Stabby, Shooty: Wanted Demo

By Jim Rossignol on March 25th, 2009 at 11:39 am.


BLAM-STAB-BLAM! Wanted, which was first a comic book and then a Angelina Jolie vehicle, is now a videogame. It’s the cultural media equivalent of the ascent of man illustration, or something. Anyway, there’s fancy shootin’ aplenty in an 843mb demo, which came out yesterday. Trailer and thoughts below.


It would be awesome of this demo told you what you were supposed to be doing. Shooting dudes from a third person perspective, obviously, but how? And why do I run out of ammo so quickly? And aren’t I supposed to be able to throw bullets around corners and suchlike? Hmm. (There’s a tutorial? I was oblivious to it.) The game seems a little unclear about all that, so I bodged the first bit by running up to people and stabbing them by pressing E. Perhaps that’s the point of the game, to work out how to stab people in the guts? That is pretty awesome. KICK! STAB! Later I realised that you can aim with the right mouse button. That’s fun too.

The fact that hitting space makes you “attach” to cover in that Gears Of War way makes me suspect that this is supposed to be a game of leaping from one bit of cover to the next, shooting the bads as I go. Maybe it is, but it rapidly becomes clear that charge up to people and kneeing them to death is both more efficient, and more entertaining. DEAD!

It’s all over a fairly quickly, which is a shame, because I was enjoying myself. In conclusion: a clueless, hyperviolent demo of the middle kind. It’s the kind of thing I expect Grin (Ballistics, GRAW) had plenty of fun creating. The game is certainly thrill-packed, even if this short demo is moderately confusing. I might just grab the full thing to find out more.

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79 Comments »

  1. Ian says:

    TPK – Third-Person Knee-er.

  2. ChaosSmurf says:

    So you get to knee guys in the balls until they die? Is that what you’re telling me Jim?

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    Mostly you knee them in the skull, or kick them in the knee then stab them. It’s full of variety like that.

  4. aldo_14 says:

    And in the game?

  5. ChaosSmurf says:

    In the skull eh… intriguing…

  6. Fetthesten says:

    Um, the demo I played on this strange box called “Computer Games – But On A TelevisionStation 3″ I found in my living room had three lengthy and elaborate tutorials educating me not only on how to stab people with bullets until they died, but also how to curve the bullets in the air while using them for stabbing, and also that videogames make me fat. There was even talk of how I could go about stabbing bullets into people even as I leapt from behind a column towards behind a different column. I take it the section labeled “Tutorial” doesn’t exist in the “Computer Games – On A Computer” version?

  7. Big D says:

    Watched the film recently so think I will give this a miss based on that…

  8. phil says:

    If the game is true to the movie it should be a first game to feature a loom as a vital, and mind numbingly stupid, plot point since, well, Loom.

    It should also feature an unlockable achievement for vitriolic misogyny.

  9. JimBoB says:

    It really needs to make the tutorial more obvious (there is one in the demo, 3 infact), i did that first before i started anything and everything made sense :)

  10. teo says:

    What I’ve heard about this is that it’s actually quite good but really short, which isn’t unlikely since movie license games never get enough time in the oven

  11. Ian says:

    @ Fetthesten: I’ve got no idea what it is you’re describing but it sounds like the Devil’s work.

    Burn it.

  12. Jim Rossignol says:

    If there’s a tutorial I completely missed it on that first pass. There’s some on screen hints, but that was about it. Exploring it without a clue was kind of fun anyway, though.

    Guesswork OF DEATH.

  13. Tom Armitage says:

    It should also feature an unlockable achievement for vitriolic misogyny.

    Phil – I take it you aren’t familiar with the oeuvre of Mark Millar? The movie adaptation of Wanted is, perhaps, a little tame compared to much of his printed work…

  14. DarthInsinuate says:

    I played the console demo (don’t ban me), it seemed like the only worthwhile bit is in the demo, where the narrator insults you.

    I shouted “fuck you” back at the screen. Then shed a tear and continued.

    The rest of the game was a bit pointless. I found you could either run at people and stab them in the neck, or just run past.

