on 10 July 2009
So, The Conduit, they call it the great 'hardcore' hope for those who own a Wii and who want a little bit more from their consoles than endless mini games and fitness stuff. Personally, I wasn't going to let hype get in the way of my feelings towards it, and it seems that my initial apprehension was justified.
I am all for seeing a fresh wave of 'hardcore' games come to the Wii, but The Conduit just isn't the way to do it.
This game, from the very outset, had its graphical prowess hyped to infinity. Admittedly, it does live up to the hype in this respect as it is one of the better looking Wii games (but it doesn't quite reach the 'as good as XBox 360 graphics' that they promised). There are no lazily ported PS2 graphics here, this has been built from the ground up, and it shows, and I really do admire HVS for committing to such a thing. Unfortunately, there is no point in doing so if the graphics are placed in a game as generic as this.
I should qualify, I'm not a great fan of FPS games to begin with, simply because I have always been a great fan of innovative gameplay, and yet the FPS genre usually (with few exceptions) stifles innovation in this regard by it's very nature of being, and developers are forced to get clever with their online modes in order to hide this. How many times have you played an FPS game that features Germans or aliens as the bad guys after all? The list is endless, and The Conduit is yet another one to add to it... It is yet another 'mature', soulless, generic, tired and clichéd FPS game where you shoot a load of aliens.
The developers idea of being innovative is to include a little gadget known as 'the all seeing eye' which is used to show hidden items, enemies or doors. It's a nice idea, but it just seems as though the developers have overused the idea a little, as you soon get tired of relying on such an item for the discovery of such hidden items, as I for one enjoy finding them myself without the aid of something else.
As if to sum up it's quality, the lead voice actor is Kevin Sorbo, star of sub-par Sci-fi series Andromeda, and that really is enough said about that.
The controls work excellently and are fully customisable, it is just a shame that they are controlling a game from ten years ago in shiny new clothing, because at the heart of it, there's nothing in the game that wasn't around in the N64 era in classics like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. I'm sure I've even seen some of the many corridors you'll see in The Conduit before as well. Sure, there's nothing wrong with borrowing the odd idea, but when you play The Conduit, you just get a sense of déjà vu, and that is not a good thing.
As such, The Conduit will ultimately fail at what it aims to do. Sure, it'll probably sell well to people who got caught up in the hype, and to true FPS nuts who will play anything, but as for trying to get a few Halo fans to like the Wii... Well, let's just say they probably won't be converting anytime soon if this is the standard to be expected, as even the decent online modes won't be enough to keep them entertained for very long.
So to developers the world over I say, bring us more 'hardcore' games, as we've all had enough of `Big Beach Sports' and the like, just try and put a little more effort into the actual game rather than concentrating solely on the graphics, because as The Conduit further proves, good graphics do not equal a good game.
I give it two stars, one for the effort with the graphics, and one for the excellent controls. It's just a shame those graphics and controls couldn't be included in a decent game. Perhaps HVS can concentrate a little more on the gameplay on their next Wii title.