Conspiracy : WMD places the player into the uniform and behind the eyes of Cole Justice in this first person shooter based around hunting down a group known as Hydra who have been found to be supplying WMDs to terrorists.
While FPS games have long been at home on and arguably better on the PC, the console world has been home to some FPS greats since the advent and use of analogue control with the Timesplitters series and Bond games drawing many fans on PS2.
Our would be one man army here Cole is a retired agent who has been called back in eighties action movie style for 'one more mission' on behalf of 'the agency'.
This concluding mission places you as Cole in the boots of a man sent to sort out the embarrassing situation generated when a government group is found supplying WMDs to terrorists, you are also required of course to sort out the associated gun combat that comes with the situation. As Cole you can be armed with any two of the now standard issue FPS firearms of pistol, machine gun, shotgun, sniper rifle and rocket launcher at a time as you wade through surprisingly few levels of average walking and blasting.
Presumably the Agencys agents aren't too bright on average as the first time you are required to shoot through a window to hit something you are told "I can see why we headhunted you" by your mercenaries style handler Cara who keeps you updated on mission objectives and helps to advance the story, as you progress you will be given the standard wildly optimistic objectives common to the genre - "Good you're inside, now just gain unrestricted access to the base computer system" etc.
Conspiracy seems to be aimed squarely for an American audience, as well as the whole one-man-army all American hero coming to save the world idea we encounter Russian accented bad guys who will make statements like "I don't know what hydra do here but as long as im paid I don't care"
The problem with Conspiracy is that there's nothing here which hasn't been done a lot better before and there's certainly nothing new, you shoot your way through a number of differently themed large levels broken up by checkpoints, unfortunately you don't get given health back for restarting at a checkpoint so you may find yourself restarting the level to try to conserve more life or just to avoid the unskippable epitaph sequence that you have to wait through in order to continue after every death.
The ememy AI is also nothing new and like most other aspects of Conspiracy is inferior to its peers, the bad guys will sometimes simply stand there to reload without taking cover first and their preferred method of attack seems to be to just run forward shooting, they will sometimes take cover for a short while but for the main part its just the run forward and shoot tactics.
In spite of this poor show of AI it still helps to plan ahead and think how you are going to do away with each enemy and with which weapon depending on the situation, you will not last long by simply running in all guns blazing as you health gets depleted very quickly and you will most likely set off the alarms on some levels via a trap if you don't pay attention to where you are going.
Another minor gripe I have with Conspiracy is that the field of vision is a little off so the scenery can seem to stretch as it moves off the screen as you turn, also Carl seems to slide along rather than walk as the camera doesn't 'bob' to simulate walking, while these aren't major issues they do detract from the realism of the game.
Graphically the game is quite solid, there are better looking games but still Conspiracy isn't an ugly game at all, the graphical style does vary from level to level though, the first stage has quite a cartoony feel to it but then it gets more gritty and dark later on in the stage and throughout the game.
It's not that Conspiracy : WMD is a bad game but just that there are better games in the first person shooter genre available on PS2, the game is mechanically sound but there are too many areas in which it could have been better for it to stand out and there is nothing in Conspiracy that we haven't seen before, also the game is quite short and a few more levels or different missions would have been welcome.