New hands-on for Conduit 2

by: Sean Colleli -
More On: Conduit 2
The lucky stiffs at IGN got to sit down with an early build of Conduit 2, and it looks very promising. As previously (and vaguely) reported, High Voltage Software is addressing all the complaints people had with the first game. Single player levels are now huge and dynamic, with scripted cinematic story scenes instead of the canned dialogue we got last time. There's a much wider variety of enemies and a big emphasis on boss battles this time, which are unique and intimidating--the end of an oil derrick level featured a giant leviathan with tiered health bars, which is a big improvement over the generic and boring invaders in the first game.

The original game's standout feature was its graphics, and HVS is making sure that the sequel will still impress. There's a more concerted focus on art direction and unique locations, with Ford visiting places like Siberia and the Florida coast. The weather effects have rain and waves splattering the deck of that oil rig, and of course the psychedelic plasma guns are back with plenty of gorgeous HDR particle explosions. Speaking of guns, Agent Ford has some new toys to add to his already eclectic arsenal. One gun lets him remote control a turret from behind cover, while the new Vortex Blaster collects enemy fire in a cluster of bullets and grenades, and then shoots it right back in a burst. Remember that scene from District 9 with the alien mecha? Yeah, I'm already excited.

There are some more multiplayer details as well. We've already heard about the plentiful suit upgrades but apparently you can trick out your guns too and add them to your custom loadout, for an even better Modern Warfare-esque experience. Conduit 2 is still pretty early in development, with a projected fall 2010 release, but it's already sounding like a far better and bigger game than the original. Check out the IGN article for more details and new screens.