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Conduit 2 review

AT A GLANCE
  • Robust and worthwhile online modes
  • Split-screen co-op and vs offerings
  • Extensive control customization
  • Mediocre, meandering campaign
  • Wannabe Duke Nukem quips
  • Regular visual and audio hitches

About an hour into Conduit 2 it becomes increasingly clear that this Wii shooter series is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. While the 2009 original had a more serious alien invasion vibe along with a straight-laced protagonist, that same hero is now slinging PG-rated, Duke Nukem-aping one-liners within a goofy storyline that borders on nonsensical garbage. When it finally sinks in that Jon St. John – the voice behind Duke himself – has replaced Michael Ford's voice actor from the original game, those groan-inducing zingers quickly transform from seeming unnecessary to feeling totally desperate.


We can shrug off the silly new slant to some extent, but rare peaks aside, Conduit 2's campaign missions tend to meander and rely on tired mechanics – like making you run back and forth across a level to activate switches, or locking doors and events until you slay a room's occupants. Only the boss battles (like one against a monstrous, mechanized sea serpent) really stand out, but even then, they're not enough to make this adventure more than an adequate, but mostly unremarkable affair set across some thankfully distinct settings. At least the wacky, way-out-of-left-field ending satisfies. Seriously, if you're not going to drop eight hours into the campaign, be sure to YouTube the ending clip – it's already out there.


Above: That wimpy machinegun won't help you one bit here

So what's worthwhile here? No surprise: it's multiplayer. Whether you like it on a single screen with three buddies (in the co-op Invasion mode or one of the many versus modes) or online in heated battles, Conduit 2 ranks up there with GoldenEye 007 and Call of Duty: Black Ops on the Wii. And with support for 12 players in select modes and more than a dozen total game types, it's arguably the thickest online shooter on the console. Aside from the standard genre offerings, Conduit 2 also delivers interesting diversions like Balloon Battle and ASE (All-Seeing Eye) Basketball, which unlike the campaign actually show a bit of humor amidst the expected violence. Limited as the interface is by the Wii's wimpy online approach, you can rank up in battle and lightly customize your player while making friends and tracking rivals.

Conduit 2 luckily maintains the wide-ranging control customization options from the original and adds MotionPlus and Classic Controller support, so you'll no doubt find something that fits your style. However, some odd quirks remain, such as having crouching and sprinting mapped to the same button, along with a toggled aiming down sights feature instead of being able to just hold down the button as needed. The game often looks really nice, with detailed environments and enemy characters, but sadly, occasional hitches make it feel like High Voltage Software might be pushing the Wii a little too hard here. Sometimes you'll turn a corner and briefly see emptiness, or look down into a chasm to view pieces of the level flicker and disappear as you move the pointer. Seeing a character continue to smack her lips long after a sentence has ended just speaks to a lack of refinement, however.


Above: Death by fire, aliens, or terrible quips? All are available…

Since the release of the original Conduit, we've seen that the Wii can quite capably run some pretty solid shooters (notably Red Steel 2), and simply doing the job isn't enough anymore. Sadly, aside from a sharp online Wii experience, Conduit 2 rarely impresses, relying too much on generic drudgery and sad attempts to capture the magic of more popular titles; worse yet, the storyline and characters seem aimless and forgettable. Conduit 2 may still hold appeal for shooter fans relying on the Wii to get their online fix, but that kind of qualifier just doesn't hold as much weight as it did a couple years back.

Apr 25, 2011

More Info

Release date: Apr 19 2011 - Wii (US)
Apr 22 2011 - Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Shooter
Published by: Sega
Developed by: High Voltage
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Animated Blood, Language, Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes
PEGI Rating:
16+

20 comments

  • conduitcrackbaby - June 23, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    omg u guys need to stfu about the graphics. the wii was not built for graphics. it cannot handle it. the wii was built to perform .
  • joemoreheroes - May 23, 2011 10:52 p.m.

    This game is far better than that. At least an 8 in my opinion. Maybe if it had more explosions and shinier graphics it would fare better.
  • yagirlfriendsfavoriterapper - May 21, 2011 4:08 p.m.

    A 8 imo, Conduit 2 is more interesting than the first and multi-player has been vastly expanded. I also like how it isn't as serious.
  • johnthe5th - April 27, 2011 3:32 a.m.

    You guys are too harsh. There's no way the dialogue is as annoying as Onslaught's "That's why you're still a kid". I still hear that in nightmares...
  • WarWasp - April 27, 2011 1:25 a.m.

