PAX 2008: The Conduit Hands-On

We defend the planet from an alien invasion on the Nintendo Wii.

The Nintendo Wii may be a family-friendly console, but that doesn't mean that sci-fi first-person shooters can't make their mark on the system. Shooters fans look to the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 for their gaming fix, but High Voltage's The Conduit is shaping up to be a solid competitor in that genre, with great visuals, as well as the appeal of using the Wii Remote to move your target reticle rather than managing two analog sticks. We went by the Nintendo booth at the Penny Arcade Expo 2008 to get some hands-on time with the upcoming shooter.

The story of The Conduit is set in the near future where you play as a secret service agent working for an agency called "The Trust," similar to a Men in Black-type of organization. The group deals with problems that the general public is better off not knowing about; however, an alien invasion is hard to ignore, so you've been tasked to deal with the problem. In the demo area that we went through, we had a chance to see various misshapen aliens, some walking on two legs and some flying around like insects. There were also portals that these aliens would come out of, but that was taken care of with a grenade or a lot of ammo.

The game is still in pre-alpha, but the controls felt a lot like Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. In The Conduit, your controls are fully customizable. You are able to adjust cursor sensitivity, turning speed, and the dead zone, as well as change the mapping of all the buttons on the Wii Remote. In the final version, the developers would like to have the ability for players to completely remap the heads-up display, as well as drag and drop HUD elements. This will allow players to set up their display exactly the way they want it.

The single-player game will have nine missions that will last about 10 hours if you were to just run through the game. There are hidden enemies, items, and story points to discover if you take the time to explore. An item called the All Seeing Eye allows players to reveal traps and mines. It is also highly useful when faced with some of the puzzle-solving elements of the game. Instead of cutscenes, the story unfolds through newscasts or radio broadcasts, so as you progress through the game, you'll collect pieces of information to try to get the bigger picture. You use alien weapons as well; we played around with a piece of alien machinery that required us to load glowing plasma balls. A de-atomizer was described to us as an alien weapon that has a normal single-shot firing mode, but when you use the B button for the charge attack, the target reticle splits in two and will fire two energy bolts. When the first bolt hits the target, it acts as an anchoring point so that the secondary bolt will wrap around the target (like a bolo), connect with the first bolt, and explode. Using the Wii Remote and specific weapons, you can shoot around corners by twisting the remote to get people that are hiding out of sight. Some weapons can also be guided using the cursor like a missile. High Voltage does plan to support Wii Motion Plus add-on, so we will have to see later how that will work.

There are standard multiplayer modes that are available to play online, which include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag. LAN play is something that High Voltage is looking into and may be available when the game launches. There will also be support for Wii Speak.

Visually, The Conduit looks great on the Wii because of the detail in the aliens, your weapons, and your environment. The build that we saw was still early, so there is still work to be done with lighting and textures. This alien invasion is set for March 2009, so check back soon for more coverage on The Conduit.

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Discussion

122 comments
Mojoe835
Mojoe835

Great game. Everyone that is into Halo or titles alike would very much enjoy it

AjaxNeron
AjaxNeron

I'm pretty sure this game uses the Wii Zapper. I sure hope so. :)

Mrdashy
Mrdashy

I wonder how the M+ will affect gameplay.

Rauge
Rauge

Does anyone know if it will support the Wii Zapper?

mightychir
mightychir

this looks great!!! im looking forward to this

dareough
dareough

@ Lord Na3k it said there is currently no split screen that doesnt mean there never will be

happybara
happybara

wow... my life begins in Q1 2009...

Mintychicken
Mintychicken

Coincidentally comes out on the one-year anniversary of SSBB. Looks fun.

thk123
thk123

The Wii supports LAN? This game looks so awesome, currently top of my Wii list, and not much off the top of all games I am looking forward to, and with Fable and Gears of War, that is saying something.

Lord_Nas3k
Lord_Nas3k

@Jack1717 High Voltage said there will be no split-screen.

Jack1717
Jack1717

cool I can't wait. Better have splitscreen

Jack1717
Jack1717

cool I can't wait. Better have splitscreen

irilthor
irilthor

kinda sux that i cant edit commeents, in my last post i said nintendo, but i was thinking of project hammer and day of disaster

irilthor
irilthor

oh and btw, somehow the games nintendo releases on the wii look much better then all the other games. and i saw nintendo will be involved in this game again, so i guess its gonna look pretty damn good :) for a wii game..

irilthor
irilthor

the wii zapper wasnt a waste of money imo, ive played ghost squad / resident evil umbrella chronicles / house of the dead returns / link's crossbow training. they were all pretty fun if u ask me, i spend alot of time on them with my friends, i just wished the wii zapper would shoot exactly where u point the gun at... wich it doesnt, that kind of sucked.. and soon house of the dead overkill will come wich is another wii zapper title, plus one of the medal of honors supports wii zapper too.. so i dont think its a waste of money ;D

king_bobo
king_bobo

Does this games support the Wii-Zapper or not? I'm beginning to feel that it was kind of a waste of money. Either way, with online multiplayer anda solid FPS experience, I'm in...

david_canada
david_canada

Many games looks great when described before release. So wait and see. Nevertheless, this one looks particularly promising, with everybody extremely enthusiastic. Ok, I'll make a little prayer...

