Concept art for 'Conduit 2.'
Conduit 2 from Sega arrives with much fanfare. When its predecessor, The Conduit, was released, it was regarded as the best first-person-shooter on the Wii platform to date. That was a couple of years ago. Since then a few better titles have surfaced that easily could live up to that moniker.
Because of the lack of competition, it's only fair that we gauge the success of Conduit 2 by comparing it to other games in the genre, regardless of platform and to Wii games in general, including the first one in the series. In short the game is much better than other Wii games in the genre and even stacks up nicely against non-Wii titles.
Let's face it, you never are going to find a game that looks as good on the Wii as it would on other systems. It's a technical issue. Nintendo simply doesn't have the hardware to provide superior graphics. Wii gamers have accepted this and moved on. Having said that, the graphics on Conduit 2 probably are the most stunning aspect of the entire game. The environments are surprisingly beautiful to behold and the character design and weaponry feel real.
Score: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Genre: First-person shooter
No. of Players: 1-4 (2-12 online)
ESRB rating: T (Teen)
The game follows a predictable sequel story line, picking up where the the first one left off. An alien force is harvesting our planet and some evil jerk wants to harness our power and conquer the world. We start the game again as Michael Ford and are chasing the evil jerk around the world through a series of portal-like tunnels called conduits. That's the plot in a nutshell and though the story lags a bit and culminates in what only can be described as a goofy, almost comical end, it wasn't the worst I've seen. The character interaction and dialogue make the game seem a lot fresher than the first and even prompted a giggle here and there.
The combat in C2 is extremely fun even though the enemy AI is ponderous. Many times you walk into a room where the bad guys are milling around doing a lot of nothing and take them by surprise. More than once, while under attack I would retreat to another room just inside the doorway, and the aliens would attack the wall around the door instead of my character. It made them look really stupid and made me want to blast them even more. I never felt that the levels were very difficult but they were a lot of fun.
The boss fights are another matter. The first is with an alien sea serpent called Leviathon. Basically you have to blast him from an oil rig with turret guns before he usurps your energy by destroying your generator. He's big, he's bad, he's ugly, and he breathes fire. It probably takes as long to kill him as it does to get to him. He's nothing to fool with and he's just the first boss. There are many more that will make him look like a grouchy tapeworm. The harrowing big boss fights are really the best combat in the game and are hard for other FPS games to compete against mostly because those others are confined to a world where giant sea serpents don't exist. It's combat on a grand scale.
The weaponry is another fine detail not overlooked by the designers. There are the usual man-made bullet throwers such as machine guns, pistols, and shotguns -- typical FPS fare -- but the best artillery comes from the alien forces. In particular you will find the Hive Cannon satisfying and a joy to hold in your arms. Well you don't really hold it as much as it holds you. You basically insert your arm into what appears to be a living sleeve that wraps itself around your forearm. It's almost grotesque to watch and hear. I like it.
At first the controls were a tad hard to get used to, unlike most other FPS titles. The sensitivity of the Wiimote had my reticule site jumping all over the screen and it was tedious trying to stabilize it. You have to have a steady hand to aim with any accuracy. Either get good at it or do what I did and adjust this setting in the game controls. It won't solve the problem completely but it will slow it down, allowing for a better aim. Once this little issue is remedied the combat takes on a whole new feel and the fun begins.
No doubt shooter fans used to the other platforms will find this game above average but a shot well below the industry leaders. Compare it to other Wii titles outside the genre and it's a nice addition to any Wii owner's library. However, when it comes to FPS titles on the Wii platform C2 is once again king of the hill. And it's going to be hard to knock it off.