Wanted: Weapons of Fate Preview

Dead or Alive.

When a comic book is made into an action-packed, bullet-blazing, summer blockbuster, the inevitable progression is, of course, the video game. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the table Wanted: Weapons of Fate, a video game based on a movie based on a comic book.

[image1]You may recall having seen the film version, in which a no name loser becomes a sharp-shooting badass. Or at least you remember a bare-backed Angelina Jolie all tattooed out and sexy, firing shotguns out of a sports car in random yoga positions.

Well, sadly, Angelina is gone. She got bullet-timed. But there is still an angry young Wesley Gibson who can curve bullets through the air. And he’s got business to settle with a society of assassins in the most violent way possible.

The game takes place somewhere between the first and second film (the first made tons of cash, so of course they’re going to make a sequel). Think of it as part of a trilogy… of ass kicking. As I mentioned before, you’re going after a group of assassins, called the Fraternity – they’re the ones responsible for Angelina’s death. In particular, you’ll be chasing after their French chapter. Why? Maybe the French have a penchant for surrendering first during war or maybe Wesley likes fresh baguettes. Who knows?

Wanted: Weapons of Fate looks to draw heavily from popular third-person duck-and-cover action games like Gears of War or Dark Sector using an Advanced Cover System. You’ll frequently find yourself pinned down with nothing but some debris that used to be a building between you and a couple of guys who are seriously pissed off, firing rounds of ammo in your direction. Naturally, there’s no other choice but to return the sentiment.

[image2]And as you may recall me stating earlier, Wesley’s “super power” is to curve bullets. A fancy move like that sounds like it would make a game all about firing from behind cover rather dull, but fortunately, there has been some balance added. You will only be able to pull off the best trick shot ever every once in a while, as there’s an adrenaline meter that will drain as you use it. Still, imagine how badass it will feel to shoot someone from around a corner and watch their brains splatter all over the place.

You’ll also be able to chain together “cover combos” in order to refill the meter. The cover combo system works by taking cover, issuing some blind fire to disorient your enemies, waiting for the screen to turn grey and then bolting for cover behind another object.

The sweet satisfaction that comes with making someone’s head explode will take many forms, through many, many gunfights. Another feature of Wanted is that some battles will take place in the form of “Assassin Time”, a slow-motion bullet-time-style mini-game reminiscent of that in Stranglehold. In it you will have to move a crosshair around the screen to take out enemies and rockets in that ever glorious style made famous by the Matrix.

Besides shooting people in the head, you’ll also get the more visceral satisfaction of stabbing someone to death. Much like in Gears, if you can get close enough to your target, you’ll pull off a melee kill. Only instead of jamming a chainsaw gun into their neck, you can pull out a knife and give him the old Columbian necktie.

[image3]Along with all of the cool things that Wesley can do, you’ll also get a chance to play as his old man, Cross. He’s the original hardcore badass assassin and the man who Wesley inherited all his powers from. Supposedly, he died in the movie so it will interesting to see how they fit him into the game (in the comics, he faked his own death). Exactly how gameplay will differentiate the two characters remains to be seen but hopefully Cross will have some special tricks of his own up his sleeve.

If you have read the comics and seen the movie, you know that the stories between the two vary in dramatic ways. And while the game will continue the plot of the film, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any nice surprises for the fans of comic. A few shout-outs to the source material have been thrown in here and there. But I can’t tell you what they are or I might find a bullet in my head. You’ll just have to wait for the game to come out to find out for yourself, but here’s a hint: some of its fashion-related.

If you liked all the hardcore action and violence of Wanted or you have an unquenchable bloodlust, then you’re going to want to keep a sharp eye out for this game coming out towards the end of March 2009. And watch out for stray bullets.

(Check out Duke’s interview with one of Wanted: Weapons of Fate’s developers lurking in a dark alley below.)