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The Conduit promised to deliver a fully fledge first person shoot on the Wii, and it delivered on all fronts. But more than this it proved how sensational the Wii-mote/Nun-chuck combination is for shooting controls.
Let's get this out the way from the off. I've never got on playing games at a desk (that's where I work all day) or controlling first person games with two analogue sticks (too inaccurate and too fiddly). I've always thought that the Wii-mote offered a good compromise, the accuracy of a mouse without the need to be sat at a desk.
The Conduit finally shows how true this sentiment is. The fluidity and nuance available by simply pointing to shoot, particularly when you are sniping and the like, create a completely new first person shooting experience. Not only this, but you can play the game relaxing on the sofa in the family room rather than hunched over a mouse and keyboard.
The fluidity and nuance available by simply pointing to shoot, particularly when you are sniping and the like, create a completely new first person shooting experience.
The game offers a solid single player experience that takes you through a variety of environments and slowly introduces a nicely restrained set of weapons. Sure, the story is far fetch and really not that engaging, but that's not the point here. The level design and enemies take the fore.
While not quite reaching the impressive sentient foe of the Halo games, enemies here make sensible decisions when asked. They will run for cover, restock weapons and generally double-team you given half a chance. You need to have your wits about you not to be outflanked or gunned on a number of occasions.
This is a properly violent shooting game as the age rating suggests. That said though, things are kept in a fantasy filmic vein. The impact is lessened by both the familiarity of shooting games and the inclusion of alien life forms to target. Parents of kids on the borderline of being old enough could do well to play through a few levels themselves to get a feel for things - the only problem then will be getting them off it to let the kids play at all.
As well as the shooting are some more puzzle based elements involving switches, scanning and general head scratching. While it's nice to see the range of gestures being made use of on the Wii, these don't really add a lot to the main experience. That said, back in combat mode, the use of gestures from the Nun-chuck to throw grenades and Wii-mote to melee does add a degree of physicality to proceedings.
This was not just because I could brake out my Wii for proper hardcore shooting, but because of the simply magical shooting mechanic.
In addition to the single player is the much vaunted online play for up to 12 players. This is solid and lag free - which is some achievement with he resources available. There is more a feel of the original Xbox Halo multiplayer than the more detailed 360 Halo 3 experience, but this is by no means faint praise on the Wii. The whole multiplayer game offers as much breadth as you could hope for and gets the basics right.
Initially playing the Conduit didn't seem like that big a deal, it did what it had promised to do the last year. It also lacks that elusive four player local multiplayer (Goldeneye style). But walking away from the session I was left with a real sense of connection and enjoyment. This was not just because I could brake out my Wii for proper hardcore shooting, but because of the simply magical shooting mechanic.
While this doesn't have the finesse or budget of similar shooting games on the Wii like Metroid Prime, it has much more of that gritty shoot or be shot heart that made these games so much fun last generation. And that control mechanic is to die for.
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