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The Conduit: A true technical leap for Wii?

Digital Foundry writes:

"The Wii doesn't get a huge amount of love nor attention at Digital Foundry, and in some senses this is something we should be addressing. For a start, Nintendo's first-party commitment to 60FPS gameplay is impressive, especially bearing in mind the paucity of system resources on offer. However, for now, we'll be taking a look at High Voltage's The Conduit. Does it live up to the tech promises made in the run-up to its launch, and crucially just how well does it perform?

In theory there is nothing here that shouldn't have been possible on Nintendo GameCube (albeit running at a lower frame-rate or with pared back effects). The platform holder has never revealed the full spec of the Wii, but various leaks have cropped up online, all of which have been helpfully summed up in this Beyond3D forum posting which we consider to be highly accurate."

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EvilTwin3829d ago

I don't think anyone can disagree with the points about Conduit's graphics. It's impressive...for a Wii game. A better art style could turn it into something special. But Quantum3 will never push as much onscreen as PS3/360. It can look nice with what it has, though.

What the heck was with this comment, though?

"In terms of The Conduit's gameplay, the point-and-shoot system is something of a double-edged sword. Pointing at the opponent and shooting is obviously something that is a huge advantage for the Wii over the PS3 and Xbox 360. However, what isn't so welcome is the notion of dragging the reticule all the way over to the edges of the screen to spin around on the spot. Insofar as the aim-and-fire mechanic works well, the notion of essentially pointing off screen to move your in-game "head" feels somewhat counter-intuitive. It makes me wonder whether hand and head-tracking via Project Natal on 360 would have the precision required to produce a more immersive interface (gut feeling: head yes, hand no)."

Are you kidding me?

You don't have to "drag the reticule" to turn (like in Red Steel). You can shrink the dead zone down so that any move of the Wii remote turns you onscreen. And there's a key press for a 180 turn. No need to go into fantasies of Natal; the scheme HVS came up with lets you do just about anything you want.

Complaints on Conduit's graphics are fair game.

But when it seems like someone hasn't even gone though the options menu to tinker with a fully customizable control scheme...that's just lazy.

N4g_null3829d ago

So true about the Natal ref. What is funny is how are you going to get on screen one to one with an aiming type of game? You will be pointing with your hand and expect to shoot what you are point at rather than using the controller like the Wii mote or the mouse to position your aim.

The problem natal will have is where is the camera positioned? is it on the side in the middle and how does it know how big the screen is? I see a lot of calibration happening if I know MS and SONY and then what happens once it moves or falls? I can not wait to see what these guys are going to do just to shut up these dreamers.

The motion Plus is out now and MS SDK say they are not even ready to do resort yet. That is all LOL.

asdr3wsfas3828d ago (Edited 3828d ago )

"Complaints on Conduit's graphics are fair game."

I'd agree if people compared the controls of every ps3/360 FPS with The Conduit. Dual analog FPS is horrendous and it's not like we can't compare it with other schemes. The real annoying part is that these complaints are only focused on the wii. And even Epic released K + M for the ps3 version of UT3 as a tacit admission that controllers can't play a game this fast. I've yet to see reviews compare dual analog FPS controls to this. In those games they have to program the cursor to stick to enemies it passes over to make the game even marginally playable.

What you said about the dead zone is spot on. It shows that these people are making comparisons to other FPS games yet have no understanding of the genre or even basic input that any serious PC FPS player is going to be able to mention. Give a serious PC fps player a dual analog and have him review the "hardcore" games for about a month. The tears wouldn't stop.

"In theory there is nothing here that shouldn't have been possible on Nintendo GameCube (albeit running at a lower frame-rate or with pared back effects)..."

Yeah, if you weaken some of the graphical effects it runs on an older system with reduced frame rate. This is how you run newer games on slower computers. I have no idea what kind of moron would say or why except to try and peg it as last gen.

"If the overall look in the gameplay video looks somewhat "last gen" with some additional effects tacked on..."

...it doesn't feel 1/10th as primitive as tapping on a n00bstick. For the sake of console FPS please buy this game.

EvilTwin3828d ago (Edited 3828d ago )

oobob -- The thing is, I have seen some reviewers compare Conduit's scheme to dual analog. Like this one:

"The control is less horrible than you might fear. However, it falls well short of a vanilla dual analog scheme – not to mention mouse and keyboard."
http://gameinformer.com/NR/...