    @HereComesTheHypeTrainCHOOCHOO: Indeed.I started swapping the controls around the moment I got the game.One DOES negate the other.
  • HereComesTheHypeTrainCHOOCHOO - April 26, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    "some odd quirks remain, such as having crouching and sprinting mapped to the same button, along with a toggled aiming down sights feature instead of being able to just hold down the button as needed" "Extensive control customization" Uh, if I am reading these two quotes correctly shouldn't the second point completely negate the first complaint? Or would it have taken a whole 30 seconds to do that so forget it? Confusing.
  • ThatGamerDude - April 26, 2011 3:03 a.m.

    I would have got this IF my Wii worked but due to events Im not sure of, this will never happen. (Sob).
  • Stripeless - April 26, 2011 2:27 a.m.

    But look at those lighting effects! Wowie! I'm having a lot of fun with this game (despite the rather shallow single-player experience). The multiplayer is a blast and the loadouts have a lot of depth as far as customization goes. I do think it's a little unfair to compare this game to non-Wii shooters, however.
  • WarWasp - April 26, 2011 2:06 a.m.

    Why does everyone hate on this game? It's on the Wii for Godsake! I got it a couple days ago,and I love it so far.Yeah,the voice acting is crap (sadly,as it should have been better since they got Jon St.John to voice Ford),yeah,the story makes no sense (when has it EVER made sense?),and,yeah,maybe,the game could have been a little more polished overall,but it's the best fucking shooter on the Wii.The Multiplayer maps are a bit like mazes...I actually hate them when compared to the first game's maps.But that should in no way detract from the overall fun of the game.You want Halo?Play fucking Halo (I'm not hating on Halo,mind you)You want CoD?Play CoD.But for right now,it's all Wii owners have got.I do agree with HitmanSB07 though; I'd like to see a third installment on "Console X".Maybe High Voltage can finally nail it.It's just sad to see that they got SOOOOO close this time...although they can add patches,and there's no fucking machinegun rocket launcher.If you have a Wii only (like me) you should go pick it up...
  • ashleyytindel - April 26, 2011 1:43 a.m.

    Dumb, why are the graphics too similar to HALO?
  • Redeater - April 26, 2011 12:46 a.m.

    Alright children let us not feed the troll. If you do he will not survive when released back into the wild.
  • BigBrother - April 26, 2011 12:38 a.m.

    BigKingBud is a winrawr. >< LMAO
  • joemoreheroes - April 26, 2011 12:17 a.m.

    All this needs is more restrictive, scripted Michael Bay like scenes(gameplay), a lot more online glitches, and shinier graphics with a yearly release to receive super high score and Goty awards
  • Defguru7777 - April 25, 2011 11:41 p.m.

    @BigKingBud Your idiocy is louder than your overcompensation. Just shut up and learn to type. And you're obviously trolling, because he didn't bring up half of the stuff you mentioned. (oh, and school's an essential part of not being an idiot, FYI)
  • twewy13 - April 25, 2011 11:34 p.m.

    bleh...i could tell this game would be crap...it seems to have lost the little things that made the original a decent game thats okay though, the wii is undeniably dying, project cafe signals the end
  • ChickenFillet5140 - April 25, 2011 10:01 p.m.

    Damn I was hoping this would be better. I'll pick this up when it's cheap/er.
  • Redeater - April 25, 2011 9:53 p.m.

    What the fuck! How is it possible that this game isn't even as good as the first. I was looking forward to this game after I picked up the first one in the bargain bin for $10. Money well spent if you ask me. Well looks like I will be picking this up for $5 on kijiji in a year or so. And I was so looking forward to dusting off my wii for something other then Skyward Sword. This is how Nintendo fans are thanked? By being tossed a sub-par game in the graveyard that is the wii's release schedule??
  • PimplesInYourAsstista - April 25, 2011 9:36 p.m.

    @BigKingBud In English please? Yeah, Conduit 2 was fucked from the start. On an underpowered console? Check. Lack of advertising? Check (as far as I know, anyways) Releasing besides TWO triple-A titles in the same week? Check.
  • HitmanSB07 - April 25, 2011 8:22 p.m.

    A part 3 on the new console might be good...
  • Gnilres - April 25, 2011 8:20 p.m.

    Might get it on eBay or something.

Showing 1-20 of 20 comments

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