Today I got a chance to play High Voltage Software’s Conduit 2 at the SEGA booth on the E3 showroom floor, and I have to say, it’s better than I thought it would be. That’s pretty high praise, considering I’ve consistently talked up The Conduit for having the best FPS multiplayer experience on Wii, despite its faults, glitches and all.
During my playtime, I was able to test out one of the new mulitplayer levels for Conduit 2, a visually stunning sci-fi zone that stretches across both indoors and outdoor locations. There are ample places to hide, given the hilly land outside and different levels inside. It also makes jumping out from your hiding place and punching someone to death a hoot.
I spoke with the on hand demo rep to see what was new this time around with the multiplayer. He proudly talked about the game supporting local splitscreen multiplayer, something neglected in the first game. He also noted that the level and weapon voting system for online has been changed, where now you won’t be bogged down with playing the same poorly chosen levels over and over.
The biggest addition to the multiplayer is the support for the new Headbanger Wii Headset. The device, developed by PDP, is the first Wii headset on the market. The rep confirmed to me that you can now use voice chat with friends and non-friends. Players that you meet while in online play can be added to a rival list that can hold roughly 96 players. No friend codes are required to add these rival layers, but a prior request is needed. These new rivals will also show up for future battles, so you’ll be able to routinely battle the same group of strangers if you so desire.
And just a note on respawning. Respawning after death seemed almost instantaneous. I was told that depending on the specific multiplayer mode, respawning may take longer. However, there is a new addition that lets players revive you. You can also make noise to get help while you’re out of it to call attention to your lifeless body.
Overall, I was extremely pleased with what I saw, between both graphical improvements and new game features. I’m hoping to schedule some more playtime with the game before E3 closes its doors tomorrow evening. (And yes, in case you’re wondering, I came out on top in my match against 4 others).
Likely we’ll find out a lot more about the different multiplayer modes and details of Conduit 2, before the game’s scheduled fall release date.