The Conduit has a set of excellent tools, but the game itself is not great.

User Rating: 7 | The Conduit WII
High Voltage Software has been working for about three years to bring us The Conduit, pretty much the only pure first person shooter on the Wii. Controls are excellent and online play is functional, but the game itself is boring, repetitive and frustrating. I still urge you to buy it in a full retail price, because the Wii needs this kind of games and The Conduit certainly is on the right track here.

BLAND STORY

Story is basically a conspiracy mixed up with an alien invasion in Washington D.C. and the result is boring and predictable. The plot moves forward with radio chatter and between missions in text-based conversations. It's just stupid, but at least the voice acting is very nice and it's a pleasure to listen. Worse thing is that there doesn't seem to be a real connection between those nine missions you play so it all just feels loose.

TECHNICALLY A SUCCESS

The Conduit has been advertised for its technical presentation and I have to say that it does look good in Wii standards. Graphics are somewhere in between Metroid Prime 3 and Super Mario Galaxy, but the style and feel of the game are straight from Halo. Colors are used nicely, weapons and the explosions are modeled in detail, but the design itself is boring. Way too often you just run forward in a narrow pipe in some underground bunker or in an office building.

Music is orchestrated and aggressive, which is not something you usually hear in a Wii game. Voice acting is passable as mentioned and the sound effects are functional, but they lack personality. Again I must say that the developers were inspired by Halo, because some alien voices are just like you might remember from Bungie's game on Xbox.

MOLD THE CONTROLS TO YOUR LIKING

The best part in The Conduit is its controls. Literally everything is customizable and all you need to do is to give the game some time and tweak the controls as you progress. I guarantee that you will find a personal setting that fits for you.

REPETITIVE GAMEPLAY

The core gameplay is very repetitive: you open a door, shoot everything, move on to the next room and repeat the process. Developers seem to have known this, because very often the shooting is interrupted by the use of ASE. All Seeing Eye is an alien device you use to scan walls, activate devices and to deactivate invisible mines. In this respect The Conduit has a resemblance to Metroid Prime's scan visor. Problem is that the game wants to be an action packed shooter so very quickly the necessity of scanning walls becomes an irritating duty instead of a fun gameplay mechanic.

An alien invasion gives the game freedom to introduce some cool alien weapons and enemies. They succeed in that alien guns are effective and fun to use, but the enemies are dull and generic. The worst thing is that they usually have nests and they continue to respawn for as long as you decide to destroy their nest. This can really be a pain and in my opinion games should finally move on and give up on the concept of respawning enemies.

Enemy AI is decent and especially in numbers they provide a nice resistance and challenge. Unfortunately because of Wii's limited capabilities it seems the AI was the one that was dumb down to make room for graphics and other more apparent effects.

STATISTICS AND ACHIEVEMENTS

Wii doesn't have an achievement system like Xbox or PlayStation, but it does feature lots of in-game achievements for the dedicated to pursue. This combined to a thorough statistics of what you've been doing adds at least some replay value to the otherwise short single player experience.

MULTIPLAYER

Multiplayer is functional, but very basic. There are only variants of Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag available. Up to 12 people can play at the same time in the same server. Game also supports voice chat via Wii Speak, but it still doesn't hold the candle when compared to a proper headset.

Gameplay is very much like Halo, because people usually jump around and shoot each other that way. Meleeing is not so popular though, because shoving the Wii Remote towards the screen usually just screws your aim.

There are problems in multiplayer. In a laggy server the bullet lag can be several seconds and at times the opponent escaped my attack by jumping through a wall to safety. It's not a huge problem, but it's annoying every time it happens.

SUMMARY

The Conduit has excellent controls and a functional online play, but the story is stupid, design is boring and the gameplay is repetitive and frustrating. Still this is a game that Nintendo fans should be supporting and if nothing else The Conduit is on the right track in providing a shooter on the Wii.