WHEN WARNER BROS. ESTABLISHED its very own games division, many in the gaming community hoped that this would bring an end to rushed, and in most cases, horrifically bad movie-adaptation games. Though Wanted was a fairly mediocre action movie (based on a great comic book, I’m told), it could theoretically make a great game. So can Warner Bros. buck the trend and turn an average film into a game worth playing?
Instead of following the film’s plot, Wanted: Weapons of Fate is told through two separate story arcs. The fi rst picks things up only five hours after the conclusion of the movie and is told through the eyes of the fi lm’s protagonist, Wesley Gibson. The second takes place prior to the events of the fi lm and is played as Wesley’s father, detailing how the two became separated so many years ago.
While this idea of expanding upon the movie’s storyline sounds good in principle, it doesn’t work so well in practice. None of the film’s central characters is developed further, and newly introduced characters are one-dimensional and boring. The script, in conjunction with the terrible voice acting, is so bad it’s laughable. Many times the story attempts a deep and heartfelt moment, but instead draws a cringe or a giggle. The writers had a chance here to build a game around a newly created storyline instead of being restricted by the movie’s plot, but sadly, as is becoming a motif throughout this game, the opportunity was wasted.
A poor story can sometimes be redeemed by fantastic gameplay, but that’s not the case here. Wanted’s strategic cover system is well executed for the most part, with the only fl aw being that the enemy AI is pathetically bad; for some reason your opponents seem completely inept when it comes to infl icting any damage on the player, thus rendering the cover system redundant.
Other mechanics are also poorly implemented and often unnecessary. Bullet bending was a heavily hyped portion of the film and it translates well to the game. Players can lean out from cover and watch as an arc appears, which can then be adjusted to perfectly target and take out an enemy. If players do this just right, the camera will follow the bullet as it kills enemies. This is pretty entertaining the fi rst few times and could have stayed fresh if players were actually required to bend bullets in order to take out enemies. Instead, it becomes a cheap gimmick that will remain mostly unused in the latter portions of the game.
The level design seems rushed and outdated. Players move from room to room, easily dispatching the same large group of moronic enemies who, for some reason, behave exactly the same as the last large group. It’s tedious, to say the least. Eventually this culminates in an awe-inspiring boss battle, right? If only. The boss battles are just as uninspiring and bring little variation into play, though sometimes you may encounter an invisible wall because these bosses have to be killed from a certain distance.
Graphically, Wanted is technically proficient and maintains a solid frame rate. From an artistic standpoint, there are certainly some high points, particularly one level where players escape from a commercial jet. Outside of these high points, the graphics are mediocre, aside from the character models, which are downright ugly.
The music destroys any notion of suspense whatsoever, picking up as players creep around corners hiding enemies. Enemies are noisy and quickly give away their positions. The voice acting is rubbish, with none of the original cast lending their talents.
Wanted: Weapons of Fate only reinforces the stereotype that games based on movies tend to be terrible. The best part about this whole disappointing affair is that at least the story can be completed in roughly four hours and after that, with no multiplayer to speak of, there’s no reason to look back.