Conspiracies abound in the best looking first-person shooter to appear on the Wii thus far. The Conduit was developed by High Voltage Software and is published by Sega.
The player takes on the role of Michael Ford, an agent in a shadowy government agency know as The Trust. As Agent Ford, the player must investigate a series of paranormal style incidents within Washington DC. Almost every possible government conspiracy can be found in the game, from reference to the Illuminati to alien invasion. Agent Ford can be armed with a selection of conventional weapons, such as assault rifles and machine guns, Trust weapons, such as the deatomizer and the carbonizer, and even weapons of extra-terrestrial origin, such as the warp pistol and the shrieker. Also with him at all times is the mysterious All Seeing Eye. This small, hand-held orb will allow the player to see things that have had their phase state changed by the Drudge (the games alien invaders). This works by simply pointing the “eye” at Agent Fords surroundings to reveal hidden keys, puzzle locks and even enemies.
The games controls are what we have come to expect on the Wii, wiimote controls the view and nunchuk does the movement. When I first tried the game I found myself spinning from left to right, trying to get a decent shot at some enemy agents, and giving myself motion sickness. Fortunately, High Voltage Software was kind enough to provide the player with a number of different ways to customise the controller setup. After a while I found something that worked for me and from then on the game controls were a pleasure to use, and without a hint of vomit. Sadly the same cannot be said for the games nod towards the Wii motion sensing abilities. We know that the Wii can be used to simulate throwing stuff or slashing a sword around, but we don’t need an example of this ability in every game that comes out on the Wii. In order to throw a grenade, the player must flick the wiimote in a grenade throwing style. The harder you flick, the further the grenade goes. This means that most of the time your grenades end up not where you want them. You want to get in close and hit the enemy? This will involve thrusting the wiimote forward in a comedy stabbing motion. A quick thrust later and you are trying desperately to get your targets lined up again before you get shot to pieces. A simple button press would have sufficed.
The story moves along at a good pace, and will have conspiracy boffs out there giggling with glee, but I found that it was too short, with the majority of conspiracy reference not actually having anything to do with the main story. Do I sense the build up to a sequel here?? The All Seeing Eye is a great idea, but not used to its full potential in this game. The game can also get a bit tiresome as well when facing wave after wave of aliens, whilst trying to hunt down and destroy their spawn points.
Given the limitations of the Wii, the visuals are great. This game seems to be really pushing the Wii hardware to its limits. High Voltage Software has managed to pull some pretty impressive effects out of the console. However, if you are a player of fps games on the other next-gen consoles, then you may be disappointed with The Conduit. It is however the best looking fps on the Wii.
Taking the game online will give access to quite a selection of different game modes for up to 12 players. Everything from the standard team death match and last man standing to the more unique bounty hunter and ASE football modes, and everything in between, are available for your customised Michael Ford to participate in. If you happen to have the Wii Speak peripheral, then you can even taunt the opposition and get tactical with your team mates. The online mode is not the best I have played by a long shot, however it may just be the best online experience on the Wii so far.
Although this game has a lot of flaws, and I get the impression that it was just to get us prepared for the sequel, it also has a lot going for it. It is the best looking FPS on the Wii, the best FPS on the Wii and the best online fps on the Wii. It just doesnâ€™t compete so well with games on the other next-gen consoles. If you only own a Wii, then this game is a must buy. If you own other consoles as well, then think carefully. A lot of fun is to be had in this game for Wii owners, and it is one of the best Wii games available. I score this game 7 out of 10