Written by: Michael Smith
How many of you Wii owners have been waiting patiently for some adult-oriented games for your console of choice? Do you crave action that doesn’t involve armless tennis players, juvenile puzzles or a certain Italian plumber? Do you look at the offerings for the Xbox 360, the PS3 or the PC and say, “Where’s my blood-soaked mayhem?” Sega has heard your cries and is riding to your rescue. Recently I joined Chris and Billy from the Avault podcast in Manhattan for an advance look at the venerable Japanese gaming company’s offerings for the coming year. There were some impressive shooters and fighters for the Xbox and the PS3, and real-time strategy games that will whet the virtual appetites of console and PC gamers alike, but the real focus of the event was that games featuring adult themes, violence and language can be just as effective on Nintendo’s smash-hit console as they have been for years on its competitors’ machines.
Here are some highlights from the show. We managed to get some hands-on time with many of the games, and as you can see, there’s something here for almost everyone. Check out Chris and Billy’s impressions of the show in Episode 17 of the Avault podcast.
Release Date: Q2 2009
High Voltage Software brings slick, fast-paced FPS action to the Wii with this alien-invasion shooter. Washington, DC has been infiltrated by an extraterrestrial force known as the Drudge. A shadowy covert agency, called the Trust, sends a new agent, code-named Mr. Ford (voiced by veteran character actor Mark Sheppard), to investigate. Ford discovers that the threat includes not only alien invaders, but also a cadre of traitorous humans and others who have been infected with a virus that allows them to be controlled by the Drudge.
The Conduit successfully takes the control scheme familiar to shooter fans on other platforms and translates it to the Wiimote and nunchuck. The control stick on the nunchuck is used to move Mr. Ford around in the game world, while the targeting reticule and camera are maneuvered with the Wiimote. Not being an adept Wiimote user, it took me a few minutes to get used to the two-handed control system, but it wasn’t long before I was scouring the dark alleyways of Washington looking for the Drudge and their minions. High Voltage art director Matt Corso demonstrated one of the game’s major innovations: fully customizable controls and HUD layouts. Being able to remap buttons on game controllers is something most PC and console gamers take for granted, but it’s a feature that’s fairly rare for the Wii. As for the HUD, how many times have you wanted to move interface elements around on the screen because they can sometimes get in your way? The Conduit‘s HUD can be rearranged to your heart’s content, giving you the chance to optimize the interface layout to suit your style of play.
As for the graphics, the Wii-exclusive Quantum3 engine generates a visual style that might not be state of the art for shooters in general, but certainly delivers the goods for the Wii. (Indeed, “Looks good for a Wii game” is a phrase that was frequently heard at the event.) Granted, the build we saw was obviously a work in progress, and High Voltage was not showing the promised 16-player online multiplayer mode, but I’ll be curious to check out the final product when it hits shelves this spring.