwning newbs' on COD and ****, and as it's presumably all they do other than eat and maybe sleep, they're inevitably quite good at it.

      Good players force you to adopt different strategies and help keep games from going stale. Unless of course you're remarking on the miriad of hackers that plague Nintendo's online games, in which case your list of cons probably should have been worded phrased better.
    1. Bort's Avatar
      Bort -
      Have you actually played Conduit 2 Daragon?
    1. charlesr's Avatar
      charlesr -
      I presume that's just out of interest. I don't think people should have had to play the games before commenting on the reviews.
    1. Daragon's Avatar
      Daragon -
      I haven't played it, no. My point is still valid however.

      The Conduit would be no different to a CoD game.
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