|Developer||High Voltage Software|
|Release Date|| June 23, 2009 (North America)|
July 10, 2009 (Europe)
July 16, 2009 (Australia)
|Genre||First person shooter|
The Conduit is a science fiction first-person shooter game developed by High Voltage Software, and published by Sega. It is exclusive to the Wii console. The game's story is about an alien invasion in Washington, D.C. by an extraterrestrial race known as The Drudge. An agent named Michael Ford has been assigned by a secret U.S. government agency called The Trust to discover the reason of the invasion.
High Voltage Software stated that they want to push the Wii's graphical capabilities, to make The Conduit's visuals comparable to those on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The Conduit uses the Quantum 3 Engine, an engine used previously by other games developed be the company, which creates graphic effects like dynamic bump-mapping, reflection and refraction, light/shadow maps, projected texture lights, specular and Fresnel effects, light beams/shafts, gloss and detail mapping, seamless resource streaming, projected shadows, heat distortion and motion blur, interactive water with dual-wave channels and complex surface effects, animated textures, and lots more. The Quantum 3 engine also includes advanced artificial intelligence, which allows the beings in The Conduit to possess "human-like behavior".
The Conduit takes place in 2012, in Washington D.C. On March 19, the city has an unusual weather system over the east coast of the United States. Many rivers increase their water levels. On April 19, a flu-like illness known as "The Bug" appears. Because of this illness, many members of the government staff stay at home, in hopes of not being infected. On June 21, it was reported that the number of missing citizens had reached a record high total of 1,842 people. On June 26, Dr. Alers Drinly, a renown doctor of virology was tasked to create a treatment for "The Bug". On June 29, a UFO was spotted hovering over Wasington D.C.. On July 19, it was made public that Dr. Alers Drinly disappeared the previous day. On July 27, Mayor Arnold Fergusson made a statement about urging citizens to drink bottled water as "The Bug" was thought to be in the city's water supply. On August 1, a citizen by the name of Michelle Arlen claimed to have been abducted by aliens the previous week while walking by the Jefferson Memorial. On August 9, there was an attack on the Washington Monument by detonated explosives. ID cards used in the attack were stolen from the Pentagon offices, while some Pentagon officials were recovering from "The Bug". On August 30, it was announced that the threat level remained red for the third week since the attack on the Washington Monument. On September 11, Presidential Candidate Senator Harriet Reimer was assassinated by terrorists posing as her own Secret Service detail.
On October 1st, a Secret Service agent named Michael Ford was recruited to The Trust, as he saved President Charles Thompson from an assassination attempt, and he was the only Secret Service agent who didn't turn against the President. The citizens of Washington, D.C. are evacuated by the Department of Homeland Security. The Trust Commander John Adams, with permission from the President, sent Ford on a crucial mission to track down a supposed terrorist, and retrieve a stolen Trust prototype. Michael Ford is the playable character in the campaign mode. On October 6, it was reported that there were strange lights in the city.
The Drudge are divided into: Mites, Drones, Skimmers, Scarabs, and Invaders. Mites are the smallest. Some of them are able to fly and others explode when close to the player. Mites are thought to grow up into the adult forms. Drones are adult-form Drudge that are common soldiers, and Skimmers are an adult-form variation that are smaller than Drones, but can fly. Scarabs are much stronger than Drones, as they are equipped with heavily-armored exoskeletons and Hive Cannons. They are the equivalent of a modern tank. Invaders are biggest and strongest form of the Drudge. The Drudge also incorporate various devices like Conduits, which allow Drudge enemies to spawn from them until they are destroyed by the player. Other Drudge devices, like a "Regenerator Unit"- a weak organism that restores the player's health and the enimies' health- and "Pulse Box"-a unit that hurts only the player- also appear in the game.
The campaign mode consists of nine missions (levels), which are:
Warning: Spoilers start here.
