Wii shooters seem to be rather hard to get right – most of the results we’ve seen so far haven’t been that impressive, with the exception of some classic titles like Metroid 3 and MoH: Heroes 2. When a shooter for that particular console fails, most times it’s the control scheme’s fault – we’re not sure why it’s like that, but developers seem to have a huge problem getting that part of their games right.
The Conduit not only managed to incorporate a convenient control scheme but also raised the bar on visual effects in a Wii game.
The Conduit is a standard first-person shooter, with a single player campaign that spans over nine levels, and numerous different modes for multiplayer. One of the things players have expressed great satisfaction with in regards to this game is its controls – you’ll find them similar to the games we mentioned above, while you’re also given a great degree of customization. You can change settings normally only found in PC games, such as aiming sensitivity, camera movement speed, and you can even completely change your key binds.
The single player campaign is entertaining and even though it doesn’t last long, still offers enough variety in all of its levels to keep you interested until the end. The plot isn’t that deep (and is actually a bit predictable in places), but it’s not a complete cliche either. One interesting aspect of the gameplay is the “All-Seeing Eye”, a special item which you’ll be required to use in order to solve some of the game’s puzzles. Those of you who’ve played Clive Barker’s Undying may find the concept similar to the magical stone which the main protagonist possessed in that game.
We mentioned something about the game’s graphics being impressive above – we should really expand on that. When the game was nearing its release, there were some claims by its developers that they’re trying to replicate the graphics quality of the PS3 and Xbox 360, despite the strict limitations the Wii’s hardware imposed on them.
And while most shrugged that off as a joke when the game did come out, jaws were dropping left and right – you can see effects such as bump mapping, specular light reflections, realistic lighting effects, and other types of visuals not normally found in Wii titles.
Yet it doesn’t run any slower than other titles do, which is the most surprising part – it turns out that the Wii is apparently capable of much better graphics than most of us previously thought, so we hope the engine used for The Conduit will catch on among developers and we’ll see its features utilized in another title soon.
There are over a dozen different multiplayer modes available, and the online play comes with some weapons that you can’t use in the single-player campaign – so if you don’t give the multiplayer a try, you’d actually be missing out on a large part of the game.
We’re not sure if the developers behind The Conduit have used some sort of magic, or they’re just really really good at optimizing things – whatever it is, the final result that we have available for playing is a small masterpiece of game development.