FPS on Wii U, will Third Parties drop the ball again?

Anyone who played Conduit 2 knows how good the Wii controller feels for first-person shooters. Not because the game does anything amazing, but because High Voltage were one of the only developers to show up to the FPS party with a Wii game. Call of Duty players laughed at their primitive graphics, Halo players insulted their mothers, and Killzone players were too busy reconnecting to PSN. Not many developers were brave enough to try and sell a game on the absurd basis of “good controls”, so FPS were few and far between on Wii, with launch games Red Steel and Far Cry Vengeance still floating in the top tier of the genre after 6 years. Wii U is just around the corner and negates the graphics problem but brings a new problem: the tablet. The enticing features of the GamePad screen and it’s comfortable grip could doom us to another generation of analog stick shooting.

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Conduit 2 – One Man, Three Balls

Conduit 2 demands your attention. It’s a first person shooter with incredible controls, great graphics, good humour, addictive gameplay, a wealthy amount of options and customisation, and a whole lot of style. It’s a fairly short game, but it’s full blown entertainment from start to finish, and makes no compromises or excuses for it. Michael Ford is here to kick ass and take names, and he’s all out of names. Life’s too short for formality – there’s no time for “the” anymore – this is simply Conduit 2, and it’s time to shoot bad guys.

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Conduit 2 Wiimote Controls

I guess the timing is right to present the sequel to our Conduit/GoldenEye Wiimote Controls – my control settings for the first Conduit adapted to the sequel to The Conduit, which isn’t exactly The Conduit 2, but simply Conduit 2, a.k.a. DUKE NUKEM’s official return to video games. (The previous Note still applies, so keep those conditions in mind) My controls are geared toward an exploration/realism perspective, so it’s probably not the l337 onrine FPS’ing scheme suited to all those childish twitch-turning high-jumping strafe-running genre conventions that you were hoping to employ. I am raging infinity suns, but it’s not how I play shooty games.

Fortunately, this project includes somewhat less ranting and more explanation/analysis. Read on for screens/details and technical issues the gaming press probably didn’t mention in the reviews.

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Wii Sniper Rifle Videos – HotD: Overkill

Live gameplay footage of The House of the Dead: Overkill using my “CTA Digital Sniper Rifle Gun for Wii” with calibrated aim. I checked a “popular” internet video site to sample other players using the accessory, and came back underwhelmed. I didn’t find any legitimate gameplay videos. Gamers, industry, you all suck. No wonder most rail shooters and accessories are designed for “dumb” customers – there’s no motivation/demand to advance the software or hardware, just an endless cycle of publishers assuming everyone is lazy while gamers REALLY ARE too lazy to aim a casual non-gun and instead complain about 12-digit codes. Even Sony’s Move is a broken, lag-plagued alternative with even dumber-looking accessories exclusively designed for gullible customers (has it been used in “regular” games yet?), and they’re willing to charge more for all of it.

(HotD: Overkill video link at end of post)

Gameplay from “Ghost Squad” and “HotD 2/3”. See Wii Sniper Rifle Gameplay

I’ll save my serious “review” of the accessory for later, but I will say it’s the best Wii rifle I’ve tried so far – the printed crosshairs on the fake scope do a good job of sighting targets, and the main trigger works great like some of the better handgun shells (the awesome part is it’s a RIFLE); on the downside, the main grip SUCKS (it’s not really shaped for a grip), but the trigger is still reachable with some improvisation (oh crap, I started reviewing it). Actually, these videos were made to address the shortcomings of Overkill’s gunplay. Please excuse the audio quality: it was late at night and I didn’t have the game volume up very high and my camcorder was literally inches away from my hands so the clackity noise of the trigger seems way louder than it really is.

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Conduit/GoldenEye Wiimote Controls

Note: These control settings were personalized for my bloated widescreen (16:9) TV that I sit fairly close to. You may get undesirable results if you use these settings on a fullscreen (4:3) TV setup, or if your Wii’s cursor behavior is already unstable due to poor sensor bar visibility, specific lighting conditions in your room, and/or your seating distance and position. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Reflex Edition is not a significant part of this discussion becuz the shoehorned FPS mechanics and single-player campaign are nonsense; it wasn’t worth the effort to customize the controls nor play past the tutorial stage. Call of what? Modern what? (Update: Conduit 2 controls here)

I’ve seen some player comments declaring the Wii “Pointer” controls in The Conduit and GoldenEye 007 are great or crap, or never getting them to feel “right” – ALL without adequately explaining why nor sharing their settings in detail as if it’s only a futile, individual effort they’re doomed to suffer (curse you, game! curse you, non-Nintendo developer!). What was the purpose of their interweb comments, their “discussion”? To WHINE? Yeah. To exchange ideas/info and support each other’s gaming experiences? HAH! Hell no.

So I have some info that’s useful to me and could be useful to others… =o

– The Conduit
(click to enlarge)

Handgun gameplay clips using the above settings – headshots preferred. Conduit handles it well; GoldenEye is just a trainwreck.

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