The fine folks over at High Voltage Software invited Stage Select out for a visit to check out Conduit 2, a game they released a year ago on this date. Today, we present our pre-release preview of Conduit 2, a year late. But hey, at least there's some pictures, right?
When I walked into High Voltage Software, I knew exactly which picture I was taking first.
There's a rite of passage in this industry. Every game journalist takes at least one picture of a trophy case, filled with whatever crap the developer has on hand. This is because readers the world over want to read the most half-assed approach to documenting an office visit humanly possible.
If the developer being visited is awesome, you'll see awards. Valve, for example, has a lot of awards. Their display case is the universe, and planet Gabe has trophies orbiting him. You're required to take an award home at the end of the tour; my latest visit to their E3 booth netted me Doug Lombardi's Nobel Peace Prize. If, on the other hand, the developer is mediocre, you'll see boxes from previous titles. It gives the office a "hey, someone works here" vibe. Those cases are filled with old titles because the developer is secretly hoping you're from some mega-conglomerate publisher, visiting to dole out a meager meal ticket meant to last just long enough to make employees think that this job might last longer than three years. It won't. If the developer is a piss poor excuse of a company, you'll see marketing material from whatever shovel ware their soulless corporate masters foisted upon them to "develop". Or worse, you'll actually see promotional materials from games that never even saw the light of day; if you look closely enough, you would see tear stains on the posters. Now, you might be thinking to yourself "what if the developer doesn't have a trophy case?" Don't be silly - there's not a developer on this planet that doesn't have a trophy case, because like the games they develop, everything in this industry is 100% identical and as deep as a sheet of paper. A developer would sooner buy a plastic tee ball trophy before giving up on the idea of self-indulgent puffery.
So, with the shot below, I have graduated to the "big boy league" of game journalists.
You'll see from the picture below, I did quite the good job of capturing every single reflection available in the building, which I then somehow magnified against their display case glass, and finally, I have helpfully shrunk the picture down to a whopping 6 pixels of visual information.
Magnificent. Remember this as the day your eyes fell upon a masterpiece.
Figure 1: Those aren't reflections, these are HDR Effects as part of a trick shot - btw, see if you can spot the Destructoid robot staring at your junk.
Jeff Gerstmann, pray to whatever god your beautiful face was carved from that I deal you no more shaming. With this single picture I have bested you.
Figure 2: Then, he took the cake, and he said "take this, all of you, and eat it. This is my body."
So anyway, I stole and shopped this picture of Jeff Gerstmann, this guy wasn't even at the event. In fact, I literally took zero pictures of the people there. Talk about anti-social. There were more than a dozen people there, and I can't remember a single face. I justify this clear oversight by thinking that you didn't want to see these people anyway...
We were ushered into a room near the back of High Voltage, which was set up with about a half dozen to a dozen TVs, all running Wii dev kits and the Conduit 2 game. One of the development leads gave us an overview.
Conduit 2 starts where last game left off - in the first game, the ending makes you choose whether or not you go into a portal; the Conduit 2 story tells what happens when the protagonist goes into the portal. As you may be aware, there was a bit of controversy around the story last year. Joystiq was pretty upset about the ending of the game, with space Lincoln (hey, they spoiled the ending first). I'm here to tell you, no one gives a rat's behind about that story except those guys. It's a shooter, what are they thinking?
Most game outlets gave the Conduit 2 a fairly decent score - several high 8s, a couple 9s, and all of the sudden, a few 2s that brought the meta-score of the game down to a 7. To be honest, a 7 is about where I'd place Conduit 2, but I seriously didn't spend enough time playing it to make any kind of serious judgement. It's not some horrendous game; it's got highly customizable controls (which are needed on the Wii), it has good graphics for the Wii, and it's tolerable. On the other hand, the player moves in the world even slower than Halo (2 or 3), the enemy AI is bad, and the Wiimote makes it difficult to aim (play with the Classic Controller). It's probably worth picking this game up now; pick it up new for half or less of its original price.
Conduit 2 allows you to find weapon blueprints- collecting these allows you to later build weapons. There's a conspiracy object that allows you to explore the story more. High Voltage claims that Conduit 2 has more humor than before - I didn't notice the humor (as you'll see in the clip below, the only funny thing was the terrible aiming with the Wiimote), but then again, I haven't played a ton of the game.
HAHA - as you can see in the above video, High Voltage has taken the humor up a notch in Conduit 2. I don't know, they probably did, but all I saw was people being massacred. HA, that's comedy gold. As demonstrated in the video, with the precision aiming of the Wii controller, it takes a mere 500 shots to down a defenseless target wearing an outfit three miles wide.
We were shown a boss fight during the event, which was basically a big snake with orange vulnerable spots. Very videogamey.
Sprint added as a movement option - but the sprint button doesn't make some massive difference in the pace of the game. If it wasn't there, the game would be pretty frustrating for me personally; I like faster shooters like Unreal.
Figure 3: I want this dev hardware. If I had this dev hardware, I'm nearly 50% certain I could make someone, somewhere jealous of it.
If you're looking to pick up Conduit 2 now, the game does have a ton of customization options:
- It supports the classic controller and pro controller, as well as wii motion plus
- You can hotswap the controller - if you don't like one, switch to the other on the fly
- Has 5 levels of difficulty
- HUD elements can be moved / customized
- Opacity of HUD can also be moved
- Reload blur can be turned off
- There are different presets for control customization including "hardcore"
- You can manually adjust:
- turning speed
- cursor sensitivity
- Wii remote thrust sensitivity
- Nunchuck motion sensitivity
- Deadzone adjustment
- Whether or not to autocenter
- Whether or not to turn if the cursor is offscreen
Figure 4: The only game play screen shot I took was of the title screen. It's like being there!
So there you have it, Stage Select's year late preview of Conduit 2. It's probably worth a couple of your hard earned dollars if you're wanting a shooter on the Wii. It's got about as many customization options as Golden Eye, and it plays reasonably well to very well. It is, however, a shooter on the Wii - if you have another system, rent it first.
Here's a picture of a man in a suit, almost entirely unrelated to our awesome visit of High Voltage Software. Thanks for sticking in there this long; this article was a mess.
Holy hell, I just realized something - I did take a picture of a person after all. Well, almost a person - it's Robert Downey Jr. Well, an almost person dressed as a machine. I'm guessing I took a picture of a picture on a cardboard stand because I'm mentally handicapped. THE END.
| Conduit 2 (Wii) |
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