May 11, 2011
The story picks up directly where the previous game finished. Protagonist Michael Ford managed to defeat John Adams' nasty little alien hybrids and escaped through a conduit. On the other side, he lands on a oil rig in the Bermuda Triangle and quickly squares off against a Leviathan of all things, which is trying to destroy said oil rig.
It feels like a bit of a step back though, as the narrative has gone from semi-serious, to rather cheesy. Michael Ford is now voiced by Jon St. John, the master of the one-liner, and so, Ford now delivers a ton of one-liners. What actually transpires throughout just isn't all that interesting and once Ford dons his magical suit, everything becomes that much more faceless.
With High Voltage deciding to try out Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus technology this time around, you'd think the game would actually improve. But in some ways, it makes the game more difficult to play. Ironically, the game now feels too sensitive and while you can adjust all of the different settings, it's a real hassle. The button set-up is also not the best as key elements, like weapon switching, are mapped to the d-pad, so you have to hold the controller in a slightly odd way - it's not all that comfortable. Either that, or you need to keep adjusting between how you'd normally hold the controller, and how you now need to for Conduit 2.
There are also other fun nuances, like the melee attack being gesture controlled. Bear in mind that the controls are sensitive, having to stab forwards will mess up your aim a bit. And if you attempt to recover quickly, you might end up spinning around in a circle due to how the game is configured. It can become a little bit annoying and honestly, it's better to just ignore the Wii's standard controls and opt for the classic controller - if you have one of course.
Overall though, things are quite standard. There's a solid array of weapons to try out, but the enemies are a bit on the generic side and the AI is again not the best. At one point near the beginning, you have to mount a turret - but the AI just run around in circles and often don't even bother trying to shoot. It's very much like a turkey shoot. They also try to use the new mechanics where you can affect cover, but then they often don't use it.
The graphics really just aren't that great, despite this being a title that's well into the Wii's lifecycle. There are plenty of bugs too, which make the experience even less inspiring. Everything is rather colourful, but that doesn't stop it all from looking rather rough around the edges.
Its predecessors biggest strength though, came in its multiplayer modes and Conduit 2 also has the same strength. You can hop online and enjoy matches with up to 12 people or you can play local 4-player split-screen. The game features a Horde mode called Invasion, and there are also the other standard modes in the form of Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag. There is an expanded ranking system too, with many more maps to play on, but it's unlikely that the experience will drag you away from another online first-person shooter.
So, in short, Conduit 2 has the various options there for replay value, but it doesn't really inspire you to check them out for any length of time. Once you play through the single player campaign, the multiplayer might entertain you for a bit, but it's hardly going to be a huge time-sink in the coming months.
Conduit 2 builds upon its predecessor, but only slightly. It fixes problems, but in doing so, creates more problems. For example, the story. Ford has now become a connoisseur of the one-liner and it's now about being cheesy, as opposed to something worth paying attention to. The controls are also frustrating and while the multiplayer offering is rather solid, Conduit 2 just doesn't work that well on the Wii.
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