Wanted: Weapons of Fate

Publisher: Warner Brothers
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
UK Price (as reviewed): £29.99 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $42.99 (ex. Tax)

You’re Wesley Gibson, super assassin and protagonist of Wanted: Weapons of Fate, the game of the film of the comic, Wanted

The game’s story begins just five hours after the climax of the movie, where Gibson has killed Sloan, head of ‘The Fraternity’, a secretive group of assassins. Levels alternate between you kicking arse in the current day and your father’s attempt to save you from The Fraternity in the past.

Seeing as I’m in the bit-tech labs, a room reeking of gamer testosterone, I thought it prudent for me to opt for a respectable difficulty level, that of ‘assassin’, to save face. Admittedly, I can’t quite get my head around the fact you play an uber-assassin with variable skill levels. There’s even a difficulty level that’s so easy the game boldly projects the word ‘pussy’ across the screen. According to the game this is for ‘first time users playing a shooting game', but you can’t help but feel there’s something slightly backhanded about it.

Following the difficulty selection is a cringe-worthy intro that attempts to initiate the follow-on plot from the film. Whilst it would be fair to give credit to the game for setting its story at the most logical point, as intros go, it’s terrible. It starts with Gibson’s mother sitting on a wall nursing her pregnant belly singing a lullaby. Suddenly, like a chainsaw on a quiet summer’s day, the serenity is hacked to bits by a booming voice, sounding off in a truly terrible fake action hero manner, revealing that the baby is soon to be you. It’s not James McAvoy (who portrayed Gibson in the film), and whoever he is, he needs to know that sounding like Don LaFontaine doesn’t amp up the action.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate Wanted: Weapons of Fate - Review
Wanted: Weapons of Fate features familiar cover mechanics, but you can also curve bullet paths

The designers probably didn’t instruct the voice-over man to sound like a moron, but he has a truly terrible script to narrate. Peppered with pointless swear words, and sentences such as ‘that’s my mom’ where the word ‘mom’ is literally whined down the ear canal, the intro scene reveals very little. If you’ve not seen the film, it’s not going to make you look kindly on the game.

Still, resisting the temptation to franticly punch the ‘skip’ button, my endurance is rewarded as a bullet penetrates both mother and scene. Having left behind the accent of dread, I was definitely in the mood for some serious killing, which is exactly what I got.

Gibson is viewed through a standard Gears of Warish over-the-shoulder viewpoint, complete with the ability to duck into cover. Still, he fades neatly so as to not to obstruct your view of the shooting, and the colour coded crosshair glows red on targets, enabling you to make a fluid transition from victim to victim. Putting a bullet through my first victim made me squeal in delight, especially since he was a podgy fat man with a laughably bad French accent – because somehow the plot contrives to put you up against The Fraternity’s Gallic branch.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate Wanted: Weapons of Fate - Review
He looks like James McAvoy, but doesn't sound like him at all

While the action hero voice is best drowned out by gunfire, graphically Gibson does look a lot like his film counterpart. Unlike last year’s Bourne game, where the protagonist looked nothing like Matt Damon, Weapons of Fate provides a detailed main character for you to control. What’s more, Gibson sustains cuts and bruises all over his face that are clearly visible. This gives the bullet dodging, knife-fighting combat scenes a sense of grit and danger.

Although the game is aesthetically pleasing, Wanted: Weapon of Fate’s reputation of mind blowing action is jeopardised through the repetitive fast paced background sound. Banging a big drum and playing a trumpet louder when bad guys are arriving works in Goldeneye but for a game that boasts ‘Master Killer Assassin Moves’ and the ability to curve bullets, the music is just rudimentary.

I have to admit though that when the 2 percent of silence does occur, Gibson’s footsteps and breath are loud enough to wake the dead, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It may be because I’m a girl, but when those bad guys did pop up, I was thankful the bang of the drums and the trumpets let me know I should duck for cover.
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October 14 2021 | 15:04