Wanted: Weapons of Fate

Capturing the obnoxious attitude of the comic book and the obscenely wanton nature of the 2008 film, style conquers substance in this over-the-top Hollywood tie-in.

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Wanted: Weapons of Fate
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Wanted: Weapons of Fate
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Wanted: Weapons of Fate
  • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Wanted: Weapons of Fate

Pros

  • Solid voice acting, great level design, curving bullets is pretty cool

Cons

  • Gimmicks get old, poor targeting system, only nine short chapters

Bottom Line

Definitely worth looking into for fans of the insanely stylish franchise, but not much to find for gamers looking for an original shoot-em-up.

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Capturing the obnoxious attitude of the comic book and the obscenely wanton nature of the 2008 film, style conquers substance in this over-the-top Hollywood tie-in.

Curve your enthusiasm

Wanted: Weapons of Fate picks up a short five hours after the end of the film, finding disgruntled cubicle-slave turned super-assassin Wesley Gibson living in his late father's apartment. The game kicks off when a team of gun-wielding thugs from the Paris Fraternity (a French subsidiary of the secret society of assassins) burst into Wesley's new digs looking to steal some very important and very personal documents from one of the most dangerous men alive. Not smart. Anyway, after several hundred gunshots and a couple dozen explosions clear downtown Chicago of any gun-toting Frenchman (it's a rough neighborhood), Wesley is approached by a familiar face and is forced to pick up his pistols once more in hopes of taking down these "French Fried F***ers," all the while learning some very dangerous details about his past, and if he's lucky, his future.

Now, if you're looking for a sleek, original shooter that may just re-define the action genre as you know it, this isn't the game for you. In fact, if you're a fan of the Wanted franchise looking for a compelling continuation of the film or graphic novel... Weapons of Fate still might come up a few cards short of a deck. No, by popping Wanted into your console of choice, you're going to be treated to a by-the-books run and gun shooter with a few novelty gimmicks and winks towards the fans; nothing more, nothing less.

Bullet time and time again

I'm not one for buzzwords, but there's really no other way to describe Wanted: Weapons of Fate without kicking the word "gimmick" around like a Hacky Sack at a Phish concert. Curving bullets and flanking baddies in "Assassin Time" is fun at first, but none of these stylish acts of violence are necessary by any means; in fact, most of Wesley's assassin abilities are cheap thrills that are fun to execute when you feel the need to, but nothing that changes the formula from, as Morgan Freeman put it so eloquently in the film, "Shoot this muthaf***a!" The only time I actually felt the need to use any of my gun-slinging skills was during the game's boss fights where, once you've found the bad guy's weak spot (hit the sniper with a curved bullet, initiate Assassin Time to get the drop on quick-moving Arana) it's just a matter of waiting and pressing the right button at the right time.

There's no denying that the game looks good, and some of the levels are incredibly interesting and very well designed. From a sacred assassin burial ground, home to the most infamous killers in history all the way to a crashing airliner, the environments successfully mix up the scenery a little bit - which is fantastic, as apparently the French Fraternity buys their assassin robes in bulk, guaranteeing that around every corner you're going to find yourself going up against armies of identical killers, all looking to put a bullet in your head.

Bend your expectations

In Wanted's favor, the game definitely attempts to shake things up every once in a while by oftentimes placing the player in Wesley's father, Cross' boots. Gameplay also switches from the expected third person fare for first-person turret-manning sequences, and most interestingly of all, slow-motion rail shooting scenarios. The rail shooting in question consists of short cut-scenes of your current protagonist scrambling about the level, interrupted by heavy doses of Assassin Time where the player uses the analog stick and trigger to shoot incoming bullets and enemies. While this idea sounds innovative — and looks pretty damn cool — it really never rises above simple "point and click" gameplay.

All in all, Wanted: Weapons of Fate isn't so much a game for fans of the shooter genre, but it's a game for fans of Wanted. Chock full of references to both the film and the comic ("Mount St. Millar" anyone?), not to mention an all-star voice line-up, I can only recommend Wanted to diehard fans of the franchise. If you're looking for something groundbreaking and new, you better look elsewhere.

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