Preview: Conduit 2

The High Voltage representatives showing off The Conduit 2 behind closed doors at the Sega booth were quick to admit that the first game may not have lived up to the hype. While they were incredibly proud of what they created with that game, they admitted there was plenty of room for improvement -- generic, repeating waves of enemies were just one of the frank criticisms they had for their game. The sequel would afford them opportunity to correct these shortcomings. And then we were thrust into the demo.
Waking up on an oil derek, secret service agent Michael Ford's quest in the sequel has him heading down to Atlantis, the ship the Drudge used to get to Earth. High Voltage didn't go into too much detail about the story, but offered that John Adams, the first game's antagonist, would play an integral part in the sequel.

The environments on the oil derek level were very interactive. There were sparks dancing off the walls from ricocheting bullets and plenty of random boxes filled with papers exploding. But perhaps the greatest improvement to the environments was interactive cover. Enemies and even the player could flip over tables and knock over filing cabinets for sanctuary from the endless volleys of hot lead.

Enemies also have some new tricks up their sleeves -- and some actual new sleeves -- this go around. The cookie-cutter enemies sporting the one gun of the first game are now randomized, providing each with a package of random groupings of skins and weapons. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

Eventually, it led to a boss fight with a giant leviathon --what High Voltage told us was the cause for all those missing boats in the Bermuda Triangle. As it tried to destroy the oil rig, Ford had to run around and man these giant gun turrets at the corners of the platform, taking care to shoot the enemy's orange weak spots. We were just glad somebody took the time to order those four turrets, otherwise Ford wouldn't have had a chance.

Then it was on to the multiplayer. While we didn't participate in any matches (Conduit 2 multiplayer was at a separate area of the show floor -- we'll get our hands on it later), we did bear witness to the new perks and custom classes available to players. There are plenty of options available here and the implementation of a rivals system -- a friends list that bypasses Nintendo's dreaded Friend Codes system -- only compounds the potential for a multiplayer experience gamers will want to keep coming back to.

We'll try to get over to the multiplayer pit on the show floor as soon as possible. Conduit 2 is currently slated for launch sometime this winter.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.