Sometime after October 2, 2012, Michael Ford wakes up in a blocked tunnel in the Washington Metro. Apparently, The Drudge are already invading Washington, D.C. Somebody communicating with him, presumably through a microphone, tells him to clear the area. It is unknown who is speaking to Michael at this time. After passing through some corridors, and eliminating some Drudge forces, Ford finds a large conduit. After the person communicating with him calibrates his suit, he enters the conduit.
Five days earlier, when Michael Ford was a Secret Service agent, John Adams contacts him, and tells him that he is a part of a secret government organization known as The Trust, and that the President has given him permission to recruit Ford for a special assignment. A terrorist known as Prometheus stole a valuable Trust prototype. He and his men are on their way to Reagan National Airport, and Ford, along with Adams' men and U.S. military forces will be waiting for him. At the airport, The Trust agents turn against Ford, and Adams assumes they are working for Prometheus. Ford makes his way through the airport, encountering canisters of a strange orange gas along the way. This is how Prometheus has turned the Trust agents against him. Ford boards the train that Prometheus is supposed to be using, and fights his way to the front car. One of Prometheus's men, a scientist, detonates several bombs that destroys the train. Ford survives and recovers the prototype, codenamed the All-Seeing Eye (ASE).
Mr. Adams reveals that Prometheus was never on board the train, but he has located Prometheus' base under the city in a government bunker. He sends Ford in solo for his own safety. In the bunker, Ford discovers prototype weapons, advanced technology, a neuro-toxin, and a race of aliens known as the Drudge. The first Drudge he sees is identified by Adams' as a Drone. Ford manages to hack into the computer mainframe with the ASE and steals secret files detailing an alien invasion. Then he finds out that Prometheus' men are planning on releasing the toxin into the water supply. He manages to destroy all traces of the neuro-toxin. When he emerges from the bunker near the Jefferson Memorial, Adams praises him for his prowess, but then turns on him and leaves to die as a whole Drudge militia converge on the Memorial.Ford is contacted by the "terrorist" Prometheus through the ASE who says he wants to help him. Ford decides to go along with him for now and purges the Memorial of the Drudge attack force. Prometheus then sends a helicopter to pick Ford up. He informs Michael of a Drudge nest under the Library of Congress. Ford arrives at the Library to find it overrun by Puppet Humans and Drudge forces. He slowly makes his way to the main Reading Room where Prometheus hacks into the Trust mainframe. This opens a path to the sewers, but also releases a swarm of flying Para-Mites. Ford manages to take them out and jumps down into the sewers below the Library. After navigating the twisting passageways and tunnels he finds himself in a huge room filled with egg sacs of every type. Ford manages to clear out the nest and escape back to higher ground.
Prometheus informs Michael that the Trust now plan to kill the President to gain complete control of America. Ford makes his way into the White House, encountering Drudge and Trust forces at every turn. He gets news from Prometheus that the president is being evacuated and is trapped by the Drudge on Marine One, the president's private chopper. Ford encounters several new types of Drudge, including the flying Skimmers and the more heavily armed Scarab. Ford manages to free the helicopter from the Drudge forces and it flies away to safety. But Prometheus intercepts a conversation between the President and Mr. Adams saying that the President has given the Trust almost unlimited control of the nation's resources after the stellar performance of one of Adam's "agents" (Ford) at the White House.
The Drudges' next target is the Pentagon. The Trust believe to protect the country, they have to control it. Ford makes his way through the ransacked buildings of downtown Washington D.C. on his way to the Pentagon. Along the way he encounters a massive Drudge Invader and the full-grown Scarab warriors. At the Pentagon, Ford hacks into the government mainframe and recovers the files that the Trust desire just as the Drudge arrive. Here, he has his first fight with a cloaked Storm Scarab, which is invisible until he wreaks havoc with its cloaking device with the ASE. He clears out the control room, then starts heading towards the courtyard, where Prometheus has planned him an escape route. Once outside, he faces several Drones and cloaked Storm Scarabs. As soon as they are all defeated, the Invader bursts through the walls of the Pentagon and attacks Ford. The massive alien can launch twin projectiles not unlike those of Shriekers and can unleash a small swarm of Para-Mites. After a long, intense battle, the Invader falls under Ford's onslaught. The sheer number of Drudge at the Pentagon tells Prometheus that the nest under the Library of Congress was not their primary source. While Ford makes his way out of the Pentagon, he will try to locate the Drudge's true point of origin.
