Wanted: Weapons of Fate Review

Wanted: Weapons of Fate is based on the over-the-top, bullet-curving film Wanted, but it has it's own unique story that is set after the events in the film. So, in short, no Angelina Jolie. You do get to shoot bullets in an arc, though.

There's a lot to Wanted that at first is pretty cool and enjoyable. You begin by making your way through a series of short levels that are interspersed with training sessions, each of which introduces you to a new trick to add to your arsenal. At first you learn to use cover, and soon you'll find that cover is more a necessity than a tactic. Out in the open you're very vulnerable to enemy fire, but while in cover you're basically invincible. The cover system is easy to use in the game - run up to an obstacle and press a button and you're safe. You can also slide, vault, and roll your way between cover positions with ease, remaining safe from fire during your brief sprints in the open. While in cover you can lean to fire around the cover, exposing yourself a little to enemy fire in the process, or blind fire to suppress nearby enemies. Using blind fire is an important tactic early in the game because some enemies have the habit of staying under cover or bringing a shield with them to a gunfight. When faced with one of these enemies you'll need to suppress them and then flick your way between cover positions until you've flanked your target and can take the kill shot.

Once you pick up the ability to curve bullets you won't need to flank enemies as often as sending a bullet in an arc will get it around obstacles and always results in a one-hit kill. It's pretty easy to score a kill this way - just hold down a bumper trigger and your target is highlighted in red and you'll be shown the bullet's trajectory arc. It's then a simple matter of using the stick to find an arc that is unobstructed and releasing the trigger. Technically you don't have unlimited use of this ability since it is powered by adrenaline that is earned by killing enemies, but in the game's target-rich environments enemies, and subsequently adrenaline, are very easy to come by.

The last trick up your sleeve is the ability to briefly slow down time, which allows you to initiate Matrix-style bullet time and take out a number of enemies before they know what hit them. However, the bullet-curving ability is so deadly that you hardly ever need to resort to slowing down time. There are sequences in the game that are canned slow-motion events that lead you through a fight sequence in which you must take out enemies and shoot any bullets headed your way, so if you like that sort of thing you'll still get the chance to do it and save your adrenaline for curving bullets. The slo-mo sequences are pretty cool, but they're also uniformly easy.


In fact, the whole game is pretty easy. At first the game is pretty enjoyable, but soon the repetition and lack of challenge begin to chip away at your enjoyment of the game. The game is so short that it can be completed in a couple of days worth of gaming sessions - or easily in a single day or night if you've got nothing else to do - but the repetition will make it feel like it's a longer game. Part of the problem is that the enemy AI is not too bright and the game tries to make up for it by throwing massive numbers of enemies at you. Since these enemies tend to stick to the same spots and never do anything surprising or remotely challenging, it often feels like a methodical chore to have to kill off one enemy after another until an area has been cleared. The enemy AI is predictable enough that you can often take out a number of them in an area with melee attacks, which are effectively one-hit kill attacks. The majority of the remaining enemies are easily dealt with using curved shots. Even the game's soundtrack works to make things easy for you. When enemies approach it crescendos to a battle theme and when the last enemy is killed it fades. You can stroll through an area that appears like it has the potential to hide many enemies lying in wait and seek cover only after the music begins to pick up. When the music lets you know that it's safe again you can pop-up and continue your walk.

The short game length and interesting play aspects (at least until the repetition sets in) would make this game an easy recommendation for a rental, but there's one major problem with it that you need to be warned about and take into consideration. There's a bug in which your aiming reticule will sometimes disappear in the middle of a level, and once it's gone you won't be able to fire your guns. This bug started popping up about mid-game and after that appeared several times. The game is easy enough that you have a chance to continue to advance using only melee attacks, and the reticule would reappear after cutscenes, but what's the point in playing a shooter if you can't even shoot? Frankly I'm shocked that a game was allowed to ship with such a blatantly bad bug, especially after a little research on the Internet revealed that it's pretty commonplace.

If you loved the movie or just want to spend an hour or so with the game, then it's worth renting as long as you're happy with what you're getting yourself into. As a purchase, though, it's far too short, easy, and buggy to be worth the price.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 58%. Wanted: a good game built around Weapons of Fate's features.