Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction
Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction is a 2005 first-person shooter video game developed by Kuju Entertainment (the same developer who later made Narcos: Rise of the Cartels) and published by Oxygen Interactive Software (later known as Oxygen Games, the same publisher behind CID the Dummy and Robin Hood's Quest) for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, and Xbox only in Europe. The game is driven on Fire Warrior Engine, which is also used for Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior.
Hydra, a rogue government agency has according to intelligence reports been developing and selling biological weapons to terrorist organizations.
As Cole Justice, players will be assigned to missions around the globe, including places such as the South American jungle and the Arctic Circle.
Why It Sucks
- The cover art is really ugly and looks painfully minimalistic. There is only a visible game logo, an eye-bleeding background that is more like something often seen on a CRT TV when the set-top box was not activated, and two-line inscription "Believe nothing... Trust no one...".
- Extremely hideous main menu that looks like it was from the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, only remastered. In terms of graphical craftsmanship, the screen is black as an abyss, the game's logo, and options are written in Impact font, which shows laziness or no budget. Not yet helping the frighteningly small amount of settings where you only can change the volume level, sensitivity and axis shift. The rest of the settings have been implemented in the configuration file.
- Not only is the story weird, it also has some plot holes in it. The government organization, Hydra, has decided to start producing weapons of mass destruction and intends to distribute them soon among groups of terrorist groups around the world. The task of holding back was given to a former agent, Cole Justice.
- Speaking about the plot holes, the lady informing you on the radio, called Cara, was able to accurately measure your position while under close surveillance at the base of the main villain. There is one more thing that by some miracle when you enter the base in the Aztec ruins and take the elevator up, you suddenly find yourself in the North Pole.
- The cutscenes are done with little effort. Initially, the story is told only in the scrolling inscriptions, then there is a snippet of the gameplay that has nothing to do with what was just seen. Before the gameplay, the story is only told by the logs with the transcription.
- The gameplay does not sparkle with originality, and is even an inept budget imitation of the first Far Cry game, however, it must be more admitted that it resembles a typical shooter. Mostly you move levels from A to B and move straight ahead, killing enemies as many as you can.
- While dying, the weird situation happens that instead of getting a few seconds "mission failed" screen as usual happens in first-person shooters, instead, a fifteen-second screen appears with a brief message, stating the name and surname of the agent you are playing, the year of birth and death, and the signature of the companion, Cara, with whom you accompany during the game. This is not only silly, but also pointless, and a waste of time, especially since these screens are not accompanied by anything except a black screen (not including the aforementioned inscription).
- The game does not have the ability to automatically save, although even in many games from the second half of the 90s, such a feature appeared. After death, at most you will respawn at the checkpoint that the developers have set, and even in the worst situations from the beginning of the level.
- The characters are quite forgettable, missing an interesting identity, or just generic, like Cole and Cara. It is also worth mentioning the surname of the main character, which was probably only placed so that anyone would pay attention to him.
- The graphics are pretty poor and feels like a game released for the Nintendo 64 in the early 2000s than a game from 2005 when the seventh generation console era approaches. The first thing you notice are very low quality textures that look more like they were stolen from the first Turok game. Cole's fists look like the billiard ball. The weapons resemble toy counterparts that have probably been flooded with gastric juice. The character models are horribly ugly, distinguished by the expression on the dead man's face, especially eyes. The special effects look like someone threw sand and created a green screen out of it, modifying in Windows Movie Maker.
- Extremely bad animations that are not aware of the existence of motion capture. Cole's animations are stiff, and enemies' running and falling animation is more like a spinning ferret on steroids. Cara's running animation is more like a hurried retired old lady who is going to the nearest train.
- The game is generally very poor in terms of the soundtrack. Not only is there two track in the entire game, it also doesn't fit the atmosphere and the music from the cutscene/main menu is more like music from an eroge movie.
- Poor sound effects, especially shooting, which more closely resembles the shooting sound of 90s Western-themed animated series.
- The voice acting is quite poor and barely bearable. Conspiracy is limited mainly to the characters, Cara, although sometimes others say anything, it is rare or their voices are artificial and soulless. At times you can hear enemy posthumous sounds, but they are too quiet and rare.
- The traps in the levels are quite ineptly set. They are extremely visible, especially the spikes that stick out from under a small hill protruding over ordinary terrain, a string on which you can see a black shadow, and water mines on land that are not completely hidden under the terrain, additionally they are too large, hence easier notice.