My jaw dropped when I read that. I'm glad I had already stopped my subscription to GI.

IR pointer controls are faster, more accurate, and now more customizable than dual analog; they're as close as you can get to a mouse/keyboard setup. These aren't opinions or matters of personal preference -- they're simple statements of fact, like the PS3 being able to push better graphics than the Wii. Being quicker, having more accuracy, and being more customizable are BETTER things for game control.

(And that same magazine praised Metroid Prime 3's control scheme. Go figure.)

Some console FPS fans have gotten so attached to dual analog that they refuse to acknowledge the superior setup on the Wii. And I can't help but think a lot of it has to do with graphics snobbery. I wouldn't rate Conduit higher than an 85, but it is hand's down the most misunderstood game of this gen.

But there ARE plenty of core FPS players who are playing Conduit. I know, because I've had them shoot me down online, lol.

asdr3wsfas3828d ago (Edited 3828d ago )

"IR pointer controls are faster, more accurate, and now more customizable than dual analog; they're as close as you can get to a mouse/keyboard setup. These aren't opinions or matters of personal preference -- they're simple statements of fact, like the PS3 being able to push better graphics than the Wii. Being quicker, having more accuracy, and being more customizable are BETTER things for game control.

(And that same magazine praised Metroid Prime 3's control scheme. Go figure.)"

Metroid wasn't a threat to the entire hardcore approach to making video games. The Conduit violates all those methods by ignoring more graphically powerful systems to focus on controls, gameplay customization, and multiplayer - without a big budget blockbuster storyline. Most importantly it seriously bugs them that it was released on wii and (at least in their minds) threatens all the titles they like by promising a somewhat comparable experience. If you can make a good FPS with those kinds of lowered development costs why bother on the HD consoles? IMHO it's a success and by far the best console FPS I've ever played.

"Some console FPS fans have gotten so attached to dual analog that they refuse to acknowledge the superior setup on the Wii. And I can't help but think a lot of it has to do with graphics snobbery."

That is a very large part. It's all essentially the idea that the "casual" wii can offer an FPS experience that shows their own to be lacking despite the graphical mismatch. It threatens to snatch up their games with the overall lower development costs and by eating away at the player base. HD consoles owners already have a visceral hatred for the wii - now suppose a company made a more responsive and better controlled FPS on the system with incredibly fun multiplayer (IMHO The Conduit). Now the same type of game they think you need a "hardcore" system for is coming out for the wii? It succeeding would only solidify the already persuasive argument that Nintendo has murdered them this round of the console war by attracting back old school gamers and further expanding their targeted market without sacrificing FPS gameplay.

"I wouldn't rate Conduit higher than an 85, but it is hand's down the most misunderstood game of this gen.

But there ARE plenty of core FPS players who are playing Conduit. I know, because I've had them shoot me down online, lol."

I can see that rating, but honestly I loved it. The only console shooter I've played is Goldeneye but I played the first 3 Quakes + many Unreal manifestations on PC, so maybe I missed the generic art because so much of FPS games are copied. But I really don't see why this game is ragged on for it when I see Halo art and and think "oh it's like they made Tribes for xbox and put vizors on the helmets to conceal the ripoff of the art and vehicles." Unreal Tournament was the same game with minor graphics updates and eventually vehicles until UT2004 when I stopped. Aka brighter and faster playing quake. These are all updates of Q3A essentially except for WW2 sims. Which are all basically Tribes with Counter-Strike mods. The same criticism applies to all of them (Quake Wars look sick tho, haven't played it yet so I can't judge).

The story is nowhere near as bad as they make it sound either. No deathmatch based FPS has a great story but I actually enjoyed this one - did you finish listening to the radio? Or find all the messages? It's in depth and requires a lot of knowledge about conspiracy theories to fully connect. I love the fact that you have to piece it together like some actual conspiracy nut doing research or that it references several conspiracy theories I make fun of IRL. Learning why that specific landmark in the early levels was attacked when I pieced it all together tripled my appreciation for the game. If you don't know what I'm talking about go look hard at the radio and messages again ;) There are actually much bigger plot points to realize and this is a minor revelation of one of them. And it infuriates me that no one mentioned how to actually discover the backstory during reviews, almost a candid admission they never looked for the messages or listened to the radio - despite HVS directly telling them that you find it out this way. Of course they'd think it was shallow!

