Wanted: Dead is a slasher and third person shooter that brings us a lot of action, in a very original way.
Wanted: Dead is a game developed by Soleil studio and published by 110 Industries. According to its publisher, this game is a love letter to the sixth generation of video game consoles. This game offers us a somewhat clumsy action, a good storytelling and a brutal challenge, which pushes us to the limit.
The story follows a week in the life of Hong Kong’s privatized Black Ops team, the “Zombie Unit” which is made up of ex-war criminals tasked with taking on the dirtiest deeds in Hong Kong’s underworld.
Led by Swiss agent Hannah Stone, the unit, despite the location, does not have a single Asian member, which I found quite curious.
This title from Soliel openly embraces its own horror, while occasionally surprising with the arrival of a cool character, a satisfying point of ultraviolence, or top-notch Carpenter-esque synth. All of the title’s high points fall with dumb, repetitive enemies, a barely relevant weapon customization system, relentlessly long stages, and just plain empty dialogue.
Wanted: Dead is set in an alternate cyberpunk future, Asia has thrived in the world of AI. post-Cold War market, dominated by humanoid developer Dauer Synthetics. But, a violent break-in at company headquarters forces Dauer into bankruptcy, leading to a corporate downfall and a massive rebellion by the synthetic population.
What ensues is a series of incredulous shooting galleries as Stone and his squad slaughter their way through one crime scene after another: Hannah’s expert marksmanship and samurai-level swordsmanship turn the opposition into a complete mush.
There is an inherent “evil” to the action, vulgarity, and narrative of Wanted: Dead. He knows that he is being rude, unpleasant and superficial. And yet, even in our highly evolved gaming world, there’s something appealing about its simplistic coarseness.
Wanted: Dead is really hard, with painful restart points, an awkward cover system, and sword fights that, while satisfying and dynamic, land Hannah in the morgue after only a few missteps. Sometimes the game is overly difficult. It will set you up with a brutal mid-boss battle only to then not reward you with a checkpoint immediately after.
The gameplay in Wanted: Dead is archaic by design. While the game is playable, enjoyable, and compelling, it’s incredibly similar, sprawling, and seriously lacking in variation.
Still, there’s something so appealing about the simplicity of the whole thing, a flower of unbridled indulgence growing from a patch of land. The characters are all universal dorks. Some of the dialogue is terribly meaningless.
As for the score, it’s legitimately great, with a plethora of original songs alongside a handful of ’80s covers.
It’s this curious amalgamation of design that keeps the Wanted: Dead blood pumping. Every time you start to get tired of the very strict old school gameplay mechanics, one of Vivienne’s cats will break the fourth wall, or you’ll run into a really cool stage or boss character.
Wanted: Dead is a game that lacks much sense, with a very strict gameplay that is not very enjoyable for many. The relentless gameplay and repetitive action will leave some utterly appalled, but the beaming cast of reprobates, the silly minigames, the bewildering dialogue, the original story and characters will make many of us enjoy this crazy game.
This review was made thanks to a copy for PS5 provided by 110 Industries