Wanted Review (PC)
Wanted: Weapons of Fate makes its game debut almost a year after the movie. And while the action is still in tact, the short and thin story leave much to be desired after all the wait.
Having seen the movie, I was going into the Wanted: Weapons of Fate playthrough with a good attitude. The movie was enjoyable, get great action, acting, and good story twists (more so than your average action movie). After the movie did very well at the box office, the follow-up game was announced and released almost a year later. And while the game does not disappoint in the action department, all other areas seem lackluster and it is simply way too expensive for the amount of content that you get.
The Wanted universe is based on a series of comic books about a young man named Wesley, who is an average guy that one day is recruited into a secret fraternity of assassins. As soon as that happens, he becomes an arrogant jerk with his newfound confidence, and proceeds to take matters into his own hands. I will not spoil the movie, as the game begins shortly after the movie’s ending story sequence. You play as Wesley for most of the game, as he gets involved with the French fraternity who is after some of his family-related possessions. For about a third of the game, you play as Wesley’s deceased dad, in a backdrop storytelling. The story follows Wesley’s discovery that the French fraternity actually discovered something personal in his home and he needs to get it back, to learn the truth about his parents. At the end of the game, you are on a mission of revenge as much as exploration. Other than this, there is not much of a story here. I am sure that fans of the book will enjoy this for the sheer familiarity factor, but for the rest of us, the story will seem paper-thin and very forgettable. It’s anti-climactic and goes through the same boss fight notions over and over. Characters are introduced as fast as they are killed, so you really do not know why the French want you dead all of a sudden.
If the game carries one thing well from the movie, it is the action. The game uses a good cover system, which allows you to easily slide into cover and pop out to take enemies out. It is similar to Gears of War, so you will be familiar with it if you have played that game, including the quick regenerating health system. However, there are some cool unique features to this cover system, such as the ability to stick and wrap around smooth corners in one motion (rather than having to slide around the corner in two motions). The game also provides a very good movement preview, so every time you peek from cover, the game will display an action you can perform (if available) such as jumping to the next set of cover or diving across a hall. This can make for some very fast movement (which may not be in the game’s best interest – on this, later). So at times it is definitely a lot more high-paced than your average cover shooter. The shooting feels solid and ammo is relatively easy to come by, so you will rarely need to use your melee instant-kill. The downside here is that only two guns are available in the entire game – Wesley will have his single pistol for the first half of the game, and in the second half he acquires his dad’s dual silenced automatic pistols. During dad’s game chapters, you will only have access to the dual automatics. The key selling point for Wanted is the bullet curving feature. It is a very cool feature that is easy to use and comes quite in handy at times. By holding down Shift and pressing the fire button, an arc appears, the end of which is locked on to the enemy. By moving your mouse, you adjust the trajectory of the bullet, and let go of the fire button to shoot. After a few tries, you will get pretty good at curving your shots, so enemies will go down fairly quick. Any time an enemy is low on health and you do a bullet curve shot that hits, a slow motion camera follows the bullet to it’s bloody destination. You only get a limit amount of bullet curving (it increases as you progress through the game), and to activate the bullet time you need Adrenalin, which is gained by killing a bad guy. Another unique cover feature is the ability to dive between cover in slow motion, allowing you to take out exposed enemies while you move to the next cover. This also works pretty well and enemies seem to go down much faster if you hit them in this “slow motion” run.
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