Wanted: Dead by Soleil and 110 Industries is a new hack-and-slash game by people that were behind the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series. Find out how this cyberpunk-looking game turns out in our Wanted: Dead review!
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Wanted: Dead by Soleil and 110 Industries is a new hack-and-slash game by people that were behind the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series. The story kicks off with a woman in a prison cell, hearing a message that it’s time for her appointment. The small hole to see through the door opens up, and the warden wants to offer her a way out of there. Knowing that it will likely involve some dirty work, she doesn’t wait to hear what it is about and accepts right away, asking who will be part of her team. We then fast forward to a scene in a restaurant, where four shady-looking people in cops uniform are ordering food, including Hannah Stone, the girl from the cell.
It doesn’t take long into their meal to get a call about a situation at a local Dauer Synthetics facility. When you get there, you learn that people have busted in, barricading themselves inside. You and your team grab your guns and head inside. As you get deeper into the facility, you’ll eventually see some people getting away with a mysterious crate, and this will only get you deeper into a much more complicated mission than you would’ve thought.
The game is played from a third-person perspective, with the left analog stick used to move and the right one for controlling the camera. The X button is to dodge or slide when running, the Square is for your melee attacks, and the Triangle button is for attacking with your handgun. L2 is used to aim your main weapon, while R2 is for firing it. The Circle button allows you to reload it. Pressing left and right on the D-Pad allow you to switch between the main gun that you always carry and a second one that you can pick up from defeated enemies, while the up arrow is to switch your weapon’s mode and the down one to use a Stimpack to recover some health.
The Ninja Gaiden inspirations are quickly apparent as soon as you enter the facility at the beginning of the game. You go from room to room, sometimes wide open while some other times narrow corridors, fighting enemies that come out of every possible place to attack you. The fighting is a mix of close encounter combat with your sword and handgun while sometimes hiding in cover behind things and shooting at your enemies with your assault gun. A drone controlled by an ally will sometimes be present, serving as a save point but also as a way to change the parts on both your main gun and handgun. Each of them has multiple parts that you can change to raise or lower certain stats like accuracy, damage, or reloading speed, so you can definitely adapt to your preferences. As you defeat your enemies in a lot of brutal ways, you’ll also gain experience that you can use at any given time to unlock skills in three different categories: Offense, Defense, and Utility.
Visually, the game is nice looking, although it wouldn’t qualify as a technical showcase like other PlayStation 5 titles. It probably feels more like a souped-up early PS4 days game. What it does feature, though, is a lot of variety in the visuals for when you do finishers on your opponents. You can press the Circle and Triangle buttons together when your enemies are stunned, which creates a Finishing Strike that can be anything from an exploding head to some severed limbs, all in their graphical glory.
Now while I’m not a huge fan of Ninja Gaiden games, I was really looking forward to trying this one with its cyberpunk look and feel. In terms of the story, I liked the setup of the rehabilitated prisoner and her crew, as well as how the story evolves from what was going on in the Dauer facility. In terms of difficulty, the game definitely leans towards the challenging side of similar games, which was to be expected considering its roots. Unfortunately, though, that’s where things became disappointing for me. Mixing close combat and gunfights together is something we’ve seen in games like Uncharted master, so the bar is generally high for this.
Wanted: Dead tries in both, without much success. When aiming with my main weapon, I’ve encountered a lot of issues where the camera would just go crazy and point at the ceiling, or even from behind cover where you actually have a hard time figuring out where you are aiming (add to that the fact that enemies and your crew look similar so you can end up shooting your allies for nothing). When you’re falling back to close combat, the experience is just not as smooth. Mixing a sword with handgun results in attacks where you smoothly swing your sword a couple of times, and then your character just stops to take the pose and shoot the handgun (a lot of the time, the animation doesn’t even shoot in the direction of the enemy). And when the handgun is used as an attack to disrupt blocking enemies, it breaks any potential rhythm you could’ve had.
As for the trophies, a high percentage of completion is definitely possible, as a lot of trophies will pop simply by playing through the game, killing enemies, and unlocking skills. The full list for this one includes 42 Bronze trophies, 11 Silver trophies, and one Gold trophy. But as with any game in this genre, getting the platinum will be a true challenge, as it will require you to beat the game on all difficulties, including the “Japanese Hard” difficulty you unlock after beating the game once, which will definitely put a stop to many trophy runs.
Wanted: Dead is an interesting game with a nice setup, and fans of the genre will definitely find it interesting enough to warrant playing through it. But for other people, I feel like the game’s shortcomings might keep them from giving it a go. Will you dive into action? Wanted: Dead is out today on PlayStation 5.
This Wanted: Dead review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by 110 Industries.