Conduit dev doing Gladiator game

It will "redefine fighting on the Wii".

The Conduit developer High Voltage has unveiled exclusive Wii game Gladiator AD, which aims to "redefine the fighting game genre on the Wii".

Full production has been under way for several months and the team hopes for a Q1 2010 release. And High Voltage, which promised big with FPS The Conduit, is more ambitious and confident than ever.

"Gladiator AD is going to redefine the fighting game genre on the Wii," design director David Pellas told IGN.

"The game features an unmatched graphic fidelity, enthralling musical score, and strategic combat. This, coupled with the familiar setting and intuitive controls, is what sets it apart from anything ever released."

Gladiator AD will be brutal and active but also strategical and feature plenty of RPG elements, such as a deep story affected by player-decisions as well as character customisation. Players will control unique personalities with their own backstories, fighting styles and motivations. High Voltage will pull few punches replicating the violence of the age, too.

"This game is brutally violent, but is not Mortal Kombat," added Pellas. "There is no over-the-top spine ripping. It's authentic, not ridiculous. We do have finishers, which can get pretty nasty to watch, though." These will be a choice of execution, humiliation or brutality moves.

Combat will be presented over-the-shoulder and be controlled via Wiimote and nunchuk. They represent the left and right hands and can attack either left or right or overhead. There's a choice of heavy or light blows, depending on how quickly you want to strike, plus special power attacks and crowd-pleasing brutality manoeuvres. The camera will slow down to lend these a cinematic quality.

Defence is spread across blocks, parries and dodges. Blocks, when held, partially soak damage. Players can wiggle the analogue stick to attempt a perfect block and throw their opponent off as well as negate all incoming damage.

High Voltage describes the combat as a cross between Bushido Blade and Fight Night. "There is no button-mashing here," explained Pellas. There will, however, be Lions and other "environmental hazards".

Wii MotionPlus will be supported and add variance to attacks, plus other possible applications that High Voltage is "looking into".

"For example," said Pellas, "depending on the orientation of the player's wrist when a left slice is initiated, the gladiator will attack his opponents right side from one of three angles, making it slightly more difficult to perfect block player's using the Wii MotionPlus.

Multiplayer will feature, although we only know this will entail split-screen multiplayer. High Voltage is looking at other ways to "beef up the experience" but cannot talk about them yet.

High Voltage's Wii debut will be made with The Conduit on 26th June. The studio has promised to redefine the image of FPS games on the console and what they can achieve. It's looking rather promising, too - head over to our hands-on impressions of The Conduit to find out more.

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