After some disappointing Wii Remote games, the Conduit's impressive graphics and customizable control scheme are a welcome change
When Nintendo first unveiled the Wii Remote, gamers wondered how it would work with first person shooters. Unfortunately, the system launch made a horrible first impression, no thanks to Ubisoft's average Red Steel and later, the terrible Far Cry Vengeance. Since those abominations, companies (other than Nintendo with Metroid Prime 3: Corruption) failed to capitalize on the technology, but the upcoming shoot-em-up, The Conduit, looks phenomenal for a Wii game, sporting impressive graphics and a fully customizable control scheme.
Set in present day Washington D.C., you play as Agent Ford, a man out to thwart an alien invasion. After receiving orders from the mysterious Mr. John Adams, Ford sets out to kill anything that isn't human. Fortunately, it doesn't take him long to find these creatures, and he shows them no mercy, unloading countless rounds using a pistol, machine gun and sniper rifle. He also gains access to alien technology and uses their own weapons against the scourge.
In addition to the shooting, The Conduit features some puzzle solving, and Ford uses his All-Seeing Eye (ASE), a small ball-shaped device that reveals hidden objects, to solve these brainteasers. Where he acquired it as well as how it works, though, remains a mystery.
So far, the game's best feature are its graphics, which look great. We're not talking Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 quality, but High Voltage's (the developer) proprietary technology allows them to create a sprawling city environment with an impressive level of detail, including shimmering water, real time reflections and sweet fire effects. Aliens appear cool and menacing, with glowing eyes and large, contorted bodies. Weapons look great, as Ford can easily fire off a few rounds with his pistol before seamlessly transitioning to his assault rifle. Even better, the action moves at a brisk pace, with only a few hiccups when too many enemies clutter the screen.
Furthermore, The Conduit allows you to customize almost every facet of the control scheme. This includes adjusting your cursor sensitivity, turn speed, run speed, auto centering, fire button and other functions. You can even adjust the heads-up display, moving Ford's health meter and ammo counter to opposite sides of the screen.
Everything sounds and looks great, but this game is far from finished and needs a publisher, so for now, talks of a robust single player campaign and even a multiplayer component (with voice chat using Nintendo's WiiSpeak microphone) are fantasies. It's only a matter of time, however, until someone gives The Conduit a chance.