Its hard to imagine that The Conduit released on the Wii 8 years ago (June 23rd, 2009). While the launch of this very important Wii shooter wasn’t groundbreaking or perfect it did provide Nintendo’s original motion controlled console with a much needed FPS. This article is just an attempt to recap some of the Wii’s early history when it comes to FPS shooters.
Highlights of The Conduit’s Release 8 Years Later
- The ability to customize the Player HUD.
- The ability to adjust the game settings (like the size of the bounding box, Wii IR speed etc).
- Unique “Motion” controlled weapons built for a ground-up Wii shooter.
- The Conduit utilized Wii Speak, and allowed teammates to talk to each other only if they we’re close enough in the game.
- The Conduit introduced a wide variety of different online matchmaking modes.
When the original Wii originally launched back in 2006 the gaming community was full of excitement thinking of the different possibilities the console could bring to gameplay. The idea of controlling FPS games using a Wii Remote + nunchuck gave many the impression that the system was a natural for playing FPS/shooting games. Unfortunately the console had to go through an evolution. Early shooters like Red Steal and Medal of Honor: Heroes II made clumsy attempts at bringing a AAA FPS experience to the Wii. This was especially apparent when comparing the Wii’s selection at the time to consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 which both had many good online shooters. The Conduit was one of the first FPS games for the Wii that could deliver a quality experience to the system.
The Conduit Helped Evolve The FPS on Nintendo Motion Controlled Consoles (Wii & Wii U)
High Voltage Software designed The Conduit for the Wii from the ground up. The game was developed using High-Voltage’s own proprietary game engine, which made good use of systems with lower horsepower. The Conduit utilized better lighting & more polygons than other Wii FPS games (Call of Duty World at War, Red Steal etc). The Conduit wasn’t just a port of a PS360 game, it was built from the ground-up for a motion controlled console. This allowed High Voltage to put more effort in utilizing the console’s strengths instead of watering down a game from a more powerful system.
What Went Wrong with The Conduit for the Wii
The Conduit received many good review scores, with IGN giving the game a 8.6/10. While the game was good for a Wii shooter critics we’re quick to point out different areas where the game was lacking. Not only did the voice chat feature frustrate reviews, the games online mode was taken over by hackers (and glitch abusers) on day 1. On April 19th, 2011 The Conduit 2 released, fixing many of the complaints about the first title. Unfortunately Conduit 2 completely bombed and work on other Wii shooters using High Voltage’s engine ceased. A brief example of The Conduit was shown for the 3DS when the handheld launched in 2011, but failed to surface over the years – most likely due to layoffs that hit High Voltage soon after the release of Conduit 2. Today you can find both The Conduit and Conduit 2 on the Google Play Store for Android devices.
Back in 2009 we gave The Conduit a review score of 8.7 / 10.