From the developers that brought you Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive comes a new game, Wanted: Dead, Soleil’s new and latest title. This time they have chosen to go for a new hybrid slasher/shooter style, with classic anime cutscenes and a story involving a major corporate conspiracy. Sounds good right?
I’m Wanted: Dead Or Alive
Are you excited about this title? Does this game tick the boxes for you? Leave a comment to let us know your assumptions and expectations!
You play as Lt. Hannah Stone, She is the leader of the “Zombie” squad for the Hong Kong Police. The game follows a week in the life of the Zombie Unit on a mission to uncover a major corporate conspiracy.
You work in a squad of 4 with some interesting characters, each with their own personalities and from what I could tell, interesting abilities too. Wanted: Dead introduces you early to them and you get a good idea of their personality quite quickly through a simple cutscene at the beginning of the game. Throughout your first mission, you get plenty of dialogue from the team sharing some banter. This allowed me to get accustomed to the characters and develop the emotive connection.
Basic controls are easy to get your head around. This was shown off very quickly and easily with a straightforward tutorial. The weapons with their upgrades look nice and satisfying to upgrade. Combat movement is quick and fun with satisfying finishers and cool-looking combos. Dismembering a Goon has never felt so satisfying.
When it comes to Combat, it uses some interesting melee and firearm combat. If you want to get in close and personal, Stone has a handy Katana by her side. She also carries her automatic rifle, which can be customised along with her handgun for those more distant affairs.
On your inevitable death you will be knocked down and your “Doc” teammate will come and attempt to revive you. This becomes a cutscene which is skippable, However, I recommend that you at least watch it once to see what actually happens. These Respawns are not infinite, however, so you will eventually get a Game Over and have to start at the last checkpoint.
Execution kills are nice to watch and satisfying to get when you can. They can be situational so if you execute near a wall, the animation may take that into account and perform an execution using this. They are pretty gory in some instances, I mean check out the below screenshot for all that claret!
Chop Chop and Ramen
Wanted: Dead features some mini-games, first one I need to mention is the claw machine, this one is fun and for once in my life, not rigged. Through this game, you can win collectables. You can kick the machine too until it breaks, but you can always use the machine next to it. Don’t worry, you don’t get thrown out by the arcade attendant either!
I also had a fun distraction in a rhythm-based mini-game too, but this involved how you would eat ramen. Yep, a Ramen themed, music-based rhythm mini-game and it is quite fun to play.
Graphics & Audio
The game shows promise with pretty-looking graphics with an anime/Cyberpunk-fuelled style. I really liked the character design. Everyone was looking their best in my opinion: Vivienne, (one of the characters you meet who will be responsible for your weapon upgrades) was a definite favourite for character design and it reflected her character too.
Voice acting is great, but It needs to be said, I’m not completely impressed with the main protagonist’s voice acting. There were certain moments where it didn’t feel like they were playing the character. It felt like they were instead reading off the script. It was challenging to understand the type of accent she had too. Voice Dubbing matching with the voice sync was noticeably off, but not old style kung fu movie off, even if it was expected, being a anime style game. The music has a nice 80’s sci-fi cyberpunk feel which is always welcome in my books. It was used at ideal times to give that extra oomph when you’re charging some bad guys down.
Experiences with major bugs were not present nor were any noticeable bugs either. Which is always good for a game these days with high standard expectations from consumers
I tried this title out with multiple sessions of gameplay. This was to see if I was thinking about the game and couldn’t wait to return to it. I could play this for some mindless slaughter of bad guys. Unfortunately, I wasn’t invested enough to play long sessions or be itching to come back to. Wanted: Dead doesn’t seem to have specific difficulties, but each level does have its own challenge that will be a perfect hit for all Ninja Gaiden fans.
I enjoyed some features of the game. Like the way it looks, chopping the opposition to separate parts and grooving to some ramen and music. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep me playing. I couldn’t get over the protagonist’s voice and some of the cliché and borderline cringe cutscene dialogue.
It just felt like it was missing something. Like that bit of added freedom. I award Wanted:Dead a Thumb Culture Silver Award. Because of these gameplay features or the fact I couldn’t come back for more. This doesn’t mean that someone else wont like it, it just wasn’t a game that kept me wanting more.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.