- Shooting is fairly burdensome and lacks the satisfaction of shooting, especially noticeable in rifles. The main problem is that the shooting is too close to the mechanics of console games in the case of Windows version. Plus, the sniper rifle has an excessively zooming scope.
- The level design, while quite varied with a variety of locations that hardly anyone ever comes to in the world, on the other hand the levels are extremely linear with no varied additional pages to which you can alternatively navigate. This is especially noticeable in the jungle and snow levels. Unfortunately, this aspect makes the game boring and it looks more as if the game was created for speedrunners. Plus, the game only has five levels that you can complete quite quickly doesn't help.
- Bad artificial intelligence, both of enemies and companions.
- The level of the enemy's intellect borders on the level of concrete or peanut. On the one hand, they can aim at you and shoot you in any way, on the other hand, while you shoot, they stand like a tree and stare with those dead eyes at you. Even when standing in groups or when the alarm sounds, your enemies don't care about any counterattack.
- The companion is also brainless, for example Cara, who often gets stuck in an object, spinning like a washing machine.
- The alarm is completely useless, mainly due to the fact that it only appears in the jungle and the enemies will come to their senses only after ten seconds, quickly forgetting about your existence.
- The boss of this game is an unusual muff. Not only is it as intelligent as the average quarter-brain pounding with the hammer at head, he has also extremely low health, because he can be defeated as quickly as an average opponent.
- Weird and unrealistic killing opponents. On the one hand, when killing any enemy with firearms, they are killed after a few shots, in the case of fists, they are killed only after one punch.
- The length of the game is astonishing with its awfulness and wastage of money. As mentioned in # WIS15, it offers only five levels, so you can complete the game only in one hour without dying and hurrying.
- The game suffers from a lot of bugs and glitches.
- In one mission, inside where Cara is sitting at the desk, you can see a monitor with the screen escaping downwards.
- In the winter map, while killing the enemy, he flies up onto the roof.
- In the jungle level, during the first launch, you got stuck on the bridge, and the only way to get out of there, was to restart the game.
- The gameplay, although repetitive, has its charm in terms of other activities from boring killing cannon fodder. You are doing as an agent for example you disconnect the disk, get information about a given virus, send data about Hydra with the help of a reader, other times you use a magnetic card to get more documents.
- In addition to the campaign, the game offers several other modes, such as Endurance Mode, which is about surviving as long as possible, although it is difficult to find first aid kits and ammunition. Although you have to appreciate the fact that they added something other than an uninteresting campaign.
The reception of the game is extremely weak by critics. The game is mostly rated behind 2 and 4 out of 10, although even some have rated it below 2/10. For example, Corey Brotherson from Eurogamer, who reviewed the PlayStation 2 version, gave the lowest possible score of their rating system, a 1/10, describing "We're sorry. We're so so sorry. This game is just horrible. If a passer-by were to see something like the forthcoming Black and then look at this they would wonder how it came from the same machine. It's a parody of the genre and a parody of the PS2's abilities; a weapon of mass destruction for any gaming audience unfortunate to play it. That it's not an intentional parody is the only conspiracy present here."
Jeuxvideo, a well known French gaming website, gave for Conspiracy a 4/20, criticizing in every way, saying "Concretely, Conspiracy is one of the worst FPS existing, alongside the friend Turok: Evolution. Poor graphically, playfully, and in many other areas still, it can in no case claim to have the smallest trace of a semblance of background. The Oxygen range actually allows you to breathe in the flood of good games available. A window open to another world. Hopefully Kuju recovers, one day."
Spanish website Vandal, formerly known as Vandal Online, gave the game a 4/10, considering this boring, mainly criticizing the gameplay and its fun of playing this. Ultimately, they summared "For the rest, little remains to comment. Conspiracy: Weapons of Mass Destruction does not have online play, although there are some extras that we will have to unlock as we complete the main adventure. The problem, as you have been able to read in this analysis, will be that very few people will be able to finish the game because of boredom."
- The game was co-published by Game Factory Interactive and Russobit-M in Russia
- MobyGames's plot description: https://www.mobygames.com/game/conspiracy-weapons-of-mass-destruction
- MobyGames's gameplay description: https://www.mobygames.com/game/conspiracy-weapons-of-mass-destruction
- Eurogamer's review: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/r_conspiracy_ps2
- Jeuxvideo's review: https://www.jeuxvideo.com/articles/0000/00005553_test.htm
- Vandal's review: https://vandal.elespanol.com/analisis/ps2/conspiracy-weapons-of-mass-destruction/4171#p-2