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As film licenses go Wanted: Weapons of Fate is a pretty good effort. The essence of the blockbuster film is represented well by splitting the experience into a prologue and a sequel. But avoiding a tired rehash of the film's plot isn't enough to get by. Being stuck to the film's rules led to a frustrating and limited experience with weapon selection too restrictive for a modern videogame. Although the game only lasts 4-5 hours I'd already had enough by the halfway point. It seems this is another movie tie-in best left to the die-hard fans.
There's been an explosion of generic 3rd-person shooters ever since Gears of War burst onto the scene in 2005. Weapons of Fate is a typical clone of the cover-based system but tries to add a few special features to its game experience.
My initial thoughts were really positive. Instead of just following the movie's storyline directly, the game divided its levels between before and after the film. I love it when film tie-ins go this way as it makes the experience much more worthwhile than a simple rehash. But despite having the cool ability to bend bullets and shoot explosive ammo, the game becomes repetitive far too quickly.
despite having the cool ability to bend bullets and shoot explosive ammo, the game becomes repetitive far too quickly.
Part of this is the restrictive nature of the weapons. Or should I say the singular weapon. For the majority of the game I was saddled with just a single handgun. This ties in with the film license and makes perfect sense in Wanted's world. But when it comes to videogames I really want a bit more variety than that. As such the game is curtailed to barely five hours but I felt like it lasted double that with the same game mechanics trotted out level after level.
I found trouble with some technical aspects of the game too. On numerous occasions I would empty a clip into a clearly visible enemy only to have the nearby cover magically take the bullets. Irritations like this really get under my skin in shooting games. If you can aim and shoot at someone then I expect to hit them. Forcing the use of its own innovations in this blatant way really irritated me.
The tedium is lifted a little by having some super slow-motion moments within cut-scenes. This was an excellent alternative to the usual quicktime events that most games have. It gave me a sense of control as well as the cool opportunity to shoot down enemy bullets before taking the bad guys down.
The cover system also has a neat twist. Suppressing enemies with blind fire meant that I could flip quickly from cover to cover, entering another slow motion mode and take out enemies before they knew where I had gone. This is an excellent addition to the cover-based mechanic. But its criminal that I only really needed to use this twice in the whole game, rendering it a pointless but innovative idea.
There are some great touches in Wanted: Weapons of Fate but the entire game struggles to rise above the most generic and tedious of 3rd person shooters. As a movie tie-in it's better than the average dross I've come to expect. But that's certainly not a recommendation and there are far superior experiences to be had elsewhere.
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