Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction
Developer: Kuju
Publisher: Oxygen Interactive
Release Date: Out Now
Players: One
Words By:

Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction - ever heard of it? No, me neither. Now there are usually two reasons why a game is unheard of until release:

1. It is in fact a great game but due to its low budget couldn’t afford the publicity of a major game release. See Ico. Or:
2. It is a game so bad you wouldn’t even force on your mother-in-law, and the publishers try to trick people into buying the game by releasing it before it can be reviewed.

Now try and guess which category this game falls into…

Conspiracy reeks of cliché like a tramp reeks of urine, and neither are a pretty sight. You play as Cole Justice, an ex-member of “the agency” (now nearing fifty) brought in to stop a once Government-funded-now-rogue organisation called “Hydra” from making WMDs and selling them on to whoever’s got a few spare bob lying around. To be honest, I wasn’t paying attention; after I heard the hero’s name my mind was occupied by thoughts of who would look better as a Cole Justice- Jean-Claude Van Damme or Chuck Norris… (Someone cheaper and older maybe).

The game engine is apparently taken from the Firewarrior game, which only came out a year and a half ago and, if I remember correctly, didn’t look like the levels had been designed by a 10-year-old with ADHD. Conspiracy’s levels look like they had been lifted straight from a Spyro the dragon game. There are plenty of bright greens and blues to impress the kids, or the people high enough to buy this game in a drug-fuelled haze, and the sections with jumps have been replaced with more mundane flat sections. Sometimes there’s a bridge.

There are several moments in the game, most of which I picked from the first level, where you just have to wonder how people could work on this game without breaking into fits of laugher mid-code:

If you’ve ever watched Commando, or any cheesy action film for that matter, you’ll be able to relate to the AI in Conspiracy. They spot you, stand in the most visible place they can find, and then fire off a few rounds which never get close. Should you happen to be blind enough to miss them they’ll run a little closer for you, and repeat… Not only does this disappoint because in the days of intelligent AI (the enemy soldiers in MGS and Ghost Recon 2 know their stuff) we get thrown a pile of rendered excrement under the guise of intelligence, but also they’re supposed to be members of an ex-government funded agency - if I was the government and I saw how my money was being spent on training I’d be asking for my damned money back.

The second is the “puzzles” laid before Cole to stop him from doing whatever he was supposed to be doing. Now I’m not expecting to have to complete a Rubik’s cube while being shot at by terrorists to open a door, but if puzzles are going to be included then you could at least get your level designers to think them up, not their pre-school kids. One such teaser of a puzzle had me locked in a room with two doors; In order to open the door I needed to press three switches (one for each wall, not including the one with the door on it), all of which were as visible as poo on a whiteboard. Another had me shoot a door control from a window a few feet away. Not only was I given hints on what to do, but I was congratulated by the dumb woman voicing over: “Now I know why we head-hunted you, Cole”. Words escape me.

If you are stupid (or bored) enough to die, the screen goes black, a sombre piano melody comes on, and “Cole Justice 1954-2005” comes on the screen, followed by:

“ We will all miss you, Cole”

It seemed like more work had been put into this funeral death-screen than into the main parts of the game, and that’s what made me laugh. Perhaps out of pity. But that pity soon turned to anger when I found out that if you die more than once, the same scene which was funny at first becomes long and tedious, and you wonder if it’s possible to slit your wrists with a joypad…

There are many, many more problems like this, like how the enemies explode into little red squares when you lob grenades at them. I would go into all of these, but I’ve laughed enough for today, and we’ve both got better things to do…

Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction is so shoddy a game that it’s crossed over into the “so crap it’s funny” category. Yes, it’s a budget title But please don’t buy it. Leave that for the drunk guys who stumble into the Esso after closing time and spot twenty copies in a bargain bin, next to the two-for-one de-icer. Suckers. The trick with budget games is to make them look and feel like a full-priced game, or make them so cheap that you don’t mind a few niggles -Kuju haven’t done either.

Best Bits

- It’s the funniest game you’ll ever play!
- Cheap
Worst Bits

- It’s the most tedious game you’ll ever play…
- Not cheap enough

by: Crazypunk

Copyright © Gamecell 2005