In Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction, you play as some guy who is working for some agency and is on a mission to search for weapons of mass destruction. You're no James Bond, although you'd think that James Bond would be on a mission like this - surely it's too dangerous for a nobody like this character. But I digress. This is the top and bottom of the story. You never hear your character speak and you never see him from some crazy camera angle. All you see is some poorly rendered gun in front of you. There are two mistakes here. Firstly, it's hard to get into a game if you cannot relate in any way with the character you're playing. The lack of personality really affects the proceedings, especially with such a proliferation of quality shooters with memorable characters and great stories available. Secondly, the poor looking guns make you feel like you're holding a 'My First AK 47' from Fisher Price. Does this thing shoot real bullets? Are you sure?
Which brings me to my next gripe. When I'm shooting the repetitive looking enemies with my toy gun, they drop to the ground like a really bad extra in a Jackie Chan action comedy. "Ow, you shot me!" says the bad actor before over dramatically falling to the ground! While the enemies in this game don't say that particular phrase, you can expect some over the top effects that are bound to provoke a chuckle in what's supposed to be a deadly serious game. After all, a weapon of mass destruction is no laughing matter!
As you walk through the drab environments, shooting down bad actors with your Fisher Price gun, expect to be briefed by a man-sounding babe. "There might be traps about, look out!" she says, in a really quiet yet manly voice. She really is a star for pointing out the obvious but I feel that her vocals do absolutely nothing for the game except to make you laugh, which at least helps you stay awake, if nothing else. Other sounds in the game consist of tinny explosions and tinny sounding gunfire. The graphics keep true to the tinny feeling sounds -the AI enemies move around like rusty tin-robots in basic backgrounds and uninspired environments. Actually, I'll try my best to tie the last part in with tin. The environments are about as much fun as looking at a tin can of value coca cola - they're mainly white with the odd blue stripe!
Before closing this review, I need to mention the AI once more. It's the AI that really makes the game bad. I can put aside bad animations and bad sound if shooting the enemies is fun. But it's not. It's just wrong. I go in there with my gun, expecting a challenge and they just stand there waiting for me to kill them. They might shoot me a few times with their gun but the bullets do an unnoticeable amount of damage - either that, or they're missing me at near point blank range! This just adds to my toy gun conspiracy. God knows why this game has earned itself a 16+ rating. There is a bit of blood present when you shoot people but bodies don't stay on the floor, they simply disappear. When you die, a little white message appears on screen saying "We will all miss you, Cole," which might disturb people under twelve but I still feel the 16+ rating is a little over the top considering things.
In a move certain to send shockwaves along the spine of established game cliché protocols everywhere, the hero of action-packed shooter, Conspiracy: Weapons Of Mass Destruction is 51! This means he's as likely to be struggling against the forces of evil and darkness as he is against his aching back and dodgy hip.
Unfortunately, it's the only concession to originality in this laughable attempt at creating a modern-day shooter. If Half-Life 2 is at one end of the spectrum, pushing back the very fabric of what is capable with today's technology, Conspiracy is still looking up how to spell spectrum in the dictionary.
Five (count 'em) whole levels of mediocre visuals, non-existent AI and simplistic level design. Five levels that take about 20 minutes to zip through. Five levels to save the world from a giant missile in a plot so poor it could have come straight from any brain-dead pre-teen Saturday morning kids G.I. Joe cartoon. Although that would have featured better animation.
There's no option to up the screen resolution from 640x480, the death sequence is dull and the graphics are not good.
People who downloaded Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction have also downloaded:
Contract J.A.C.K., Combat: Task Force 121, Conflict: Desert Storm II: Back to Baghdad, CTU: Marine Sharpshooter, Conflict: Desert Storm, Condemned: Criminal Origins, Chasm: The Rift, Close Combat: First to Fight
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