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Familiar with Wanted, are ya? Last summer’s blockbuster documentary about a secret society of bullet jugglers? We kid. Wanted centers on Wesley Gibson, a sad sacked shlub abruptly awakened from his 9 to 5 monotony to find out that he’s been blessed with the hereditary ability to curve bullets, deflect blades and generate all manner of mercenary mayhem. Certainly sounds like a damned fine premise for a game, no?
Love or hate Wanted as a movie, it set itself apart by going the gory distance in a time when the glut of PG-13 action flicks would rather “punch to injure” than “shoot to kill.” In keeping with the “Hard R” witnessed in theaters, Weapons of Fate also wears its M rating as a badge of honor, featuring slo-mo entry wounds, head matter, twisted limbs and blood by the bucketful. If that’s not enough for you miscreants, please enjoy the game’s liberal use of the “C word” as well as an Easy game setting fittingly entitled “Pussy.”
Surprisingly, the unrelentingly stylish brutality is about the only thing you’ll recognize from the cinematic (and graphic novel’s) source material. In a good way: Rather than fall back on the tired and lazy-licensed notion that gamers want to “relive the events” of a film, the devs at GRIN use it as a jumping-off point for the action, opting to set the game after the events in the movie. Fine with us! No need to lollygag through a humble origin story, so instead we get to instantaneously fill the sneakers of a fully realized badass.
We weren’t made privy to story specifics, but our hands-on kicked off with the disposal several unlucky SWAT geeks via a cover-centric, lead exchange. It’ll seem instantly familiar to those versed in Gears of War and/or Dark Sector, but this is where Weapons of Fate’s hook gets interesting. Enemies shoot from behind cover, but our protagonist is the only one with the ability hook bullets around obstacles.
Holding down a shoulder button emits a thin line from gun barrel to target, allowing you to bend and manipulate the precise trajectory of your shot. It’s actually not unlike the way you’d line up a pitch or a put in a sports game, and your victim will glow grey to let you know whether you’ve lined up an unobstructed path.