Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wanted: Weapons of Fate (2009) Xbox 360

"Wanted" is a bit of a stretch
Rating:  3 out of 5 bullets with your name on it curved at your head.

Plot Synopsis:  The game picks up shortly after the end of the movie.  Wesley is being hunted by a different fraternity (the Paris one to be exact) which causes him to shoot up parts of Chicago and Europe in his attempt to stop The Immortal who he blames for killing his mother.  You play in flashback scenes as Wesley’s father Cross who also, surprise, shoots things.

The Good:

-The cover system works really well and since this is a cover based shooter that can make or break the game.  Taking cover and moving from cover point to cover point is pretty seamless.  There are issues when the next cover point is too far away but for the most part moving around under cover works pretty well.  You can also blind fire to allow yourself to rapidly travel from point to point and out flank the enemy.

-This game is total gun/action porn but it’s done well.  So you have to keep that in mind and like that kind of game.

-Reaching over cover to stab a bad guy in the head is pretty satisfying.

-The story isn’t terrible.

-Bending bullets is a pretty good mechanic.  The adrenaline meter works pretty well, it’s clear that the developers WANT you to use the system because it’s easy to fill and it’s easy to keep full while not allowing you to abuse it.

-Bullet time interludes break up the action with some great set pieces

-The pacing is really good, waves of enemies are well timed.  There’s a nice little break between waves where you can reload your guns and take a minute to breath and collect all the dropped ammo.

-At one point a sniper had me pinned down to a particular cover spot.  It was a small metal box so I had nowhere to go.  He would take a shot every time I stuck my head out so I was pretty stuck looking for a moment to curve a bullet at him.  While this is happening a guy with a machine gun who was previously behind cover steps out from cover and starts walking towards me.  I pop up, sniper takes a shot, I drop, and machine gun guy fires a burst.  It was pretty intense and the two characters operated together to keep me down and immobile.  I eventually was able to cap the machine gun guy in the head once he got close enough for a quick shot.  I never saw that level of cooperation really, a couple of flanking maneuvers, a couple instances of the enemy using cover fire to allow their comrades to take up better positions but not to this level.  So I don’t know if it was a scripted event, some miraculous combination of AI or what but it was really fun and almost made the game worth it.

The Bad:

-It gets pretty repetitive pretty fast.  It’s all just shooting and shooting and shooting and when you’re sick of shooting, well the shooting has just begun.

-Upgrades happen very slowly, every other level you get an upgrade, typically an addition to you bullet time “adrenaline meter”.

-There are 2 different guns.  You start with one pistol then you get a second, more powerful, pistol and finally you get dual machine pistols.  When you play as Cross you get dual pistols.  Other than certain set piece scenes where you get a sniper rifle or mounted machine gun that’s what you have for the entirety of the game.  It gets old.  They already had a system for switching weapons why give one or two more?  You have two medium range weapons, you have a long distance weapon programmed in in the form of the sniper rifle, why not make that a permanent weapon?  All you really need is a shotgun for up close and maybe a permanent melee weapon or throwing knives.  Just a bit more effort would have been nice.

-They use fire… a lot.  Mostly to herd you in a direction.  The world is incredibly linear and you can’t overcome even an ankle high obstruction so they use fire and debris to keep you going in a straight line.

-There’s a plot twist that is so stupid that I’m just going to ruin it for you.  When The Immortal tells Wesley what really happened to his mother it is revealed that it was, in fact, Wesley’s father who killed his mother.  Which is stupid beyond words because at the beginning of the game you play a flashback level as Cross (Wesley’s father) rescuing his wife (Wesley’s mother) who is then shot by The Immortal.  We see how it went down.  What are they suggesting?  That The Immortal is untrustworthy?  That the level we played was being told to Wesley via an unreliable narrator?  The Immortal gets his defining scar in the aftermath of that assassination attempt so it has to go down the way it said.  If not they wouldn’t have had a showdown and he wouldn’t have been scarred by Cross.  It’s just stupid and I hated it.

The Ugly:

-During the melee kill cut scenes the video stutters and stops.  It may be intentional but it looks like a glitch.

-The cutscenes suffer a bit.  I don’t know if it’s compression or what but they don’t look that great.

-The graphics are okay, they aren’t great but they sometimes fall apart under close scrutiny.

Final Thoughts:  I had fun with this game.  I got it for 99 cents off Amazon and it was a 6 hour experience on medium.  It’s not a great game by any stretch but it will keep you entertained, provided you don’t hate repetition.  I don’t mind it and I like crappy games so this is totally in my wheelhouse.  By the time the game ends you are pretty much sick of the gameplay anyway so it works out for the better.  There’s no real strategy you need to employ, even in the boss fights.  You just throw bullets at all your problems and the bigger the problem the more bullets you’ll need.  The story is the bare minimum required to qualify as a story but services the game well.  If the game offered a little bit more in variety as far as guns it would be a lot cooler but as it is you’re stuck with a limited arsenal that gets stale very fast.  If you like the movie you might like this game, if you like cover shooters you should probably stick to something like Gears of War, there isn’t going to be much here for you that hasn’t been done better elsewhere.  It has nothing to do with the comic whatsoever besides the Killer’s suit which is featured throughout the second half of the game.  All in all not a bad little outing for a game based off a movie.

No comments:

Post a Comment