Wanted: Weapons of Fate - Gameplay

In a game where action is paramount, after about six or seven levels, it becomes impossible to ignore the fact that you’re an uber-assassin who can’t really do much beyond running, shooting and hiding. Your opponents can leap down from windows and shoot from rooftops, but you have very few combat moves.

Most of the game consists of running along at sea-level, or hiding behind a chimney while the French take potshots at you. It does make you wonder why you can’t climb or directly melee (you can fight hand-to-hand, but only in largely automated quicktime events).

The limited physical moves you have at your disposal are highlighted by the fact that the levels are very predictable, and you know exactly when to duck. There aren’t any ‘jump out and shoot you in the face’ surprises – it’s obvious when the bad guys are going to pop up and take aim, and so it becomes a routine to pop up, shoot back, rinse and repeat. I did gasp when a man ran at me wielding a scythe (well, you would, wouldn’t you?), but my anxiety was soon short lived when a command popped up on screen, and after smashing the B button, Gibson performs a martial arts move and plants the blade back in the guy.

This weapon switch did make for a refreshing variation from guns, but the kill didn’t feel satisfactory because it wasn’t remotely taxing. After a while, a sort of numbness takes over, and you feel like actually the bad guys and Gibson are having all the fun, and you’re just a neutral, third-person cameraman.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate Wanted: Weapons of Fate - Gameplay
You can shoot bullets like lethal frisbees

Gibson is excellent at killing though. A Wanted game wouldn’t be complete without the iconic ability to bend the path of bullets. Each regular kill you make gains you adrenaline points, and a bullet-bending shot uses these up. Once you’ve got enough points, just pull back on the analog stick, adjusting it to gain the right trajectory, and fire. The camera perspective then changes, giving you a dynamic view of the bullet tearing through the air, just like in the film. When it hits the target, there’s a satisfying slow motion blood spatter to confirm the kill.

You also have the ability to sneak around using ‘quick chain cover’. This sees you moving from one cover to spot to another, in order to gain a better angle on your target without them knowing you’re coming. Wanted: Weapons of Fate only gets better with the addition of the ‘Master Assassin Move’, which is a slow motion move that allows you to run into a room full of Fraternity enemies, slow the action right down, and take out both the bad guy and the bullet he’s sending your way. Access to this particular move is governed by the game, which is probably just as well otherwise killing would just be too easy.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate Wanted: Weapons of Fate - Gameplay
You can fight hand-to-hand, but it's a largely automated process

Given the destructive power of these skills, I was slightly disappointed with the firepower available. Wanted: Weapons of Fate Wanted: Weapons of Fate - GameplayAlthough the guns occasionally vary according to each level, they don’t really stray from the standard handgun, automatic handguns and fixed position shooting. Like most girls, I think size really does matter and so being able to kill targets using rocket launchers or miniguns would certainly make the missions less mundane.

Although the combination of over-the-shoulder camera work and cover mechanic is fair standard, the ability to bend bullets makes the game reasonably exciting. While it’s obviously important for emblematic moves such as bullet bending to be incorporated in the game, Wanted: Weapons of Fate does feel overly reliant on them.

A bit more flexibility in terms of physical moves would really have helped, as would more dynamic level design. Then of course, there’s the painful voice-acting and ropey story, and you don’t get to put a bullet in Angelina Jolie, either. A bigger disappointment is that there’s no multiplayer whatsoever. Still, if you want carnage and violence and enjoyed the film, Wanted: Weapons of Fate and its interesting bullet controls should do the trick.

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October 14 2021 | 15:04