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PLATFORM: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, PC
ESRB RATING: M
DEVELOPER:
Grin
PUBLISHER: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment

Everyone knows what to make of videogames based on movies. Most frequently we end up with cheap cash-ins, games that exist only to make a buck on unsuspecting consumers looking forward to the film. Once in a blue moon we get a Goldeneye or a Chronicles of Riddick, something that incredibly ends up being better than the source material.

But once in a while we get something in the middle, one that tries something different but doesn’t fully succeed for whatever reason. Enter Wanted: Weapons of Fate.
 
THE PITCH

“Hey, that Wanted movie by that Russian guy made more money than we expected! What else can we do with the license?”

You play as Wesley Gibson, the kid from the first movie who finds out that he’s the son of one of the world’s top assassins and trains with Morgan Freeman and Angelina Jolie to be one himself. The story picks up about five hours after the events of the movie as you’re returning home to your apartment. It’s being ransacked by a French chapter of The Fraternity, the assassin’s guild that he’s now broken ties with. He tracks them down to find out why they were there and hunts down a bad guy known as The Immortal who has half a face and a voice provided by Peter Stormare. Through the course of the game you’ll also play as Wesley’s father and find out the truth behind the Gibson family history.

The story’s surprisingly decent, and is helped by many returning voice actors. Comic fans will also appreciate a few details that are included, like Wesley’s badass supervillain costume, although of course the story is still very different than the source material. You aren’t going to be raping and killing dozens of innocent people, unfortunately. Would’ve made for interesting quick time events!
  
THE PLAY


Wanted‘s a third person action game that relies heavily on a cover mechanic. The big gimmick with the game is that like in the movie you can curve bullets in midair, hitting enemies behind cover with ease. You can only do it by utilizing “Adrenaline”, which is gained by killing foes. Once you have one circle of Adrenaline filled up you can hold down RB and see the trajectory of the bullet before letting it off. You can also use Adrenaline to dive out of cover in slow motion and try to take out multiple enemies (if you have the skills).



CHUDTIP- Always try to curve a bullet for a headshot, as it will not only take out your foe with one hit but you’ll get it in neat slow motion.


It’s definitely fun, but besides those two powers the game’s about as straightforward as you can get. The levels feel cramped and small, and are mostly just corridors. Since the game is all about the cover system there are the usual pillars and waist-high walls all over the place. You’ll need them to survive- you’ve got the usual regenerating health system so staying behind cover is the only way to make sure you don’t die a horrible death.
 
There are two different kinds of weapons you can use in the game, a
pistol or two uzis at once. That’s it. No really, you get nothing else. Once in a while you’ll grab a
mounted gun or an strangely stationary sniper rifle, but those sections
are horrible thanks to a glaring and obvious flaw in the design that
doesn’t allow you to see who’s shooting at you until you’re looking
down the sights or scope. What this means is that you’ll be crouched
behind a wall and getting shot at, and the only way to fire back is to stand
up and look through the scope. There’s no way to just peek over or move
the camera around so you’re forced to jump right into zoomed mode which
prevents you from seeing where you’re being shot at from until you get
hit and readjust your aim accordingly. Irritating, to say the least.


CHUDTIP- It’s best not to ever get out of cover.



The controls feel incredibly cramped, and while you can easily slide
and roll to new sections of cover it’s hard to move your guy around when
you’re out of cover. It’s almost as clunky as Resident Evil 5‘s controls,
but whereas it works there because of what kind of game it is, here in
an action-packed, guns-blazing shoot’m up you’re going to die pretty
quickly if you can’t get back to cover, or are trying to cover the
distance to a foe.

   

The collision detection is also really off. Occasionally you’ll shoot
directly at a bad guy’s head and it will go right through him. If
they’re in shooting around cover you can’t shoot their arms or legs no matter if it’s in your sights or not-
it’s much easier to curve a bullet at them. Cover can be shot away but the effect is purely cosmetic.


The enemies never really change throughout the game, either. Oh sure,
you’ll fight a guy with a shotgun or a guy with a sniper rifle here and
there, and once in a while a guy with a knife will come running up on
you with a kamikazee yell. (If he gets close to you you’ll have to hit
a QTE to stab him before he gets you.) But otherwise the enemies are
all bland and interchangeable.


CHUDTIP-
When you get attacked by a knife-wielding guy you’ll have to hit a button fast
to stab him first. Prepare to sit through the same animation over and
over.


And one of the stupidest oversights they made in the game is that there’s no
far-range sniper section. One of the coolest and most important scenes of the movie was the snipers making incredible
shots from a city away, watching the bullet travel through and around dozens of obstacles before planting itself in (or through) a target’s head. There’s no
setpiece as memorable as that here.
 
THE PRESENTATION

The graphics are decent enough but they all look muddy. It’s not a very pretty game.

Terrence Stamp, Common and Thomas Krestschmann return to their roles, and there’s a soundalike for Wesley Gibson who’s as cocky as ever. Also, Peter Stormare plays The Immortal, the final boss, and there’s just something undeniably cool about battling him, even if the boss fight is lackluster (like all the rest).

The music is repetitive and boring. If you don’t believe me, try pausing the game and see how long you can take it before going insane. I just had to mute the damn thing to finish writing this.



CHUDTIP- During the couple of slow motion on-rails sections of the game, aim for the red bullets in midair first.

 
But the game feels unpolished at parts. Hell, when you watch the unskippable
credits after beating the game the music abruptly cuts off halfway
through and the rest scroll in silence. A minor and relatively unimportant detail, sure, but it’s
indicative of all the little nagging things you’ll find while you play
through.
   
THE REPLAY

 
The game will only take you around 4-5 hours to beat. That’s it. The game encourages repeat playthroughs but it’s doubtful you’ll want to, even if you want all of those achievements and trophies.
 


CHUDTIP- Go here and enter all these codes for new game modes and characters.
 
There are also Headshot and Close Combat modes that you can play, but all
those do is give you a certain amount of targets you have to hit with
the respective attack. If you don’t get 12 headshots in one section of
the game, for example, you’ll have to retry it again. It’s a nice try
but doesn’t feel much different from the regular game.

THE VERDICT

A rental, but not a very memorable one. We know that GRIN is capable of so much more than this, so what happened here? It’s not like it was rushed to tie in with the movie release. It’s not a horrible game and there’s some fun to be had with it but with so many other strong third person shooters (with cover systems!) out there it’s hard to recommend this one.

6 out of 10