Published on April 30th, 2011 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Conduit 2 Review
Platform: Nintendo Wii
MSRP: U.S. 49.99
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Conduit 2 released with little more than a pin drop. There were many who were waiting anxiously for the promising shooter for the Wii to finally rear it’s head, but with the overpowering, almost overbearing, release of games like Portal 2 the same day, it flew very well under the radar. The Wii in general sometimes gets downplayed by hardcore gamers shrugging it off for their boxes or their stations, missing out on some of the finer things when it comes to this unique console. Conduit 2 from High Voltage software being one of those games that you just wish you owned a Nintendo Wii for.
We return to the familiar scene as Adam’s is once again ready to fulfill his efforts of being the biggest jerk of all time, but still managing to escape through the conduits unscathed. Enter Mr. Ford. This time, we are hot on his tail, utilizing the A.S.E. and an arsenal of weapons to beat him to the punch for world domination. Wait, wasn’t that the case in the first one?
While the storyline has not changed much, there are a few things that have. Prometheus, Mr. Ford’s voice-of-all-that-is-knowing stemming from the A.S.E., now sports a more comical view of the world. It is often that the dialogue between Ford and Prometheus becomes laugh-out-loud funny, to “Did he really just say that?” However, having some catch phrases of your own while you blow away enemies with a TPC-Launcher is always pleasing.
It is usually the weaponry that is one of the most important factors in the first person shooter genre. It is almost comical how gamers get picky over these weapons. “It’s not realistic. I want to fire bullets not some alien plasma gun.” “It overheats when you fire it too much? I quit!” The overall run of weapons in Conduit 2 is nothing less than satisfying. While many have unique secondary firing abilities, they also provide pleasurable primary blasts as well.
Although quality far exceeded quantity, there was something about the shotgun in this title that just did not work. The aiming with the Wiimote did not help its very close-range-only firing. At times, even the spread of the gun did not harm nearby enemies unless the shot was dead on. This was a little disappointing being that it is always fun to go on a reckless shotgun spree regardless of the setting. Well, unless its a baby shower or something inappropriate.
Visually, Conduit 2 is sporting some of the best graphics the Wii has ever seen. If there ever was a time that lighting alone could make or break a game, case and point. From glaring guns sporting their bright, vivid colors as your shot wraps around your enemy, exploding and taking them to the ground, or fiery red explosions amidst the gunfire, there are plenty of times that I caught myself thinking, “Wow, this is a Wii game.”
There were also a number of times that the detail in the game delved more than the outer layer. For example, in one of the beginning levels, there are a number of boxed items sitting in a storage area. Getting closer to these crates didn’t allow for blurry, pixelated textures. If it wasn’t for the non-HD display, these types of textures seen throughout the game would have been comparable to quality seen in Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. There were honestly two, maybe three times where during hectic gameplay did the game suffer from lag, but did not hurt the overall immersion.
The gameplay in Conduit 2 is very fulfilling. It is very visible in the creation itself that the team at High Voltage spent a lot of time receiving feedback from the community. Things like motion plus support, secondary weapon use, and custom controller layouts were just a few improvements to the FPS that only aided in its complete feel.
Although the game did a great job with the introduction and improvements of these aspects, there were a few things that did not seem to simply, add up.
While it is no surprise that a game on release date may have a few bugs,or even multiplayer issues for that matter, it is a surprise to see it be highly debilitating. In the first level, titled Leviathan, there was a detrimental flaw that had me stuck until downloading the latest patch. There was a door, which unless following a specific scanning method with the A.S.E., left you stuck outside with literally nowhere to go. There were also a few other times where switching from the A.S.E. and scanning, back to firing away at Drudge left me frustrated as the buttons were sometimes unresponsive.
While controls alone were much improved, something that still suffered from the constraints of the Wii, were the overall feel of the FPS genre. It is great to jump into first person shooter games on the console. The time spent actually thinking and planning your next move becomes more prominent, slowing down gameplay for enjoyment. While this may help out in 99.99% of the areas, there were times when boss battles or smaller, annoying enemies just became a chore to defeat.
While it was no surprise that the first Conduit had a moderate level of success in the online multiplayer department, it was however not a similar case with its successor. Due to the growing longevity of this review, let’s not beat around the bush. The multiplayer is often hit or miss, depending on your network. The majority of the matches are objective based, but the usual “Team Deathmatch” is available. The custom games do offer some great options to mix things up a bit and is an overall well thought out multiplayer.
The “misses” come from the network itself. It is great to have a loadout and skim through your achievements, especially while you wait for a match to start. It takes long periods for players to enter and even during matches, host migration occurs a couple times. Players who liked the first multiplayer experience will still find comfort in the layout, but might be a little disappointed at wait times.
Conduit 2 is by leaps and bounds, a superior successor. The graphics, gameplay, and controls are some of the biggest improvements of the game. Although the storyline was highly immersive, there is no telling where High Voltage will lead us next on this alien conspiracy theory/wild goose chase that we now have become a part of. There were a few day-one bugs that might have hindered those without an internet connection with the same feeling of being locked out of your house knowing the person inside cannot hear you to let you in. The multiplayer looked very promising, but might leave some a little disappointed in the layout. Conduit 3 could very well be a top contender in the next generation for Nintendo’s upcoming console. It is a must own if you played The Conduit, or are looking for a FPS experience on the Wii that is truly a High Voltage Nintendo Wii experience.
+Improved Gameplay Mechanics