Wanted: Weapons of Fate review
Available for
Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Publisher
Warner Bros.
Wanted: Weapons of Fate

Reviewed by Rich DeWester

F

ollowing hot on the heels of “Wanted” comes the latest adaptation of the Mark Millar and J.G. Jones comic, "Wanted: Weapons of Fate." The game takes place after the movie and follows the story of the main character trying to unravel the mysteries of his parents. You play as Wesley Gibson, one-time depressed office worker turned assassin by the secret society of the Fraternity. The game has you dealing with the various other branches of the Fraternity, and has some flashback missions where you play as your father.

"Wanted: Weapons of Fate" starts off with a small tutorial which helps introduce you to some of the game’s basic mechanics. After you progress through that, it instantly takes you to your apartment, where apparently someone has broken in. This leads to a chase that seems to last forever through endless mazes of conveniently laid out places to hide behind. You need these, as the game consists of hiding, shooting and repeating as necessary. "Wanted" relies heavily on this cover system; often times, you’ll find yourself sliding across the terrain from cover to cover. It’s hard not to wonder if the developers were hoping that the somewhat noticeable environment damage was going to distract players from the fact that someone's kitchen was somehow magically set up like a barricade. (Probably not.)

The game itself introduces the “curve bullet” mechanic, which is fun enough, but usually not needed, as the enemies will generally present opportunities to shoot them in the head. On occasion, when firing off a curved bullet, the camera will follow it in slow motion from the barrel to the target’s head or chest – a thoroughly enjoyable effect. "Wanted" also jumps on the “Max Payne” bullet-time bandwagon, apparently figuring it’s easier to mimic overused gimmicks than develop something original. The special moves the game provides use adrenaline, which is charged by killing your enemies.

One easy way to improve “Wanted” would have been to provide a silent protagonist; Wesley Gibson can't go two minutes without sounding like a punk adolescent whose parents aren't around, tossing out weak insults like "shithead." After each stage you’re greeted with yet another tutorial for a new ability – each one filled with lines that sound like they’re from a horrible "Fight Club" sequel. What "Wanted" does well is simplify controls; even as it adds new abilities, you won’t forget how to use the old ones. 

Graphically, “Wanted” is pretty average – it’s the type of game that usually places you in some dark area to help hide its visual flaws. More well-lit stages make those flaws more noticeable, and there’s also some poor pre-rendering on certain cut scenes. As mentioned before, there is some level of environment destruction, but it seems pretty primitive compared to other games in the genre.

Aside from its short gameplay (5-8 hours at best) and three difficulty settings (Pussy, Assassin and Killer), it offers almost no replay value. Some online modes or co-op play would have gone a long way toward helping this. There are, however, team pictures, concept art, posters, videos, team quotes and comic book covers to collect and unlock. There are even a few characters you can unlock with binary codes that can be found hidden in the movie or throughout the game. It’s debatable how long the “charge $60 for five hours of gameplay” business model can last, but as long as it does, games like “Wanted: Weapons of Fate” will continue to take up far too much space on shelves.

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