Conker: Live and Reloaded
takes a much different approach to game design than most games. The typical method for game development is to work on the single-player elements and then go for multiplayer. Conker
takes a different approach since the single-player mode is really just thrown in as a bonus, making multiplayer the core game element. This isn’t much of a surprise, especially for fans of the original. As memorable an experience the single-player mode was in the N64 version, multiplayer was what gave the game its lasting appeal.
Multiplayer in Live and Reloaded unfolds similar to Counter-Strike. Players take sides as either a bunch of furry, woodland creatures or evil teddy bears called the Tediz. Each side offers a selection of solider types. Aside from the typical heavy weapons and machine gun wielding soldiers, you also have access to flame-thrower troops, stealthy ninjas and a pilot class (which is the only class able to use the two flying vehicles). Just so the rest of the classes don’t feel left out, three ground vehicles and a few stationary turrets are also available.
The limited number of maps (eight to be exact) is one of the game’s few failings. However, Conker takes multiplayer in a slightly different direction by giving teams goals that they must accomplish in order to win. This usually boils down to capturing key locales on the map, but even that is a little harder than it sounds since getting to a command point usually requires fighting off other players and sometimes having to complete other goals (like dropping a bridge or knocking out a shield). Not every map is a strategic event, some are really just a flat area with lots of guns; yet, even these levels get pretty hectic due to claustrophobic level designs.
Conker’s story mode remains unchanged from the N64 version except for a few minor gameplay tweaks to either fix areas that didn’t work especially well in the original, or to keep players, and Conker, on their toes (the latter of which Conker is rather vocal about). Everything from the original makes it to the Xbox version, including the foul language and crass humor. Even though many of the jokes are still funny, a few elements, namely references to movies like “The Matrix” and “Saving Private Ryan”, feel a little stale; a side effect of the single-player side getting little more than a graphical touch-up.