Online is a beast. I never really used rockets much in FPS so I get schooled in most of those. I was a plasma rifle and shotgun player - with trust weapons and mk5 deatomizer I murder. Haven't played since I got Grand Slam Tennis with M+ tho, so I'm gonna be rusty all over again =/

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3828d ago
N4g_null3829d ago

“Insanely, this all means that the base design for the core technology inside Wii is the best part of 10 years old.”
The Larabee is using the fail P4 cores that the athlon amd CPU crushed how old is that tech, yet how old is x86 tech period?
“All of which looks fairly impressive in combination, but as individual effects, they are hardly state-of-the-art. Projective textures are pretty old - something Unreal Engine 2 might have bragged about. The water effect looks great, but it is smoke and mirrors to an extent: an environment map on the water surface to fake a reflection (but if it works, why not?).”

So please tell me which console HD games have true ray traced reflections? The point is no one was even using tech that old on the GC or the Wii graphics this gen. They are.

“In a sense it can be argued that High Voltage is taking the baton from Factor 5 in terms of what was accomplished on GameCube and then pushing further on the more powerful Wii platform. Quantum3 becomes special simply because it nobody else seems to be doing that.”

Did this guy not watch any of the videos or see these guys talk in person? Why does it matter if it is new? It is new to the Wii that is the point. I mean we had vector graphics way before star fox on the snes well it was new to that system. Why because people claimed it was impossible. This game proved these effects can be done even on a GPU that no one thought would support them. This proves that programmer where simply getting paid for hardly doing nothing.

Actually a good point here…
“The overall impression reflects many of the review comments that lauded The Conduit's engine but were far more critical of the artistic direction. The Quantum3 engine is impressive, and it is doing techy stuff that Black never really attempted, but you can't help wonder what the result would be if there were better artists at work and a more coherent vision for the overall look of the game. Still, even in a best-case scenario, it's a clear generation behind the majority of the lower-end points of comparison we have on Xbox 360 and PS3.”

The whole thing could have been sum up to they are only behind because they where not overly ambitious with the art direction. The game was design sort of on committee which was great for control and maybe some game play like online yet a single player game has to have a vision of what you want. Then on top of this the game was the first go at some as ambitious as making your own Wii engine rather than GC engine.

“In terms of The Conduit's gameplay, the point-and-shoot system is something of a double-edged sword. Pointing at the opponent and shooting is obviously something that is a huge advantage for the Wii over the PS3 and Xbox 360.” True which is why we love PC games….

“However, what isn't so welcome is the notion of dragging the reticule all the way over to the edges of the screen to spin around on the spot. Insofar as the aim-and-fire mechanic works well, the notion of essentially pointing off screen to move your in-game "head" feels somewhat counter-intuitive. It makes me wonder whether hand and head-tracking via Project Natal on 360 would have the precision required to produce a more immersive interface (gut feeling: head yes, hand no).”

WOW I would love to see the effects of moving your head back and forth to turn in such a game. I’m thinking chronic back injuries. On top of this he is not use to dragging you view around? Really? So he has never played on a PC? You use the same idea to control those games?

Another thing is the press clearly is not seeing what the developers get to see. With the combination of motion plus and the sensor bar you can have super precise controls. I was going to keep that one to my self but Nintendo has already done it in a retail game. It is evident that with the combination of that that any game even close to the conduit’s set up will be even better.

HVS next task is to leverage better content though.

swiftshot933828d ago

Mario galaxy and especially Metroid Prime 3 look better.

Has anyone seen the grass in the galaxy 2 trailer? It looks pretty amazing for a wii game.

somekindofmike3828d ago (Edited 3828d ago )

Agreed about the art style, (haven't tried it yet, looks ok, but nothing special, so I wouldn't call it a 'flop' just not going to win over any Call of Duty Fans)

This quote sums up my thoughts on this games visuals "but you can't help wonder what the result would be if there were better artists at work"

In my opinion, Mario Galaxy is one of the best looking games this generation, and it's got nothing to do with the technology or resolution or techy stuff, it's all to do with art style :)

PinkUni3828d ago

i think its just a bunch of americans who think if its a fps game its obviously better

no ones going to have better graphics then the 1st party games

the system is made for them

3828d ago
Double Toasted3828d ago

but the art direction...not so much.

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