Last year's the Conduit was one of a few select titles that proved that compelling first person shooter experiences were possible on Nintendo's little waggle machine that could. The game wasn't without its flaws, but clearly was successful enough to warrant a sequel, that we got our grubby little Canadian mitts in the South Hall at E3 2010.
The first and biggest noticeable improvement is the graphics engine, which is pushing the Wii to its limits in terms of realistic graphical presentation. Obviously, it's nothing that can compete with the PS3 or Xbox 360 heavy hitters, but it's a fine looking game in its own right. Particle effects were particularly impressive, including flying paper when shooting a desk, and loads of sparks and flame effects within the fancy looking explosions. The corridor sections ran at a buttery 60 frames per second, while the outdoor sections were noticeably choppier; they were still smooth and free of lag. We were told that the game runs 40 per cent smoother than the previous title.
The first title was essentially a corridor crawl, with one hallway leading to the next firefight for most of the game's length. This time around, you're given branching areas, which we were told can shorten or lengthen the game significantly, depending on which routes you take. The section we played through had both claustrophobic corridors within a oceanic oil rig, that capped off with a intense leviathan battle atop the rig. The AI was certainly improved over the last title as well.
Weaponry in the title was fun to play around with, especially the Aegis Device, the natural evolution of Half-Life 2's Gravity gun. This tool of destruction can catch bullets District 9 style, in addition to grenades and rockets. Also, the gun fires energy pulses much like the plasma rifle from Halo. Another sweet looking weapon was the Phase Rifle, which allows the player to see and fire through walls. If you've ever seen the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle "Eraser" from 1996, you'll have a good idea what to expect.
The controls were solid and smooth, and aiming was a breeze. The game supports aiming through iron sights now, for an extra layer of aiming precision. The game will support the Motionplus attachment, but will not be required. Those playing online will certainly want to invest in one though, as the extra precision in aiming will be a must for competitive gaming.
Speaking of multiplayer, the game will support full online multiplayer, and an exclusive headset device that will eliminate the television feedback and other hassles that are associated with Nintendo's voice chat system. Players will also be able to have dedicated rival lists, so favourite opponents will be easy to find without relying on Nintendo's friend codes system. Couch multiplayers will also have the option of 2-4 player split screen.
The Conduit is looking very solid at this stage of the game, and any Wii gamers looking for a polished and fun FPS experience would likely do well to check the game out when it is released for winter 2010.