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The Conduit review

Sega’s latest Wii FPS restores faith to the hardcore

Yeah, baddies will mostlysit there and take the hit, yetit almost feels like it’s a balance struck while attempting to wade players into what’s still a remarkably new frontier of controls.Oh, in case you’re not familiar with how to control an FPS with a Wii Remote, it’s all about "The Dead Zone."

Instead of a mouse or right analog stick, you’ve got an invisible border on screen. Once you’re reticule moves beyond that perimeter, the screen dynamically shifts your perspective in the direction your crosshairs are headed. In hallways this works fine… In open areas, not so much. Fortunately, the game is linearly designed with that shortcoming in mind. We’d say it takes a while to get the hang of, but it doesn’t. Especially if you’re willing to tinker, since the dead zone is just one of the many things that is yours to adjust!

Stuff that sucks about reviewing games #475: You jot down a poignantly hilarious aside, heroically skewering a game for a specific fault… then you check the menu and realize that it’s optional/adjustable and you look like an asshole for not being thorough. The book hasn’t been written on how Wii FPSs should work, so The Conduit leaves you free tailor the interface to your specific liking.

Above: Our Nation's phallus... those fiends!

Adjust reticule sensitivity, increase player’s run speed, toggle the dead zone – you’re bound to find a control scheme that suits you no matter how meaty and unsightly that thing you call a hand may be. So while we hardly consider the D-pad optimal for weapon selections, quick turns and sniper zooms, at least The Conduit gave us options. Even your HUD is yours to choreograph or even dismiss altogether.

Above: GR's custom interface- not recommended!

Single-player features some pretty stellar voice work in a shell of rather vanilla conspiratorial intrigue, but that’s probably not what has so many of you interested. To be fair, just about any multiplayer that actually works is going to look pretty damned good on a system consistently starved for it, but Conduit’s still a cut above. The matches we played a few weeks back were both lag free and quick to load - basically nowhere near as horrid just about any other online Wii game ever made. Jump in, jump out – no friend codes required.

With its own spin on Free-for-all, Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, and Capture the Flag, Conduit’s got online options for days and days. Our favorite, Bounty Hunter, was quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. You’re basically charged with killing a specific player, and penalized for killing anyone else. Watching 12 players frantically scramble about trying not to kill one another is truly one of the more interesting modes we’ve ever seen.

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Finally a well-put together third party FPS for the Wii. Although the environments can be drab and enemy AI is undoubtably weak, this is bar none the best multiplayer experience on a system hungry for online fragging.

US censor ratingTeen
Release date23 June 2009 (US), 10 July 2009 (UK)


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