As we approach the halfway point in this week of Conduit 2 goodies, we start to get to the thing a lot of shooter fans seem to always clamor for: the chance to take down your friends and rub it in their faces. In what promises to be the most intriguing aspect of this game, here’s this sci-fi shooter’s multiplayer.
The multiplayer is one of the biggest draws for Sega’s shooter. In fact, getting the multiplayer right is one of the best reasons for it coming out on April 19th. While at High Voltage Studios’ event, I was fortunate to witness the character creation process along with sampling the many modes.
Most of the time, multiplayer shooters focus mostly on the cosmetic aspects, such as decking out your character in colors or specific helmets or armors. What truly makes Conduit 2 unique to me is the load-out customization. In addition to the appearance of your avatar, you can pick three sets of weapons and upgrades. With a main gun, sidearm, grenade, as well as four powers/enhancements; that gives a lot of options. The idea of the load-out is that once you’ve died, between respawning, you can switch out to a different load-out to take advantage of your opponents’ tactics. Guns are often divided between: rapid-fire and slow but strong, bullets and energy; and lastly sniper versus closer ranges.
- The enhancements are the fun part of the creation process. Some are simply passive, like increasing your skill with energy weapons or resistance to energy weapons, to more aggressive ones like increased speed when sprinting and turning invisible so you can reenact your fantasies of being the Predator.
Beyond the online multiplayer, you can also go back to the old days of gaming and just get three friends on split-screen action. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to sample that version of multiplayer, but I’m looking forward to it in the final version.
After creating a character, you get to choose your settings, like gravity (here comes my dream moon-battle). There are three main multiplayer modes: Free-For-All, Team Deathmatch and Team Objective. Each have their own classic shooter-multiplayer matches, as well as Conduit-themed ones. They are:
Deathmatch: First player to the kill limit in the time allowed wins. Basically the mother of all free-for-alls, and the game type most likely to destroy friendships. And the action can be extremely fast, so you’ll probably get quite a lot out of the load-out options.
ASE Ball: Longest time holding the ASE wins. When I mentioned how the combat changed when holding the ASE during the single-player campaign, this is where the ASE may drive you insane; slowed running and no shooting. Dominating this style requires a combination of strategy, skill and luck.
Bounty Hunter: Kill your assigned target for points or kill those hunting you for fun. But beware; killing someone who doesn’t fill those roles will cost you points. This mode strikes me as the truest test of who is top dog amongst your friends.
Free For All CTF: Get to the flag and then carry it back to a random goal location. First to the scoring limit wins. This classic mode is still challenging, even with the sci-fi setting, and perfect for the one who likes to beat on everyone else.
Team Deathmatch: First team to the kill limit in the time allowed wins. Fairly self-explanatory.
Shared Stock: Teammates share a pool of lives while trying to get the highest kill count possible. Do not attempt if you don’t play well with others or have poor communication skills.
Capture the Flag: Each team tries to capture the ASE (flag) of the other. First team to the capture limit in the time allowed wins. The best strategy I found is to form up on your flag-bearer, since he can’t shoot or move fast.
Killing Override: First team to the kill or capture limit wins. Again, explanatory; just make sure you work well with your group.
Single Flag CTF: Teams fight over a single, centrally-located ASE (flag). First team to the capture limit wins.
VIP: Fight to kill the randomly selected VIP on the opposing team. First team to the point limit wins. This game type can be the one that sucks if you’re distracted. While playing, I managed to kill the opposing VIP and then our team’s VIP died, and I found myself VIP with several people coming at me.
ASE Basketball: Each team tries to capture a centrally-located ASE and then carry it into the enemy base. Toss or carry the ASE through the goal to score. First team to the point limit wins. This is the most frustrating multiplayer if your team doesn’t watch your back. Best strategy I recommend is dividing your forces between guarding your base and going after the ASE. No glory hounds all chasing the ball, please.
Balloon Battle: Lose balloons with every death. Gain balloons with kills. IF you do not have a balloon you become a mini bomb! Last player alive wins!
Annexation: Teams fight for control over capture points. These totems award points over time. First team to the point limit wins!
After settling in with the group on hand, the multiplayer handles extremely well. At death, you’re given the choice between just respawning or crying out for help and getting healed by an ally. It’s amusing when your character starts screaming “Tell my wife she’s the best thing to happen to a bum like me!”
Again, the biggest factor in any multiplayer is your allies. After all, if you don’t enjoy your team, you won’t enjoy the multiplayer. I’m lucky in that I had a good group who knew how to play to win while still working together.
Words can’t describe as well as visuals, so tune back in tomorrow for the video reveal of the multiplayer.