The Bin: The Conduit

Some games aren’t worth the $60 release price. Or half as much, for that matter. How many times have you bought a game and told yourself that if it’s terrible, it was only five bucks? This brings us to the “Bargain Bin” realm of gaming, a second glance at games far enough down that they don’t see light. Guilty pleasures are a blast — so long as no one’s watching.

The Conduit was an interesting first-person shooter that sneaked its way onto the Wii amid a deluge of shovelware and “family” games. At 20 dollars, how does The Conduit compare to the best (and worst) shooters on the Wii and beyond?

This futuristic tale places you in the well-polished shoes of Secret Service agent Michael Ford, who while fighting through a dilapidated Metro tunnel happens upon an enormous conduit deep within the heart of the structure. After taking out the platoon of aliens guarding it, he takes a step into the Conduit. Flash back one week. John Adams, leader of a clandestine organization called The Trust, asks Ford to recover a missing Trust prototype that was carted off by a terrorist known only as Prometheus. Agent Ford must stage an ambush in order to recover the prototype and capture the terrorist before he can cause any more harm… at least, that’s what it seems like at first glance.

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The Conduit
makes use of an impressive control scheme that relies on both the Wii remote and Nunchuk. If it weren’t for the fact that you’re required to keep your arms moving while playing you might forget you’re playing a Wii game at all – aiming feels very natural, if a bit taxing. Unfortunately, grenades are thrown by miming with the Nunchuck rather than pressing a button, which is dodgy to say the least. Half the time they end up dropping right at your feet, and the blast kills you instead of your enemy. You need to backpedal quickly when tossing frags.

As far as gameplay goes, this is a very vanilla shooter, with almost nothing in the way of puzzles. It doesn’t do much to reinvent the genre, but it fills a serious void in the Wii’s library. This is the sort of “cinematic” game you’d expect from an HD console, which is something the Wii sorely lacks. Despite its mundane run-and-gun gameplay and drab aesthetic, The Conduit does remains entertaining throughout.

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I’m pleasantly surprised by The Conduit and most of what it has to offer, save for a few rough edges. If you’re looking for some solid (albeit generic) FPS action on a Nintendo console, The Conduit is a great choice – more than that, right now it’s a steal.