|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: GRIN||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Warner Bros.||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 24, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
While the cover system was implemented well overall, we found ourselves unable to take cover behind many objects that looked big enough to hide us. Also, once you're in cover, you can't look behind you without popping out of cover. In addition, to make the later stages harder, the developers made some of the enemies simply evade your shots by wiggling really fast, which we found a bit cheap. Yet another annoyance we found is that the turret and quick-time event (on-rails shooting) scenes were far harder than the rest of the game, and they were downright infuriating once in awhile.
In terms of story, the game picks up where the movie left off, making it more a continuation than a re-telling or sequel. Wesley makes some rather important discoveries about his parents, so it will be interesting to see whether future Wanted movies (if they come out) factor in or ignore these developments. Not surprisingly, it's not the best or most engrossing storyline ever (this is, after all, a video game, and it's based on a so-so action movie based on a so-so comic book), but it's entertaining enough that you'll watch all the cutscenes on your first playthrough. If you'd rather not, you can skip them, so at the worst, the story doesn't hurt the game.
The developers did bring in some of the actors from the movie to handle voice work, but the three biggest stars (Angelina Jolie, James McEvoy, and Morgan Freeman) didn't participate. As Wesley, McEvoy has been replaced with Jimmi Simpson, which is actually a change for the better thanks to Simpson's more weathered-sounding voice. Freeman's pipes, unfortunately, are irreplaceable, and some poor guy named Tom Kane got stuck doing his best impersonation. It would have been better to divorce the game's Sloan from his movie counterpart, and have voiceovers from someone who sounded nothing like Freeman. Notable voices from the movie that do show up include Terence Stamp (Pekwarsky), Thomas Kretschmann (Cross), and Common (the gunsmith in the movie, Brummel in the game). Newcomers include Spanish actress Paz Vega (Araña).
The rest of the sound work is acceptable. Since you play as a stealthy assassin, your gunshots are silenced, and your footsteps are understated. The music, meanwhile, consists of instrumental alternative-rock tracks that can get repetitive but usually don't distract you.
Graphically, this game is a mixed bag. On some levels, Grin's Diesel engine puts out sights that rival anything on Unreal Engine 3: overexposed sunlight, remarkably detailed landscapes, etc. At other points, though, the game looks a bit blurry, or even has visual hiccups. For what it's worth to owners of both next-generation consoles, the time we spent playing the game on PS3 seemed less glitchy than our (admittedly much longer) experience with the 360 version.
In Wanted: Weapons of Fate, Grin has created a definite step forward for the "cover shooter" genre. It features a fast-paced campaign that we had a blast playing. Again, we suspect a rental will give most players all the value they'll get from this game, but all fans of third-person shooters should at least give it a shot.
CCC Freelance Writer