The culture of nostalgia continues to attack and sometimes in a good way; but Wanted: Dead is a mix of classic mechanics that add nothing to the modern agenda.
Wanted: Dead It is available for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X / S.
Those responsible for Wanted: Dead are Soleil, a studio containing ex-Team Ninja members who were responsible for the sagas Ninja Gaiden and dead or alive. From there Valhalla Game Studios also part, another group that also had Tomonobu Itagaki, artistic designer of the aforementioned sagas. This studio released the exclusive hack and slash for Wii U in 2015 Devil’s Third. All these quotes lead a bit to Wanted: Deadwith Soleil a studio with some failed projects like Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time either Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker and others with moderate success such as the recent Valkyrie Elysium.
If there is something that cannot be blamed on Wanted: Dead is that it had a huge marketing campaign considering that it is an AA development. The game promised the possibility of recreating the action games of the Playstation 2 generation; but as the title of this note says, there are things that are better left in the past and not everything old or classic ends up being vintage or an experience that lasts over time.
A class B action but made today.
In the cinema there is a huge world of low-budget or class B productions. From the 80s, action, science fiction or fantasy films that today have become classics. Could the same thing happen with today’s “berretas” productions? Class B cinema today does not have the same impact and most likely will not in 40 years. Something similar happens in video games. There are pixel art titles that are lost and that even return to the new generations. Other 3D titles cost a bit more to try these days either because of their crude mechanics or zero-impact storylines.
Wanted: Dead takes us to a cyberpunk Hong Kong where we follow a special unit led by detective Hannah Stone and her squad. Hannah is more of going up front, not following the rules and shooting everything in her way. As often happens in these stories there is a corporation that controls a corrupt government.
The plot is told between cinematics (and they will see several) and some discoveries that we are making in each scenario.
I really wanted to feel a little empathy for the characters; especially since they have a great design and a certain playful personality of the anti-heroes. But the game doesn’t give us enough moments for this to happen; except for some conversations that have nothing to do with the main conflict.
How many times is enough?
Wanted: Dead is a title that mixes third-person shooter with hack-slash. Our protagonist Stone wields two machine gun-type weapons, a pistol and a katana. The combination of all this makes for a slightly unbalanced game.
The title confronts us with a series of waves of enemies ranging from soldiers, cyborgs, ninjas and giant robots. On some occasions we will have to shoot from a distance to avoid being shot at and on others use a combination of meele attacks that mix the katana with the pistol.
When we decide to attack from a distance, some problems begin that certain old mechanics present (but not for that reason successful). The coverages are activated automatically. This somewhat hinders the mobility of our protagonist, not to mention that there are a few objects where we will not be able to do it.
Enemies do not have a life bar and much of your damage is headshots. The damage they cause is completely unbalanced. They have attacks that cannot be blocked and some final bosses or special enemies will make it so difficult for us that it will frustrate more than one.
Things get complicated with hand-to-hand combat; that at times have their charm but then become very repetitive. Attack, block, shoot them and cut them to pieces. What I enjoy the most are the finishers or special attacks.
The artificial intelligence of the enemies is nil, they have two types of actions: either they attack head-on without taking cover, or they run around the scene without meaning.
The only advantage we have are two. On the one hand, if we are accompanied by one of our companions, we can revive only once. And on the other hand, each enemy drops XP and some weapon parts.
The experience can be exchanged in a skill tree (which is a bit reminiscent of Ninja Gaiden) and the weapon parts are attached to the save points (some are further away than they should be). We also have a bullet time ability to kill multiple enemies at once.
There is no shortage of random moments in Wanted: Dead. In certain missions we find weapons such as a chainsaw and we are censored for disembowelment. And when we finish each stage we get together with our classmates like eating ramen and playing mini games like karaoke. All very in the style of the sagas Yakuza either No more Heroes.
How many times is enough? Part 2
If we add kinematics as simple as opening a door to the repetition of combats that cut off the action and more than one will not endure the experience. And I say it again, it’s not that the classic games didn’t have them, but today they are not necessary. Recreating those titles from the early 2000s can be a good success in its visual style, for example. That is where Wanted: Dead works. Its protagonists and final bosses have a bit of the Konami factory and the Metal Gear Solid.
As for the scenarios, there are some that work better, such as those in rooms where a grenade makes objects fly to pieces and blood stains the walls. Others are very open locations and are losing that charm.
As for the voices, they agree a little with the idea of ”class b movie” some very bad performances but that are consistent with the genre. The music, on the other hand, wants to make an appearance and it shows that they put a lot of work into creating a soundtrack but among so much shooting sometimes it is totally out of tune.
The game even had an anime-style short and also Stefanie Joosten (the voice of Quiet in Metal Gear Solid V) who voices a character and also composes the game’s soundtrack.
- The action is quite entertaining and recreates some classic title sequences from the turn of the century.
- The character design
- The difficulty is unbalanced
- The settings become repetitive and lose charm as the story progresses.
MINIMUM: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system – OS: Windows 10 64bit, Windows 11 64bit
Processor: Intel i5 2500K – Memory: 8 GB RAM – Graphics: NVIDIA GTX1060 – DirectX: Version 11 – Storage: 50 GB available space – Additional notes: DirectX feature level 11_1 is required
RECOMMENDED: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system – OS: Windows 10 64bit, Windows 11 64bit
Processor: Intel i7 2700K – Memory: 16 GB RAM – Graphics: NVIDIA RTX2060 – DirectX: Version 12 – Storage: 50 GB available space – Additional notes: DirectX feature level 11_1 is required