Prometheus has limited the possible place of the Drudge nest to a two mile radius, somewhere near the Potomac River district. Ford is at first opposed to the idea of running through miles of enemy territory, but Prometheus eventually convinces him how important it is. Ford starts heading in that direction, but must pass through the streets of Washington, D.C. In an alleyway, he sees the President's helicopter, Marine One, attacked by Skimmers and Mites. The helicopter turns away from Ford, and a crash is heard in the background. Along the way, Ford kills many Drudge, including all of the forms encountered so far. Prometheus then tells him to enter the subway. Ford does as he is told, and enters the Washington Metro. He passes through some tunnels and finds Drudge forces, but no human enemies. Prometheus guesses that the Drudge must be using Union Station to spread throughout the city, and that he is getting closer to the Drudge nest. Ford uses the ASE to move a subway car blocking the tunnel to Union Station. When Ford enters the tunnel, he sees the same collapsed tunnel that was shown when he woke up. It is now assumed that Ford is at the same place he was in at the start of the game, now being in the near present. He finds the large conduit shown at the beginning, and destroys all the Drudge surrounding it. After Prometheus calibrates his suit, Ford enters the conduit.
At this point, the story is no longer in the past, and five days have passed since John Adams first contacted Ford.
When Agent Ford exits the Conduit, he finds himself in The Trust Base, a laboratory under control by the Trust. Nearby, Scientists and Trust Agents begin to shoot at Ford. Prometheus cannot contact Ford however, as there are several devices in the facility jamming Prometheus' signal. After Ford destroys the devices, Prometheus tells him that there are several hatcheries in the facility where the Drudge are coming from and tasks Ford with destroying them. Upon destroying the last one, a lockdown begins in which Ford must attempt to escape before it finishes. However, the sheer distance coupled with the ruins of several laboratories make escaping near impossible. Prometheus gives Ford another method of escape by hacking into a terminal with the ASE and disabling the lockdown. Prometheus reveals that he has located the final source of Drudge in the facility. He explains to Ford that once the final Drudge are dealt with then he will reveal how he knows so much about the Drudge. Ford fights to the indicated location to find a small military force of Drudge in cryostasis. Upon dealing with all of them, Prometheus reveals himself, in a stasis tube. He also reveals that he is the origin of the Drudge, and that he was the genetic blueprint used to make them. He was presumably captured by Adams, who has made replications of him which were the Drudge. Prometheus then asks Ford to kill him so that no more Drudge can be created. Ford apologizes to Prometheus for not believing him earlier and disconnects the life support to the tube.
Adams contacts Ford and tells him that he has saved him the trouble of killing Prometheus himself. He also tells him that he hasn't killed Ford hoping that he would join The Trust. Adams finishes his talk saying that he will remove the ASE from Ford's dead body. Ford then makes his way to an elevator to eliminate Adams. The elevator opens and reveals a small platoon of Trust Agents. Upon eliminating them, several conduits in another part of the room open, and all forms of the Drudge, except Invaders and Para-Mites, emerge. Ford is contacted by Adams who informs him that Ford has entered the innermost sanctum, all the conduits in the room have been shut down, the elevator has been locked down and the base's self destruction sequence has been activated. Ford has two minutes to do the impossible and escape. After Adams cuts off contact with Ford, Ford is contacted by Prometheus. Apparently as Ford cut the life support off to Prometheus' stasis tube, Prometheus "uploaded" his consciousness to the ASE. It just took him time to "get used to his new home". With the ASE and Prometheus, Ford manages to redirect power from stasis tubes in the room to allow a conduit to open long enough to escape. However, when he takes power from the stasis tubes, these open up and Drudge Scarabs armed with Hive Cannons come out. After Ford takes power from the eight stasis tubes, a conduit opens. When he is about to enter, other conduits open up, and Drudge emerge from them. As Ford tries to escape, they grab him, but he manages to break free and enters the conduit.
