Wanted: Dead has all the trappings of a successful hack and slash: a well-known affiliation with former Ninja Gaiden developers, a three-part combat system that mixes melee and ranged combat, and a main character that visually sets herself apart from other protagonists. Unfortunately, the hopes for a fantastic game quickly buckle under a lack of combo variety, camera issues, and a monotonic line reading that drags Wanted: Dead down to a disappointing level of mundanity.
GAMERANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
A cursory glance at what developer Soleil built gives the impression of a solid combat-focused game with a few gorgeously designed cyberpunk characters and locations, but there becomes a distinct lack of anything memorable in its props, enemies, and even its level design. Even though there is an amount of undeniable fun once players are conditioned into what works and doesn’t work in melee combat, some users will have a difficult time justifying sticking around to reach that point.
The effort to set Wanted: Dead apart from other games starts with the design of the main character: Lieutenant Hannah Stone, a Swiss national working for the Hong Kong Police. Stone is covered in beautiful and colorful tattoos down her right arm and a metallic orange forearm and elbow on the other. Sporting blue jeans with a futurist police vest and covered in scars, Stone’s design catches a player’s eye with her visually appealing and assiduous look. The developers seemingly worked hard to make her stand out in a sea of female leads with her own look. The dip in her likability isn’t caused by her looks though, but rather by her voice.
The lieutenant’s voice isn’t grating or hard on the ears but the drop in her likability stems from a lack of inflection in her voice whenever she is speaking. She orders food at a diner with almost the same monotone and verbal pace as when she is giving instructions in the middle of a fight. It isn’t just her, though, as the whole cast has…