"Dear God, how many levels are left?"
...is what I kept asking myself after about the first level of the game. This will be a brief review. I didn't like the game. I will admit I had very high expectations for the game based on what I saw and heard up to its release. I thought it could be a great game, or at least a good one. It's neither. I wouldn't even say it's a mediocre game. It's a bad game. A very bad game. Not the worst, but bad.
Genre: First Person Shooter (FPS)
Developer: High Voltage Software
Release Date: June 23, 2009 (US)
I will give a little credit to the developers for at least trying to bring a "real" FPS to the Wii. The idea is good. The execution is just terrible. The only quality that gives this game a little redemption is the fully customizable controls and HUD, and just the sheer number of game options. More games should take a lesson from the Conduit in that department. In every other department though, the Conduit fails.
As I mentioned above, the amount of customization you have for your gameplay is unlike anything I've ever seen on a console shooter before. From mapping the controls to however you like them, to changing how you move and the very feel of the game, to placing items like your health bar and ammo count anywhere on the screen you like them, there were some really cool features they introduced. I will give credit where it is due for these things.
The rest of the game does not inspire happy feelings though. The graphics are sub-par even for the Wii, and I believe we were promised somewhere that the Conduit would have "the best graphics ever on the Wii" or something like that. The sound is below average and repetitive (even with Hercules). The story is uninteresting and incredibly cliche. From what I've heard, the ending is just as bad and obviously leaves it open for a sequel (God forbid). There aren't really even cutscenes (there may have been one at the end, I dont know, I'll admit I did not have the heart to finish the game. I got about 75% of the way through and finally gave up). The characters are bland and completely unexplored in the least by the "plot" of the game (if you can call it that). While the customization for the controls was good, even with all the options I could not find a setting where I really felt comfortable with the gameplay. The motion controls for the melee and grenade throwing really screw you up if you try to do them while aiming precisely (I know you can change those to other buttons, but even if you do, something still has to be assigned to the motion controls). The "puzzles" the game had to offer were insultingly simple and consist of rotating three circles to all match each other. Every time. Seriously.
In my experience, the multiplayer was pretty bad as well. It lagged a lot, and even just getting into a FFA deathmatch takes a five minute period to gather players- there's actually a timer that counts down from five minutes! That, coupled with the time it takes to get onto the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, is just too long. I like to be able to hop into an online game pretty quickly if I want to, I dont want to wait seven minutes to get into a game that may last three or four minutes. Maybe part of that is Nintendo's fault and not High Voltage's (the developers of the game), but either way the Conduit is not going to be gaining any points for it.
All in all, do not buy this game. Maybe if you see it for $10 someday in a bargain bin it might be worth it, but there are tons of great shooters on other consoles. Even if you only own a Wii (which, if you like FPS's is unlikely), still do not buy this game. Go with the Metroid Prime Trilogy. I've heard High Voltage say they'd like to make a sequel. All I can say is that if they do, there is no way I would even consider buying it until after it comes out and I have read a lot of reviews. And they would all have to be really, really good reviews.
Pros: control/gameplay customization options.
Cons: graphics, sound, some gameplay elements, story, characters, voice acting (sorry Kevin Sorbo, I love all your other stuff though!), multiplayer, singleplayer, puzzles, motion controls... just about everything else.
FINAL SCORE: 2 out of 5.
Note: All reviews on this site are solely the subjective opinion of the author. If you disagree with my review please feel free to post in a polite manner and state your opinion. I welcome respectful discussion on my blog and would love to get feedback on my review and also read yours. Thanks!