Right after the last cutscene, and just before the credits appear, flashes of various distorted images are shown. It is likely that they're shots from the oil rig mission in Conduit 2. At the same time the credits begin to roll, a dialogue between John Adams and an unknown alien is heard. The unknown alien remarks on how "the betrayer [Prometheus] has given fire to the humans". Adams asks him if he is surprised that he turned against them again. The alien mentions that a pact had been broken, that "the betrayer" didn't have a reason to keep silent, and that he should have been killed earlier. Adams and the alien believe that Prometheus is dead. The alien then tells him that "the others" won't sit and watch, and that they are movilizing. Adams asks if they are movilizing for or against them. The alien answers that it depends on who gets to them first, but his worries are dismissed by Adams who says he has been arranging a plan for 240 years, and doesn't want it to fail now. He tells the alien that if he wins the support of "the others", he will win the war. The alien finishes the dialogue by addressing Adams as "Enlil", and telling him that there is worse to suffer than exile. After the credits finish rolling, a Scarab similar to those seen on stasis is viewed for a very brief time onscreen.
Note: End of spoilers.
The multiplayer mode in The Conduit can only be played online, which means that it can be accessed though the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. There is no split-screen multiplayer mode, so only one player can play per console. High Voltage Software previously stated that it would support up to 16 players, but later reduced it to 12.
Like all games running on Nintendo servers, The Conduit generates a unique 12 digit Friend Code for every profile. This code can be exchanged with other people so that they can have private matches. Multiplayer supports voice chat through the Wii Speak peripheral. Players can only talk to people they have added as friends, and their friend's friends. In order to have someone as a friend, they could have added a person's Wii Friend Code, or their Friend Code for The Conduit. In team based games, players can hear all the members of their team, while in Free for All matches, players can only hear the six players closest to them.
High Voltage Software has stated that they had plans to include LAN (Local Area Network) multiplayer but according to Nintendo Power, after much persuasion from Nintendo, the plans had to be dropped.
The Conduit has a system that lets players join random matches by selecting one of the following preferences: Friends, which lets you join or create private matches with people added as friends; Regional, which searches for player in the players region; or World Wide, which searches for players around the world. After the player has chosen one of those options, they can chose one of the three game categories (Free-For-All, Team Reaper, and Team Objective) and they will join a match with a gametype in the category they chose. After the match is over, players can vote for the next game's map, weapon set, and rules.
Free-For-All. It's every man for himself.
- Quick Match: The first player to reach the kill limit wins.
- Marathon: Player with the most kills at the end of the match wins.
- Three Strikes: Players only have three lives each.
- Last Man Standing: Players only have three lives each.
- ASE Football: Player who holds the ASE the longest wins.
- Bounty Hunter: Each player has a target that they must kill for points. You lose points if you kill players that aren't your targets. The player with the most points wins.
Team Reaper. Players are divided into two teams: Red vs. Blue.
- Quick Match: The first team to reach the kill limit wins.
- Marathon: The team with the most kills at the end of the match wins.
- Shared Stock Match: Each team shares lives from one pool. The team that depletes the enemy team's life pool wins.
Team Objective. Players are divided into two teams, and must capture the enemy team's ASE. Similar to "capture the flag", but with the ASE.
- Quick Match: The first team to reach the capture limit wins.
- Marathon: The team with the most capture at the end of the match wins.
- Killing Override: The first team to reach capture limit or kill limit wins.
- Single ASE: There is only one ASE. The first team to reach the capture limit wins.
A rank is given to players based on their amount of XP (experience points). Every kill is equal to 2 XP, and every ASE capture is 10 XP. Once players get three consecutive kills without dying, the third kill gives them 150% of XP. The next kill will give him 200% XP, and the next 250%, and so on, adding 50% more XP every time. This stops at 20 consecutive kills will 1000% XP or until the player dies. More kills can be achieved, but the XP multiplier will stay at 1000%. There are 25 ranks, each with their own symbol. The amount of XP needed to get to the next rank increases with every rank. XP cannot be earned in private matches.
