Conduit 2 E3 Preview

While the first game didn’t make a big impression on gamers when it was first released, Conduit 2 for the Nintendo Wii looks to change that with a number of improvements that are of the visual and – more importantly – gameplay variety. Having looked at the game with the game’s designer, High Voltage Software’s Bill Sullivan, it is clear that this first-person shooter made specifically for the Nintendo Wii is looking to live up to the expectations that shooter fans and Wii owners had for the first game.

Once again, you take up the role of Ford, a former Secret Service Agent who becomes wrapped up in a most unusual conspiracy that involves a race of aliens that has been on Earth for centuries and controlling all of humanities actions. Ford, now knowing the truth, is going up against the unfriendly alien invaders in this sequel.

This time supporting the Nintendo Wii MotionPlus, Conduit 2 still plays the same as the original with better motion controls that allow you to point and shoot as well as chance weapons on the fly with the wave of the Wii Remote and the use of the Nunchuk attachment. This time, you have control over your loadout weapons from the beginning of the level and you can even customize your appearance (adding different helmets and even different color schemes).

The E3 demo featured a tanker in the middle of the ocean during a storm as Ford wakes up and finds himself in the custody of the enemy until he gets his hand on a pistol. The demo also showcased a more interesting gun that is able to catch projectiles and stop them in mid-air.

With a bigger emphasis on variety in terms of the level design, there are different paths a player could take during a level so you’re not really forced to follow a single linear path to the objective. The AI also has been upgraded so enemies now react to you in a more tactical manner. For example, enemies that pick up a shotgun tend to get closer for short-ranged attacks while those who have sniper rifles back off to take you on from a distance.

The level also showcased a level boss battle against a serpent-like creature called the Leviathan that requires more than just shooting at it with you loadout weapons. This boss battle required you to hop on mounted cannons to damage the creature’s weak spots. On top of that, Ford is fighting against time as Leviathan is trashing the tanker … destroying it all around you.

On the visual front, Conduit 2 already looks so much better than to original as we can see from the ocean surrounding you in the tanker level and the tanker itself features more details so even walls don’t look plain. There are environmental details your character can even destroy so if you feel like shooting cardboard boxes filled with documents or shoot at a fish tank (making it shatter and leaving the fish flopping about on the ground) you can do just that.

Multiplayer is also back and you can once again take on four-players online or off in a variety of gameplay modes … two of which are new to the series although they are yet to be announced. Like the single-player game, you can customize your character as well as add 30 suit options that not only change the way your character appears but add abilities to your character. For instance, if you pick a stealth suit your character won’t show up on the radar or if you add a tank outfit your character can now carry to heavy weapons at a time instead of only one.

There’s also a Friends/Rivals feature that allows you to find a friend or player you just met and send them in an invite to play or team up with the other player without said player being on your friend’s list.

Conduit 2 is looking to be released in winter of 2010.