Needing a reason to blow that dust off your Wii? Well, look no further, the follow-up the Wii exclusive shooter 'The Conduit' has arrived.
It's been awhile since I've looked at an exclusive shooter for the Wii, so I was pleasantly surprised when (the) Conduit 2 launched. Stirring another vat of alien/human contention, the ubiquitously passable hero, Michael Ford and his handy ASE (All Seeing Eye) return to combat the odds. While the prose is another take it or leave it deal, 'High Voltage' put forth some effort to make (the) Conduit 2 feel more like the cinematic blockbuster shooters we have been spoiled with. Sadly, the market is so saturated with shooters, particularly ones that include aliens/humans that even with its touched up flair, it's all a little dull. However given the state of state of starvation Wii owners are going through, any excuse to pull that trigger will due. Traditional or not, its just fun to fire up the Wii without the purpose of entertaining others. This one is for the all the solo gamers, or as the marketing team would call them the “hardcore."
The action in Conduit 2 is as tight, if not tighter than the original which is great. Like the first, you won't have to worry too much about the waggle, but if you did/or are the system is extremely flexible with adjustments for just about everything. I tweaked around the settings for a while to find something I felt was a little beneficial for me. However that comes down to personal preference, and really the default controls are pretty sharp even without modification. Lastly, support is now granted for the classic controller, if you want to go “old school,” or "new school," in the way of Wii Motion Plus.
Furthering the customization is a creditable number of adjustments that can be made to your character in and out of single and multiplayer match-ups. There is unlocking system in place were you earn credits from simply playing the game. I found the idealism to be something close to the mega-hit 'Crysis,' but the Conduit 2 has a little more fun with itself, which only adds to its charm.
From a big Leviathan shoot out to your standard corridor progression, you will likely be immersed in the primal yet addictive action. This is the biggest asset in the Conduit 2 is it's pacing and core gameplay. The environments excellent offering enough variety that you should never get bored and while you might not truly care about the characters, you will care about making it to the next phase in the game... and there is something to be said for that alone. This “so-so” feeling tries to sneak in and does so with some repetition, but is to be expected in a more traditional styled shooter. Thing is, in a 10 hour game it might be more acceptable, but (the) Conduit 2 isn't close to that. If you are feeling up to it, you could knock this one out in one nighty sitting.
Additionally, there isn't much of challenge here aside from the learning curve of adopting to the console (if you're new to shooters on the Wii.) At times the artificial intelligence is laugh-out-loud silly; man, it seems the aliens got the short stick once again. Thankfully, the oddness of the narrative, varied levels and not necessary effective/but cool to look at alien weapons help you ignore the circles you're running around the enemies. I know Conduit 2 doesn't hit all marks, but there are some points when the Conduit 2 tip-toes around the above mentioned 'Crysis.'
Juxtaposing, the online isn't always a joyful run and can be rather dull compared to other console shooters. However if you only own a Wii, you'll probably throw this one in for a while. The modes are more extensive than expected with slightly enriched online support, you can now play with 14 players online. Everything from your standards are represented along with other modes where you defend, attack or control. Add it all up with the load-outs, custom avatars, list of modes and you have something worth talking about. It's just too bad the Wii is always playing catch up because 'Voltage' definitely has their finger on the gaming pulse.
With a boost in graphically quality, you will notice from frame-rate stuttering, but it's mainly in the single-player component and not online. This title should impress most gamers who have been getting used to the plethora of Wii bargain bin throwaways. This is a performance plus, unfortunately the design element is rather generic. It's not ghastly generic, just “we have been here before,” old news rather than new news. Still, it's fun to see what the Wii can do when a developer really pushes the hardware by devoting time to a project.
If you're into traditional styled shooters, the verdict is an easy one. Starved owners of a Wii the Conduit 2 is a solid buy. Even with its shortcomings, you will find some fun hidden with its alien escapades. The online component, although generic, only adds to this, which helps detour from the fact that the game is rather short. If you're a multi-console owner, I'd say rent this one, see how you like it, and the multiplayer really grabs you, head in for the long haul. Even though I am not blown away, I am impressed and thankful that 'High Voltage' stuck with the IP and pushed out another entry in the series. Who knows, maybe part 3 will make it onto the shelf for the next Nintendo console.
Similar Games: The Conduit (7.7) | Red Steel 2 (8.0) | Metroid: Other M (8.0)