Players can vote for a weapon set when a match is about to start. Only the weapons in the chosen set will be available on the map.
Playable character skins include:
- Drudge Drone
- Suit (can only be accessed with a code found in the Limited Edition)
High Voltage Software Audio Video Director, Michael Metz, chose composer Diego Stocco to compose the The Conduit's score. After the tracks were composed, Rick Nielson from the rock band Cheap Trick supplied guitar riffs that were laid over the musical score.
While composing the music, Diego Stocco created unique instruments, such as "a Megaphonic Resodrum (Acoustic timbre coloration with controlled distortions), a DistroDrum (overdriven acoustic drum coupled with a resonant toy piano), Unorthodox Cymbals (hanging cymbals played with a wooden saw), a Light Controlled Oscillator (connected to a vintage reverberation amplifier) and a Metal Contrabass (bowed piano and bass strings mounted on a garage heater)".
There were various marketing techniques used to promote The Conduit. One of these was a website known as Seeing Is Deceiving where various messages in Drudge alphabet appeared. The messages can be typed in a text box. Some may lead to wallpapers, icons, gameplay videos, audio, developer interviews, and conspiracy articles that would fill in The Conduit's background story.
On September 18, 2008, High Voltage Software announced that they would accept user-created control scheme configurations for The Conduit. The Lead Programmer, Ed Federmeyer, explained, "Given how flexible our control scheme code is, and how we're going to have several pre-set mappings to choose from [...] wouldn't it be a cool contest to allow gamers to propose schemes and we can take the best and burn them into the game as additional preset control mappings?" On January 15, 2009, three winners were announced by Lead Designer Rob Nicholls in a video of The Conduit.
ACIDPlanet.com launched a video mash-up contest on May 1, 2009. In this contest, participants had to create music and video remixes of The Conduit. ACIDPlanet.com provided 66 instrumental tracks of game audio from The Conduit, as well as the tools necessary to remix. When the participants were finished, they simply uploaded their video. The winner received merchandise from Sony Creative Software, Sega, and High Voltage Software. The winning remixes were included as a bonus track on The Conduit's soundtrack.
The Conduit HD
On March 14th, 2012, an Android port of The Conduit will be released. Designed for the Tegra 3 graphics chip, the port sports slightly improved graphics, touch controls, and support for the GameStop Tablet Bluetooth Controller. The first two missions will be free, with the rest of the missions unlocked for $5 USD. There has been no word on whether or not the multiplayer mode is included. More about the game on Nividia's website.
The Conduit was shipped in two editions: the Standard Edition, which has the game disc, and manual; and the Limited Edition, which is exclusive to GameStop, and includes what is included in the Standard Edition, plus a 24-Page book featuring concept art, a custom in-game All Seeing Eye, Secret Agent Multiplayer skin, and an All-Seeing Eye alternate box art.
- Best Wii Game of E3 (IGN.com)
- Best Wii Shooter of E3 (IGN.com)
- Best Graphics Technology on Wii (IGN.com)
- Honorable Mention for Real-Time Control on Wii (IGN.com)
- Best Wii Game of E3 (Gametrailers.com)
- Top 20 Games of E3 (Edge-online.com)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 IGN: Exclusive First Look: The Conduit
- ↑ The Conduit developer High Voltage Software talks shop
- ↑ The Conduit Official Site
- ↑ The Conduit Game Manual
- ↑ PAX: 2008: The Conduit Hands-On
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 IGN: Multiplayer Features in The Conduit
- ↑ The Conduit Instruction Booklet, pg. 14.
- ↑ Interview with Eric Nosfsinger
- ↑ The Conduit Multiplayer Trailer
- ↑ The Conduit's Josh Olson and Rob Nicholls Discuss Multiplayer, Aliens, Weapons and Why It's a Wii Exclusive
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 The Sounds of The Conduit
- ↑ Take Control of The Conduit
- ↑ The Conduit to Get Mashed-Up
- ↑ The Conduit GameStop Exclusive Limited Edition
- ↑ High Voltage Software Technology