  15. Down Rodeo says:

    The trailer looked fun but then, that is what trailers are for. I watched the movie recently. I kind of enjoyed it as a “BANG! WHOOSH! (Noise of a car going by quickly that I don’t know how to express onomatopoeically) DAKKADAKKADAKKA” but not very much more than that. These guys must have a fairly twisted physics engine to make the bullets twist :D

    Does anyone find it odd that “asshole” was censored in a trailer featuring guns’n'violence? Or is that the norm now? Also, final thought, watching the movie was the first time I’d seen Angelina in a while. Her arms are freakishly thin. She’s not attractive. I mean, they’re supposed to be lifting heavy weapons! How could you with scrawny things like that?

  16. Ian says:

    I believe car noise is something along the lines of:

    niiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIYAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooowwwwww

  17. SirKicksalot says:

    I actually finished the full game about an hour ago.
    It’s short, it took me 4 hours. You unlock new characters and tons of artwork and other goodies. I only found about half of them, and I want them all.

    The game kicks ass, it’s miles above Stranglehold. I never got tired of bending bullets and using the other abilities. I restarted it right away, using an unlocked character and some of the “official” cheats. I love the one that makes the camera follow every bent bullet, I dream of this since I saw the movie. It’s totally badass.

    And it’s pretty funny.
    As the main character says, he’s an asshole with a gun and a cool suit, and he certainly has asshole-ish one-liners.
    The game could actually be called Asshole instead of Wanted.

    What level is featured in the demo?

  18. Danforthe says:

    @Down Rodeo – It’s all about leverage. They shoot around it in films but her shoulder blades actually extend behind her in a large, bat-winglike configuration.

    True story.

  19. Jockie says:

    I thought the accepted literate form for bullet noises was ‘pew pew!!’

    also, if cars go “niiiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIYAAAAAOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooowwwwww”
    And helicopters go DAKKDADAKKADAKKA, what do motorcycles do?

  20. Surgeon says:

    Played the demo a bit, but I just can’t get away with the Gears of Wars style jump up, shoot, hide, peak out, jump up, shoot. Etc, etc.

    It always reminds me of the scene in Police Squad where Frank and a robber are hiding behind the same bin, trying to shoot each other.

  21. Flappybat says:

    Another game that’s on steam but not available to buy with no release date or price, just like Saints Row 2 was.

    Thanks Steam for your shoddy treatment of Euro releases again.

  22. Helm says:

    The comic was so-so (Millar has done worse). The movie was easily in my bottom 5 ever, so I’m gonna skip the game just because of the bad taste.

  23. GC says:

    The comic had a shit golem made of the shit from all the most evil persons on the planet… but I think the game is based on the movie, in which the guy did not become the big boss of international organized crime! Oh now I think “Dr Horrible’s sing along blog” is far closer to the original comic than this game/film.

  24. mandrill says:

    The game is based neither on the comic or the movie but is meant to be a sequel to the movie. I liked the movie for the simple fac that it had NIN on the soundtrack in the first 5 minutes, I’m shallow like that.

  25. l1ddl3monkey says:

    It’s the suit from the comic and the plot from the movie. The comic had some original ideas but was average, the movie was a massive pile of excrement. It does look like a fun game though; depending on how much Steam charge for it, I may give it a go.

  26. jonfitt says:

    Don’t helicopters go: DokkaDokkaDokka?
    Motorcycles go: Meeeeeyyyaaaaaah

  27. phil says:

    @Tom Armitage –

    Not to completely geek out BUT: I’m not sure what Mark Millar you’ve been reading but Ultimates had an utterly wonderful reinvention of the Wasp, dealing with her abusive husband is suitably empowered style, his Authority had a large, well realised cast of female characters overcoming, amongst other things, misogyny (I’m thinking of the Engineer in particular) and Big Dave was a parody of the sort of simplistic, stereotype-dipped tabloid mentality that produces stuff like Wanted.

    Wanted the movie, but contrast, had three female characters (that I can recall), a harridan of a boss (who overeats as she has no man in her life), a disloyal, superficial shrew of a girlfriend who sleep with the main character’s best friend and Ms. Jolie, that the film seems to regard as an honorary man as she can like kill dudes and stuff.

    What Mark Millar stuff are you referring to?

  28. Premium User Badge

    MonkeyMonster says:

    Comic/Gfc novel is hilarious. Movie is so very different but amusing if anything purely for the keyboard in the face with feck off in letters. Game looks interesting – not my cup of tea at all but i’d watch someone who liked such things finishing it – no doubt shout the odd “use curve go on go on go on go on” in a Ms Doyle type way :)

  29. SovietDancebot says:

    I think all that needs be said re:Millar is that he licks goats.

