Set not long after the close of the Wanted film, Wanted: Weapons of Fate has all the hallmarks of a video game based on a film license. It’s short, packed with action, and ultimately doesn’t do the source justice.
First the good stuff. As you progress through the game's simplistic storyline (safe to say that if you pick this up without having read the novel/watched the film, you’ll have little idea of what’s going on) in a Gears of War brand of third person action, you’ll be able to utilise the quite over-the-top option of sending your bullets curving around scenery.
This means that essentially no enemy is safe. If they decide to hunker down behind a supposed safe piece of cover, if you’re packing an ounce of adrenaline (you obtain this by dispatching enemies with standard straight shots, or close range knife attacks) you can hold a button in order to show the arc of a bullet heading for your target. Then, you simply twist the angle of curve with the analogue stick until your enemy appears white for a sure fire hit, and let go. And if it’s a particularly thrilling kill, the camera will follow the bullet in slow motion through the air until it hits its target.
In addition to this, your adrenaline meter can also be utilised to initiate Max Payne esque bullet time as you rush between two areas of cover. Incredibly handy when a number of enemies are showing their faces allowing you ample time to pick them off with ridiculous ease.
The cover system too is absolutely stupendous. A simple nudge of the A button is all that’s required to get firmly behind an area of cover, with the usual ability of being able to peak out and take as many pot shots at enemies as you wish. You can even blind fire to help enemies start to cower so you can cheekily rush around them and take a free shot from the side.
Moving from cover to cover is a total breeze, and helps drag Wanted up from what could have been a pretty poor title. Simply lean towards the next area of cover, prod the required context sensitive button, and you’ll swiftly rush to the next hidey hole. And as it’s so easy, you can move from spot to spot incredibly swiftly, making progression consistently fast and frantic.
Sadly all these plus points have more than enough counterweights to drag Wanted down into mediocrity. First off, Wanted will take roughly 5 hours to complete from start to finish. And with little changed for further play-throughs on a higher difficulty setting (though you can play as an unlocked character) there’s no reason why once those 5 hours are up that Wanted should again drop into your Xbox 360.
And your opponents won’t make things any test either. As well all seeming to shop at the same tailor, they all share the same semblance of common sense. None. All too often they’ll attempt to hide behind a piece of cover that’s already been destroyed, leaving you with a stupidly easy kill. And latter enemies still don’t possess any kind of brain power, with only the number of bullets it takes to down them differing them from the opening stages.
It’s a shame that Wanted didn’t do enough in terms of enemy AI and gameplay variety, as the fantastic cover system alone is worthy of a top class gaming title.
Instead, it’s left as one for a rent at best.