Review: Wanted: Weapons of Fate

Okay, let’s get one thing straight. Those who said Wanted: Weapons of Fate only lasts around 5 hours lied. They lied through their teeth. I completed it in less than 3 hours! That’s right 3 stinking hours! I was sat in my chair, slowly concluding that the pain in my back was due to sleeping awkwardly (which I’m pleased to announce was the case as it’s fine now), and not from sitting in the same position for too long, as it wasn’t long at all. As the Newcastle vs. Chelsea game kicked off I propped the disc in; but by the time Benayoun smashed in the late winner at Craven Cottage I was already finished. Now that I feel I have effectively made my point on how money-pinching short it was, I think it’s only fair to mention that I have played it through 3 times, which surely speaks for the enjoyment I had.

Based on the action-thriller film “Wanted” – starring James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie – this is not a mere film-adaptation. Wanted: Weapons of Fate continues the story immediately after where the film left off, and in proper sequel fashion, actually furthers the story. You continue the story of überassassin Wesley Gibson writing another chapter in the long history of “The Fraternity”.

Unlike the Chronicles of Riddick demo I played a short while back, you are eased nicely into the game and gain a good sense of the game mechanics after a few short and simple tutorials, with further gameplay elements being  introduced as you progress through the game. Now this is where the game is surprising, it’s actually fun. The cover mechanic works well, allowing you to – with a simple directional assist and button push – jump to cover both perpendicular and forwards of your current position. Whilst very similar to Gears of War (it was always going to be compared wasn’t it?), it’s considerably faster paced. Chaining cover movements, using blind fire to disorient and then flank your enemies, even sneak up on one to use him as a bullet buffer from his enemies, all help provide that adrenaline pumped feeling the franchise relies on.

My favourite ability is, without a doubt, curving bullets. For those of you who have seen the film will understand the concept already, but for those of you lacking any prior Wanted knowledge, this is for you. You can curve bullets. Okay? Let’s continue. Holding the R1 button and using the right analogue stick allows you to pick a custom trajectory for your bullet, removing even walls as obstacles. “Do you really think pulling off crazy shit like that comes for free? You gotta deserve it man.” Using the ‘special’ abilities requires the use of your adrenaline meter (located in the top left of the screen and awarded for every kill you get), which does limit their usage enough that it feels badass, but so that it also remains a core part of the game. Perfecting the angle around the wall to ensure an instant headshot kill, will pause action to follow the bullets path in satisfying slow motion before eliminating the unsuspecting victim.

One of the better additions is the brilliant takes on the much hated Quick Time Events. During an interactive cutscene, Wesley or Cross will pull off some exceedingly acrobatic manoeuvres by smashing through glass, diving through the air, skidding along the floor; while it’ll be your job to shoot down the enemies (and their bullets) during Bullet Time-esque Assassin Time. Graphically the game holds up. It is neither poor nor brilliant, but just above a mediocre average. However, the voice acting (whilst no there is no McAvoy, Jolie or Freeman) is superb. It is as vulgar and crude as the film utilising lines I’d expect from the hooded, wannabe-hardass, pre-pubescent kid at the back of the bus. Most surprisingly was that until further research (fancy way of saying wikied), it was McAvoy; the similarity in the voices was uncanny.

Wanted is not without its flaws though. The AI is neither smart nor overly challenging, the boss fights are mundane and repetitive, latter enemies can suddenly dodge your bullets with no explanation as to why and whilst the game runs smoothly at 720p during the game, there are some awful artefacts prevalent in almost every single cutscene. To some the gameplay will become very repetitive and quickly tiresome, and with the lack of any multiplayer or real incentive to replay the game, it would be difficult to recommend someone to shell out £30 on it. It is however, a competent third person shooter with some fantastic mechanics and was ultimately fun to play.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate is like buying a car from a shifty looking guy down an alley. It has some nice features, it works well, it may even be really, really fun, but then you realise that you’re missing a massive chunk of what you paid for and you can’t help but feel somewhat cheated.

Score – 7/10