E3 Preview: Conduit 2 (Wii)
While I was at E3, I decided to use part of my Sega appointment to look at Conduit 2. Conduit was a title from High Voltage that tried to do quite a bit with the platform that it was on, but it struggled with controls and sluggish performance. I did not expect a sequel, but apparently the title sold well enough to get one, and High Voltage looks to give gamers an improved experience this time around.
My demo for Conduit 2 started off with our character having to stave off an attack by a creature on an oil rig. As we worked our way towards the oil rig, we talked a bit about the upgraded tech. While High Voltage said that no improvements were made, the game looks a lot better than the first game. It seemed like models of enemies were sharper, and there were more textures being used by Conduit 2. Maybe it is just me, or maybe I was that jaded towards Conduit, but this title does look a lot better. We also got to find out that Conduit 2 picks up the story where the first game left off. While you will not need to have played the first to know what is going on, it might help, as I was a little lost.
Continuing our progress, we got to the oil rig and we got to see one of the six new weapons that will be available in Conduit 2. This new weapon works like a magnet, sucking up any and all bullets that are shot at you. The bullets form into a giant ball in front of your character as they are collected. Then, you can fire these collected bullets back at the enemies in the form of a huge spray of lead. If District 9 just flashed into your head, yeah, the weapon works exactly like that.
Our firefight on the oil rig was getting pretty hectic, when we got to see one of our defensive items that you can get in the game, a deployable turret. We can use deplyable turrets to help defend our location when in a heavy firefight. Not sure how often you can use these items, but our presenter used the turret several times during our mission. I wonder if it is a time based item.
Controls were a big issue with the first Conduit, and they will either make or break your experience with Conduit 2. The first title missed the boat on Wii Motion Plus, and it hurt the game overall. When I heard that Wii Motion Plus would be supported, I was pretty happy with the idea until my bubble was burst. It seems that Wii Motion Plus is optional, and when it is used, it only help with controlling things like camera movement. Aiming and shooting will still occur with normal Wii controls, which could end up hurting the title in the end. I never noticed any issues with hitting enemies in our demo, but again, it was a controlled demo, so the end result may differ.
Our oil rig demo came to a close with us fighting a huge sea serpent monster. We had to work around the oil rig, using built in turrets to shoot the monster in its vunerable spots when the openings occured. You had to attack the beast quickly, because the longer he was allowed to have his destructive rampage, the more unstable the oil rig became. After almost having the rig completly destroyed, we took down the mighty beast and closed out the demo.
When I asked why a sea serpent for the end boss, I was told that they were trying to escape being bound to traditional reality. They wanted to gie the game a larger than life feel, so creatures and areas you visit will be out of the ordinary. Some of the locations I was given were a level similar to Atlantis and another taking place in a level near the center of the Earth.
Conduit 2 will also support the same multiplayer modes that you found in the first title, and will allow players to play 2-4 players on one screen, or up to 12 players online. There was no mention of co-op modes for the title, and I would think that it would have been a bullet point if it was in Conduit 2.
I walked away from Conduit 2 with mixed feelings. While the game looks better and offers a bigger assortment of levels and weapons, the controls will be the thing that makes or breaks the title. The controls have to get over the problems of inaccuracy that were present in the first title. I also feel that Wii Motion Plus needs to be implemented better than currently designed. Conduit 2 comes out this fall, and we hope to see more of this title along the way to get a firmer idea of where the controls are heading.