david_canada
david_canada

Many games looks great when described before release. So wait and see. Nevertheless, this one looks particularly promising, with everybody extremely enthusiastic. Ok, I'll make a little prayer...

smeghead83
smeghead83

This does look good...but like any game we have to wait and see how good it will be.

mastiffchild
mastiffchild

Beggars belief that more Wii owners aren't fully behind this game. for once a third party dev(and one with no pedigree for FPS games truth be told)is throwing all they have at getting a FPS right on the system made for them. Even without motion plus this will be cool and if it works well with the zapper then that's a bonus as mine hasn't seen too much action but should really suit this kind of game(with less/no nunchuck action unlike the fabulous, best in series, MP3).The addition of Wii speak is obvious,neccessary and, judging by how well my PS eyecam can work instead of a headset, will work brilliantly. The visuals will only improve(for me they seem a tad oversaturated)and the death animations on the aliens MUST go. Otherwise The Conduit looks set to be just dandy. I'll be getting COD:WaW for Wii instead of PS3 just because I think the online might be the first decent one for Wii(and COD4 is still gonna be better on PS3 anyhoo)and if HV learn from what Treyarch get right and wrong the multiplayer for the Conduit could really rock. And Wii owners, or those interested, check out The Conduit Union.

ShadowJake
ShadowJake

this one looks awesome and all, but i really haven't been too impressed with the wii or any of its shooting games. Red Steel stunk, medal of honor wasn't that great, and far cry bombed. The only good FPS the wii has in my opinion is Metroid Prime 3. So while i am anticipating this one since it looks really cool, my expectations aren't high.

strawberryheart
strawberryheart

Ok I am stupid, hahaha, its FROM Pax 2008. Sorry, but it does look cool, can`t wait to play.

strawberryheart
strawberryheart

Its called PAX 2008....and its coming out in 2009? Where is the sense in that?

Lord_Nas3k
Lord_Nas3k

@Dudeman480: Your forgetting MoH: Vanguard and CoD3, though they're not that great of FPS's, they still count as First-Person Shooters. Not to mention, CoD: World at War is coming out as well. Oh and people, HVS already said they're most likely not using Motion+.

mastiffchild
mastiffchild

I hope we get some more updated footage soon as this is really starting to come together now. At the first screenshots I was unimpressed but HV have steadily started to turn my head and with each new snippet I get more excited for this. Last time I was concerned with the death animations(which must simply go)and over saturation along with dodgy textures but these can be put right in the way they've already sorted many worries I had. 'Bout time we got a real original, exclusive shooter for our little console-it really should be amazing.

Dudeman480
Dudeman480

holy jesus finally a shooter on the friggin wii! they should really make more shooters for the wii, u can count all of them on one hand for crying out loud! Lets see, Metroid Prime 3, Red Steel, Medal of Honor and now the Conduit. Pick it up ppl!

ROSSGOUGH
ROSSGOUGH

@Senor_Kami the corner thing should work amazingly if they incorporate the Wii MotionPlus properly. think about the different ways of shooting and watching the gun/hand on screen performing pretty accurate movements. fairly excited i have to say :P

Smithers2286
Smithers2286

I'm pretty sure this game is going to be amazing. I'm so glad High Voltage has taken the time to create something special on the Wii. Other third parties need to fall in line with this philosophy. The Wii has sold more software in it's first 20 months compared to the competition, and yet third parties continue to take the lazy approach with the system. I think after this game releases, it will set new standards on the console.

fearless15
fearless15

Why not all three Sophrae? Anyway, this game looks awesome! It may actually make third-party developers to take the Wii more seriously.

tennis12master
tennis12master

I hope this game has co-op campaign. Every time I go to my friend's house we play halo (any of the 3) co-op campaign together, and I've always wanted to be able to play a co-op shooter together at my house

Sophrae
Sophrae

sigh this or cod waw or timesplitters 4 or redsteel 2?

Sophrae
Sophrae

sigh this or cod waw or timesplitters 4 or redsteel 2?

ultra-chidori
ultra-chidori

Look's like my pockets for October will be drained of all life so getting this game later on after october might be a pain in the middle of the cartridge.

santiagochile
santiagochile

"Wii Zapper doesn't really have any place in normal shooter. It is pretty much only good for on-rails shooters." What in idiotic comment. The Zapper is awesome for shooters, and it works great in MOH2. I wish it worked better for games like Metroid 3 and Red Steel 1.

Lord_Nas3k
Lord_Nas3k

Sounds fun, but I have a feeling it's not going to live up to the hype.

madsnakehhh
madsnakehhh

Nah, never really been interested in FPS, i might give it a try if the reviews are good.

Jakabillybob
Jakabillybob

I went to PAX and played this game, and I have to say that it was amazing. The visuals were spot-on, and also, the controls felt fluid and very under control.

stubuz323
stubuz323

Seems like its kind of taking a perfect dark approach, mixed with Halo perhaps. Why dont games include lan more often, I know Internet play is better, but for wii the connection isnt all that great, and you need a whole screen to yourself anyway, so split screen doesn't work... looks good

piemanngamer
piemanngamer

The voice chat is gonna make all the difference

dakidukno
dakidukno

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dakidukno
dakidukno

"There are standard multiplayer modes that are available to play online, which include Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag. LAN play is something that High Voltage is looking into and may be available when the game launches. There will also be support for Wii Speak." Finally a hardcore FPS for the wii that has online and chat compatability. I cant w8.