Can you imagine how ridiculous it would be for Ford to re-launch the model T tomorrow, and treat it as a serious rival to modern cars? If so, then you can also picture just how out of place Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction is in today’s gaming market. Outdated is an understatement - even beside the N64’s Goldeneye (which was, by the way, good) this game looks like a relic.
At first sight the game looks like it could be good - the title certainly seems relevant. But my preconceptions were proved wrong. Your character is Cole Justice (cringe).
A retired spy, you are brought out of retirement (déjà vu?) to cripple a corrupt government agency, Hydra, which is supplying terrorists with weapons of mass destruction. With the help of an assistant, Cara, who contacts you via wireless communication (sounds familiar) you have to complete a series of missions which include shooting guards, collecting objects, downloading data .. ... yawn … downloading data …and so on and so forth.
The missions are repetitive and boring, largely because of rather basic AI. On the hardest mode, guards often stood just staring at me, seeming to expect the others to kill me! And once they had been shot, the guards would die in approximately three formulaic ways.
Yet the game is made harder in that the controls are unresponsive - with water seeming solid - and the jump control makes gravity appear equivalent to that on the moon. As well as the game’s weak opponents, tedious objectives and unrefined controls, the game-play is worsened by the incredibly poor graphics.
These are so flat, monotone, and fuzzy that when I loaded a mission for the first time and saw the pathetic quality of my surroundings, I thought that the problem was my ageing TV. I can honestly say that I have never been so disappointed with the graphics on a game as I have with this one - the hand holding gun looks more like a flesh coloured club than a dextrous, five fingered hand.
The music, like the graphics, is awful - repetitive electro-kitsch - and the game would almost have been better without it. After completing a few levels in one-player mode, I wasn’t expecting much from the rest of the game. What I hadn’t realised was that there was no “rest of game”. That was it. No multiplayer. Nothing. To be fair, this is something for the console publisher could have forced into the game when approving it so if they weren’t fussed, it looks like the developers couldn’t be bothered either.
In a games market flooded with good and cheap FPS games, it is incomprehensible how Oxygen thought this game would be a success.
It lacks so many of the features which buyers expect as standard, as well as lacking the most basic level of quality. For a person who has never played a FPS before, this might be a good start (well I had to say something complimentary about it!).
I suppose if you were stranded on a desert island with a TV, a PS2 and this game and a ... plug socket (unlikely, but possible…) it may keep you from eating your own arm for a few hours. Otherwise, steer well clear.