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. Kalain says:

    AARRGGHH!! Where is my lovely reverse Y axis for mouse!!! aside from that, it’s very consoley.. very consoley

  2. Tom says:

    Fun game though.
    Bending bullets doesn’t get old…

  3. JonH says:

    You RPS guys really aren’t very good at finding tutorials. Little hint: it’s found at the main menu. :P

  4. Rei Onryou says:

    DEAD!

    Best. Onomatopoeia. Ever.

  5. Thants says:

    Is it just me, or is there about a second lag on the mouse-movement? Also, no graphical options other than the resolution. Not impressed so far.

  6. Gunrun says:

    @Tom When you load up the game it says “it looks like you’re using a gamepad, press a key on it to use that to play the game, otherwise press space” or similar. Not a shoddy port. Runs rather well, except lack of graphical tweakyness.

    Also I decided I liked this game when I shot a guy, missed, hit an outside door and watched as it sprung open and the air preasure sucked him out.

  7. mejobloggs says:

    Ahahah loving all the vehicle noises in the comments :D

  8. malkav11 says:

    The supervillain to assassin league transition was, I think, accomplished based on two things: one, a heaping helping of stupid, and two, the utter unfilmability of the comic as it stood. Everyone in Wanted is an asshat, the protagonist among the biggest, and they do a lot of really offensive, terrible things. You can get away with those things in a comic, because nobody who isn’t a comics geek will have heard of Wanted. In a big budget Hollywood movie? Absolutely not.

    That said, I think it would have been entirely practical to tone things down and still use the supervillain concept. Which is where the stupid comes in.

  9. malkav11 says:

    Before people get too grumpy about the Steam unavailability of the game and assume it’s down to region screwage once again, you may wish to know that it’s also not purchaseable in the US.

  10. malkav11 says:

    Or, wait, that’s Wheelman. nevermind.

  11. Z says:

    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?

    If I remember the story correctly, you write the entire screenplay before the second issue hits the stand.

    Also, insert rage about the movie not having any of the awesome of the comic (even if the comic itself fell on its face in the last issue).

  12. Daniel Purvis says:

    I really didn’t like the comic. The movie was rubbish. Not convinced I’ll bother even downloading the demo. Also, I don’t like demos. Humbug and such.

  13. J. Edgar Hoover says:

    I honestly don’t believe there were too many terrible and offensive things in the comic that couldn’t have been carried over to the “Big Budget” version of the movie. There have been plenty of big Hollywood movies that have depicted intense and graphic scenes of rape, torture and murder. “Eastern Promises” was very brutal. “Hostel” was excessively gory. And even “Watchmen” was ultra violent. And each of these gems were rated R. Stupid movie studios :*(

  14. Y3k-Bug says:

    Its not a matter of it being too offensive, its about the content of the comic being insanely unintuitive if you aren’t into comics.

    I mean, a character made of shit? What?

  15. Sid Clayman says:

    The movie was one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen

    The scene in which the “good” main characters cause the plummet and crash of a train full of hundreds of passengers, killing them all, and then never mentioning or making reference to such slaughter again is chief among the reasons.

  16. malkav11 says:

    As relatively moral as the main characters are in the movie, please don’t make the mistake of assuming they’re ever meant to be good guys.

  17. malkav11 says:

    And by relatively moral I mean compared to the comic characters.

  18. Nimdok says:

    Comic was basically the writer (And, yes, I know that Millar exists to ‘shock’) flipping off his fanbase while revelling in their attention; movie was a re-think of the comic that tried too hard to be a comic-book movie while retaining the “fuck you fans!” mentality.

    The game? I LIKED the demo; the cover mechanic felt perfect, the animation of The Killer was gorgeous, and the little details (shooting overhead compartments and showering a guy with luggage? Fun.) scattered (Enemies next to a door? Shoot open the door.) around (explosive fire extinguishers? Unrealistic but a great boom) made for a dynamic-feeling firefight. I didn’t use the bullet-time OR bullet-curve mechanic much, prefering to play the waiting game and aiming for exposed heads and arms, and the melee/hostage mechanic were neat but unecessary with the prevalance of cover in the demo; maybe in the full game there are more open areas, better chances to use the psudo-stealth component and/or the knife…

    If I can ignore the storyline, it’s a fun game.

  19. tentacleraep says:

    The release in Sweden seems to be April third, so I guess it comes down to the publisher having to fill in forms regarding the export of ones and zeroes, which seems to be taking some time these days.

  20. Nick says:

    “Comic was basically the writer (And, yes, I know that Millar exists to ’shock’) flipping off his fanbase while revelling in their attention”

    I’m geniunely interested as to how/why this worked, I haven’t read it but I’m curious as to what he did with it to have that effect.

  21. Helm says:

    Don’t expect much, just the protagonist breaking the fourth wall to tell you “I’m awesome like this and this and that, what have YOU done that’s awesome?”.

  22. Nimdok says:

    Nick: Millar’s basically insults his reader throughout the comic by having his protag say and do things along the lines of “I fucked my second-grade teacher in the ass and shot her, then I raped my first girlfriend and shot her, and I beat a guy to death with a keyboard because he was annoying. I’m fucking awesome, and you’re a lame piece of shit reading comic books instead of being awesome. Like me.”

    The end of the comic is an extreme close-up of the protag with the words “This is my face while I fuck you in the ass.” kind’ve sums up Millar’s opinion of his readership. And a lot of them adore him for it.

  23. Nick says:

    I see.

  24. malkav11 says:

    I think a lot of people are assuming that the narrator represents Millar’s own viewpoint, or at least one he wants you to find sympathetic, and I’ve never been sure why. It’s a story about an out and out, black-hearted, vicious bastard of a supervillain and how he got that way. And unlike some similar stories, it’s not about making that character sympathetic. It’s not about exposing the deep dark traumas that drive them. It’s about how a shallow, racist prick gets upended out of his dead end life and handed superpowers and a controlling role among the people that run things, and how he, quite predictably, winds up abusing them.

  25. bananaphone says:

    Er, yeah, what Malkav said. It’s a dark, fucked up comic that focuses on super-villains, rather than heroes. You seriously thought that was how Millar felt about his audience? Why do people assume that an author believes everything they write.

    Looks like I’m the only one who enjoyed the movie :) I was sad they didn’t have the balls to make it like the comic, but I’m a sucker for mindless action.

    Anyway. The game. It’s lots of fun, surprisingly funny and has tons of cool gameplay gimmicks, but is very short. Completed it in a few hours. Worth buying, but not at full price.

  26. Helm says:

    I don’t assume Millar (or any other writer) de facto believes what his lead characters believe. But his ‘racist, black-hearted supervillain’ is handled very lightly and as if he’s cool, so there is a positive commentary there by the creator certainly. If there’s no metacommentary of a theme them why write the thing. Dostoyefsky certainly doesn’t endorse everything Raskolnikov does in Crime and Punishment but that doesn’t mean his writing is not a commentary on his actions. In ‘Wanted’ the comic book (I won’t even touch the ridiculously bad film) the handling of very awful things is the standard light cynical fare… this doesn’t mean the thought police should arrest mister Millar… it just means his book leaves a bad aftertaste whereas the artist probably was going for an awesome aftertaste.

  27. Urthman says:

    Nothing says “careless console port by people with no clue about PC gaming” quite like omiting the option to invert the mouse.

    (Except maybe “no option to customise the keyboard input.” I still can’t believe I played through Rayman 2 that way…)

    How stupid do you have to be to spend however much money they wasted on putting this demo out and then hang this big “Don’t bother. We sure didn’t.” sign on it?

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