E3: Conduit 2 Preview

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Remember the Nintendo Wii? Of course you do, everyone and your dog owns one. It is the little white (or now black) box that couldn’t satisfy you if you had the nerve to consider yourself “proper hardcore.”

That’s a half-truism. Every now and then a more mature game with a different target audience than what the Wii generally caters to is released, such as No More Heroes, Madworld, or House of the Dead Overkill. Unfortunately, these games usually tank on the charts because the audience these games are aimed at probably doesn’t own a Wii, or if they do, they’ve long since forgotten about it. Why? Games that target the traditional fan base took a little too long getting to the machine, or are so few and far between that they can often slip by the public unnoticed.

The Conduit, released in the summer of 2009, was one of those games that slipped by the radar. There was a lot of hype leading up to its release, but once it hit store shelves the game received mixed reviews from industry leading critics, and worse than that, it had box art that screamed “bargain bin.”

Okay. Honestly, that was a larger introduction than I’m used to writing, and chances are that you, the reader, have stopped doing your job. That is, uh, reading.

Conduit 2 (the developers dropped the “The” from the title) is coming out in the fall of this year, and if all goes according to plan, it’ll blow the pants off of not only the original, but what you expect from a Wii shooter.

First off, let’s be clear: developer High Voltage Software (HVS) is smart. Many people consider the original Conduit to be a technological marvel on the Wii console. The Quantom3 engine has been refined once again and the effects are immediately noticeable. Conduit 2 looks phenomenal. Wii release or not, the game looks good. It’d be mind blowing in full 1080p. HVS knows what they are doing with visuals.

But what really makes HVS so intelligent is that they listen to the gamers. They listen to the critics. Yes, most companies say they do, but these guys really are. In this day and age you have to. There is so much competition in the market that you can’t afford to ignore what the users online are talking about. You have to compete for the love. You have to compete for the money.

One of the complaints critics made was about boss battles. In the original, there wasn’t so much bosses as there were regular, powered up regular enemies. Gameplay design flaw number 1. In the sequel, there are full on bosses with full on battles. Early levels on display showcased a canned fight scene versus a rather hefty leviathan.

Working around Nintendo’s Friend Code policy, HVS has developed their own in-game Rivals List. This will allow you to bookmark friends and enemies in a quick and easy manner, rather than using the clunky Friends Code option delivered to you by Nintendo in most system releases.

Wii Motion Plus? Well, of course. It’d be absolutely juvenile for High Voltage to release a game catering to this particular market without accessories for the hardcore. Interestingly enough, however, HVS isn’t going to use Motion Plus for your traditional 1-for-1 movement tracking, and instead will use the optional add-on for recalibration of the controller. Essentially, when you move your Wii remote cursor off screen, the device will help recognize it quicker.

There are improvements to be mentioned for sure but to be frank, Conduit 2 looks strikingly similar to The Conduit. If you’re a Wii gamer looking for a more traditional first person shooting experience, check out this game. If by chance you are regular, run of the mill Nintendo Wii user (there are 70+ million of you), you will probably walk right by HVS’s newest offering, looking for a friendly family title.

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Written by Adam R.

This author procured a media pass for E3 under false pretences, and no longer writes for Critical Gamer.

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