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Wanted: Weapons of Fate Review (X360)

About.com Rating 3 Star Rating

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Wanted: Weapons of Fate Review (X360)
Warner Bros.
Wanted: Weapons of Fate is a game built around a couple of interesting gameplay mechanics, but outside of those things it is pretty darn mediocre. It is slick and flashy just like the movie, and curving bullets is just about the coolest thing ever, but the graphics are inconsistent, the core gameplay is old hat by the third level, and sniper and turret sequences intended to offer some variety are just plain bad. Wanted does show some flashes of brilliance here and there in the short campaign, but it is only a rental at best.
Game Details

  • Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
  • Developer: GRIN
  • Also On: PS3
  • ESRB Rating: “M” for Mature
  • Genre: Third-Person-Shooter
  • Pros: Curving bullets; fun and impressive in short bursts
  • Cons: Inconsistent graphics; very short; linear gameplay gets old pretty quickly; turret and sniper sequences suck

Wanted: Weapons of Fate takes place after the movie. Wesley Gibbon is already a fully trained cold-blooded assassin and is living in his father’s apartment to try and learn more about his life and past. You can’t kill off a large number of players in the worldwide order of assassins without someone higher up in the Fraternity noticing, however, and soon Wesley finds himself the hunted instead of the hunter. He takes out the pawns pretty easily and then goes on the offensive to find answers about why he is a target, why he had to kill his father, and what happened to his mother.

The nine level story follows Wesley in the present as well as his father in flashback sequences. It fills out the overall story fairly well and is worth a play through for fans of the movie.

Gameplay

Warner Bros.
The gameplay in Wanted is a bit of a mess of cool ideas but poor execution. At the core it is a pretty standard cover-based third-person-shooter. Unlike, say, Gears of War, Wanted is very fast paced and moving quickly from cover to cover is the key. Wanted has a few other new tricks up its sleeves as well, though. You can blind fire from cover, which makes your enemies hide behind their own cover and they can’t see you. At this point you can quickly move to new cover to get a different angle on them without them noticing. You can also, of course, bend bullets just like in the movie and it is all done with a nifty onscreen indicator that shows the flight path of the bullet so you can carve it around walls or even through multiple people at once. You also earn an ability that lets you move between cover very quickly and enter a slow motion mode where you can take out a bunch of enemies at once.

All of this stuff is definitely cool, but it wears out its welcome pretty quickly. The enemy A.I. is completely braindead and will stand outside of their cover for seemingly forever so you can get an easy headshot on them. After a while, curving bullets and shooting stupid enemies just isn’t fun anymore. The levels are also very linear and you never really feel like you have the freedom to do anything but tackle each situation the way the game wants you to. You get a definite feeling that there is one “right way” to do things and that just isn’t all that fun.

Wanted tries to shake things up with a few special sections of some levels. Occasionally you’ll drop into a slow-motion sequence where you have to shoot enemy bullets out of the air before taking out the gunman. This seems cool, but all it really amounts to is moving an aiming reticule on a static image. Not exciting. There are also sniper and turret sequences, but these are just completely awful. When using the turret you can’t really see anything unless you are shooting, but while you are standing up and shooting the enemies can also shoot you. So turret sequences turn into a balancing act of blindly firing until you figure out where the enemies are, ducking down to recharge your health, and then popping up to finish them off. Sniper sequences work the same way. Finding an enemy is difficult and the only way to find them is to stand up, get shot, and then follow the direction of the shots to find the enemy. Not fun.
Warner Bros.
Graphics and Sound

Graphically, Wanted is pretty inconsistent. One level will look really nice and have spectacular lighting, and then the next level will have ugly textures and lack detail. Overall it is an okay looking game, but nothing here is really going to impress you. Similarly, the sound is merely good and not great. Wesley’s dialogue is kind of grating here, though, because he has turned into a cocky jerk between the movie and the events in the game and isn’t all that likeable anymore.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, Wanted: Weapons of Fate has some neat ideas but falters in a few key areas. Curving bullets like the movie is cool as all get out, but the levels are so linear, the A.I. so dumb, and the core gameplay so mediocre that the thrill wears off fairly quickly. Slo-mo sequences and sniper or turret sections added to give the game more variety do more harm than good and spoil any pacing and flow the normal gameplay manages to offer. Perhaps worst of all, the game is only about 5 hours long and despite having unlockable modes and characters when you beat it, it isn’t really worth playing through again unless you are Achievement hunting. There are some definite cool moments in the short campaign and it can be fun in short bursts, but Wanted: Weapons of Fate is only really worth a rental or a bargain bin purchase.

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