Conduit 2 review: Remember High Voltage saying how The Conduit was going to change the face of Wii shooters? We remember how disappointed we were when the game was finally released and things weren't quite as promised. So it's ironic that Conduit 2 has arrived with little hype surrounding it, because it's much more like the game we were hoping for in the first place.
Conduit 2 is set immediately after the events of the first game and starts with Agent Michael Ford waking up on an oil rig shortly after blowing up the Trust base.
Playing the game with the basic control setting doesn't feel all that different from the original and while the controls are fully customisable, it can be tricky to find a layout that feels just right. This is partly due to the game's need to map two of your actions to motion controls, namely shaking the Nunchuk and thrusting the Wii Remote forward in a stabbing motion, the latter of which messes up your aim.
The Classic Controller solves a lot of these problems but also makes aiming your weapon a lot less satisfying. By far the best option is to play with Wii MotionPlus.
Use of MotionPlus makes for fantastically precise aiming yet it's so subtle it may not feel like it's making a difference, but play the same level with and without it and you'll see how it changes things.
Other new features include the ability to tip over tables and other objects to hide behind them, while a new sprint button makes the game feel a lot faster and slicker than the original.
Enemy AI is also a lot more realistic, especially in harder difficulty settings. If you throw a grenade, they'll try to run away from it, and enemies with close-range weapons will try to get closer to fire them off.
Shoot To Thrill
Visually Conduit 2 is a big improvement over the original and it's easily the best-looking shooter on the Wii. The level design is far better this time around and the lighting and water effects are superb.
Unfortunately the plot is a load of sci-fi nonsense that's seems like an excuse to explain why you're playing in such a wide variety of locations. Admittedly, this does mean the game's 16 levels feel a lot more diverse than the moody locations of the original. One minute you're in an alien spaceship, the next you're running around a lush jungle, the next you're in China.
The voice-acting is also B-movie-style cheesiness of the absolute highest order, with some laughably bad dialogue. The sound effects and music and are top quality though.
Online multiplayer returns once again in Conduit 2, and we've been promised that High Voltage is taking measures to stop hackers from activating invincibility and that sort of thing this time around.
At the time of writing, we couldn't fully test out the game's online multiplayer but we did play a few matches from London against the High Voltage team in the US and the connection was pleasantly lag-free.
Split-screen multiplayer is present this time and naturally, the more players you add (up to four) the more the frame rate and graphical quality suffers, but even with four players it still looks decent. What's more, the wide variety of options in both split-screen and online multiplayer mean there's plenty there to keep you busy for weeks or months.
Conduit 2 is a huge improvement over the original game. It's still not without its problems, such as its awkward controls and the B-movie production values but it's still well worth a look if you're a fan of first-person shooters. This is an edited version of a review that appears in the May issue of Official Nintendo Magazine which is out now. You can buy it here.