  30. Ian says:

    @ jonfitt: I think that’s more for small, nippy bikes. Big motorcycles go HRRRRrrrmmmmmmmggghhhhhh.

  31. LewieP says:

    From the 360 demo, I would say that the single biggest hook the game has, namely the curved shooting, doesn’t quite work as well as it should. I lost interested pretty quickly.

  32. Theory says:

    Fun fact: Steam thinks Wanted is rated R18. Presumably we can’t buy it yet because Valve are still waiting for their sex shop license to clear…

  33. Dominic White says:

    From what I’ve heard in assorted previews, the demo is actually one of the weaker levels. It’s much tighter and more limiting than most of the levels in the game, meaning you can’t really get the most out of your crazy physics-bending precognitive bullet curving powers.

    Looks like a good rental at the very least. The studio behind it, Grin, recently did the excellent Bionic Commando: Rearmed, and are currently putting the finishing touches on the upcoming full-3D Bionic Commando sequel. They seem to know what they’re doing.

  34. Fumarole says:

    “Thanks Steam for your shoddy treatment of Euro releases again.”

    Haven’t learned to blame the publisher yet? Ok then, carry on being upset at a piece of software.

  35. Matzerath says:

    Oh God, Fumarole is right! Steam isn’t DRM as much as it’s a handy scapegoat for publishers! A digital apologist! A non-sentient PR face!
    “This game sucks ass! Goddamn you Steam, why can’t you put out a decent game?!”
    “Sorry! Hey, look what’s on sale!”

  36. Down Rodeo says:

    Thanks Ian et al for the noises. I’ll employ them in future conversations.

    Danforthe: I never knew! The magic of the silver screen eh?

  37. Ian says:

    Do you have a lot of conversations where onomatopoeia is required?

  38. phuzz says:

    I thought motor bikes go BRAP BRAP BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    But what noise does sword fighting make? Enquiring minds demand to know.

  39. Funky Badger says:

    Is the easy difficlty level in the PC demo stil called “Pussy”?

    Class, that.

  40. MrMud says:

    Cant change the resolution, cant invert mouse, fuck this game.

  41. Ian says:

    I didn’t realise so many people used inverted mouse until I saw stuff in the past day or two with people talking about it. Is it because I came very late to PC gaming that I use non-inverted? Or is it just personal choice?

  42. Jockie says:

    I physically cannot use inverted mouse except for in flight sims. The very idea hurts my brain, i guess for most people once you’ve learned to do it one way or another, it’s a pretty impossible habit to break. I think early fps’ which supported mouse like doom et al used inverted as standard.

  43. SirKicksalot says:

    You can change the resolution, but you have to choose the aspect ratio first.

  44. DigitalSignalX says:

    If it’s truly an asshole with a gun and a nice suit, it would be Halo 4. *rimshot*

    -silence-

    Anyway, much better, older joke says motorbikes either go
    “harleyharleyharleyharleyharley” or kAWWWWWWAAAAASAAAAAKIIIII”

  45. J. Edgar Hoover says:

    So, I understand that when you produce a comic book for the big screen, some things get lost in translation, while others just have to get altered. How do you go from having a cabal of super villains that completely obliterated all of the super heroes back in the 80′s to a league of assassins with no real powers, except “curving the bullet”, that take their instruction from a loom that forges their next target into a piece of cloth?

  46. Heliocentric says:

    My adapt time on mouse inversion is about 30 seconds of staring at the floor and/or sky then i’m fine. Funny you mention halo it handled inversion very well, the first thing you do is calibrate in game under a role play guise.

  47. Down Rodeo says:

    Many of my conversations require sudden departures to soundscapes unknown, yes. I am banned from many, many libraries. I’m also appreciative of the other motorbike sounds – my options in conversation have, like, doubled.

  48. Pundabaya says:

    Duh, helicopters go “whupwhupwhupwhup”

  49. Tom says:

    What’s this then?: http://theliability.googlepages.com/DSC00004.jpg
    Looks like if you play using a 360 pad you’ll get the 360′s menu – shoddy port… bit cak…