First and foremost lets get this out of the way… The Conduit is not a good game. Had it not been a Wii exclusive and was instead released on the 360, PS3 or even the PS2 it would had been critically panned and hated by all. It’s short boring, generic, repetitive and above all 100% overrated by Nintendo fanboys.
The story is your typical aliens-invading-the-earth-and-attacking-the-president-we-must-him-and-all-of-humanity bullshit that you’ve no doubt seen in many bad sci-fi movies, complete with poor dialog and cringe-worthy voice acting to match. There are one or two “twists” in the story but the characters are so soulless and unlikeable that you probably won’t even care when you’re inevitably betrayed by who you thought was an ally. As bad as the story is the overall game design is far, far worse. The whole game revolves around shooting aliens, walking through many corridors, scanning the walls with your ASE (I’ll get to that in a second) to find secret switches to opens doors and destroying eggs/portals which enemies continually spawn out of. There game offers so little variety that it’s actually insulting, you’ll be doing practically the exact same things from beginning to end.
The Conduit’s gimmick is the ASE (All Seeing Eye), a magic ball that you have in your possession which your enemies want in-order to take over the world (yes, seriously). As powerful as the ASE apparently is, the only time you’ll interact with it is when the game requires you to scan area to seek out hidden switches or to destroy invisible landmines. These segments are easily the worst moments in the game and they feel like nothing more than a cheap ploy by the developers to lengthen the game. Optionally the ASE can also be used to find collectible badges scattered throughout the levels and to gain access secret rooms which contains weapons and ammo, however every time you discover a secret room you’re forced to complete the same tedious puzzle before you can enter it, so eventually you’ll grow tired of repeatedly doing the same thing and soon you’ll learn to just ignore the secret rooms altogether.
If you’ve been following The Conduit at all you’ve probably heard that it controls perfectly and looks beautiful, unfortunately neither of these are true. Once you spend a few minutes in the game’s options customizing the aiming controls to suit your needs you’ll be able to move the cursor and pull off head shots with ease, however the Wii Remote and Nunchuk don’t have enough buttons for you to pull off everything The Conduit asks of you without it feeling clunky and tacked on, if I had a penny every time I accidentally pulled out my ASE while trying to change weapon or wasted precious ammo by accidentally reloading my gun I’d be a very rich man by now. As for the graphics they only look good when compared to the utter crap that most third parties release on the Wii, realistically The Conduit looks like it could have been released on the original Xbox.
As much as I really wanted to like this game The Conduit has left me feeling completely disappointed. High Voltage Software seem to be competent developers and I am eagerly anticipating some of their future Wii releases but The Conduit has failed to even remotely to live up to the hype surrounding it. I would only ever recommend this to people who have only ever owned the Wii and enjoy boredom, repetition, corridors and low-budget direct to DVD sci-fi flicks. I just hope this doesn’t deter Sega from releasing more adult orientated content on Nintendo platforms in the future.
Editor’s Note: Online Multi-player is currently running poorly and I’ve had several issues trying to connect to the servers. I know the problem isn’t on my side as I can play Mario Kart Wii online just fine but I’ll try again in a couple of days to see if things have improved at all.