Hot on the heels of Wanted’s DVD release is the accompanying shooter, Wanted: Weapons of Fate. It’s one of the better movie-based games to come out in a long time. The game combines the slo-mo elements from hit titles like Max Payne and F.E.A.R. with the cover-based gameplay made popular in Gears of War. This fusion of shooter sub-genres makes for a good yet distorted game translation of the movie. Weapons of Fate takes place shortly after the events of the film, as Wesley Gibson wakes up to find a SWAT team rummaging through his apartment. He watches only to find out that a picture of his mother has a hidden kill order in it, and begins to investigate his parents’ past with the Fraternity. This forces him to engage in combat against the French Fraternity division in to unravel the secrets behind his birth.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you’ll be guessing a lot with the story. Going through the game’s cutscenes is the only way you can grasp the situation and learn your purpose as a super assassin. The gameplay is very simple and takes no more than a few minutes to familiarize it yourself. A one-button cover system is implemented, ala Gears of War, and is used to amazing extents. Wesley can slide over long slabs of cover into another object, push crates for moveable protection, and perform slick melee tactics by simply reaching over. Bullet curving, made popular in the movie, is fully featured in the game. It’s the main gameplay mechanic along with other supernatural skills such as slow-motion shooting between cover transitions. These abilities make killings for Wesley easy and a pleasure to watch. But they come at a price. Players must produce ‘adrenaline’ to be able to power such techniques.
While Wesley’s special abilities provide a satisfying onslaught of fireworks, there are times when the game becomes somewhat frustrating. The PS3 version of the game suffers a bit from input issues, especially with aiming. The only way to remedy some of the wild shots is to walk slowly – and walking slowly is a fundamental asset to executing stealth moves such as sneaking up on somebody to use as a body shield. Trying to aim your guns and manipulating the camera at the same time are tougher than they need to be – using the right-stick, you will encounter some sluggishness in shifting targets. Needless to say, most of Wanted: Weapons of Fate is quite entertaining, but the repetitive pattern in action can sometimes get wearisome after awhile, as does the necessary use of special abilities to get through the level.
Bullet curving becomes a skill that develops into sort of a daily ritual in the game, as it’s practically required to hit enemies who practically attack from behind cover. The cover system, however, isn’t as intelligent as you’d expect – Wesley will often snap to the wrong side of a piece of cover, getting shred up by stray bullets. What’s unfortunate is that when everything is going right, the game somehow becomes unrealistically easy. There are only so many types of enemies to figure out, and all of them go down with a tap of the melee button. Thankfully, the game excels in a number of notable cutscenes, such as the rail-shooting sequences. Just like the visuals in the movie, Weapons of Fate makes excellent use of special effects throughout various stages, especially the slow-motion curved bullet presentation.
The animation work is spectacular. Wesley’s melee kill sequences are brutal, and his reaction while moving between pieces of cover is amazing. The game does a nice job sharing certain elements with the film, such as the Chicago Fraternity, faithfully translated to look just as nice as its movie counterpart. The audio department is where the game truly shines. Everything just screams Hollywood masterpiece: the gunfire, the music, and most notably the voice acting. Wesley doesn’t stop spurting out sarcastic, over-the-top dialogue as he progresses through his quest for truth. Of course, he’s not a man who’s all dry humor – he backs his fighting words with a bloody headshot. The musical score is the same as the film and it suits perfectly to the action of the game. As for the sound effects, you can’t ask for anything better.
What the movie lacked in certain aspects, the game delivers it. Weapons of Fate brings in stuff from the comic books that weren’t present in the film, such as the popular assassin suit that The Killer wears. One of the unlockable components you’ll get to achieve is a nice collection of comic book arts. This should please quite a few comic enthusiasts as the game takes much of its inspiration from the print version. Those who like the movie will also be glad by the fact that most of the settings translated for the home console remained untouched. Simply put, Wanted: Weapons of Fate is a good action shooter, but don’t expect it to be anything like Gears of War. It’s more of a sci-fi shooter mix with espionage rolled into one decent replay value. Though the story itself takes around three hours to complete, the action onscreen is nonstop. Obviously, it’s not build for the hardcore but it’s a great game while it lasts.