The journey is the best part of the game in Wanted Dead. The title is a thrill ride from jump, taking players on an adrenaline-fueled trip through a dangerous criminal underworld set in a massive metropolis designed to look like a cyberpunk version of Hong Kong. The developers painstakingly created a gritty and exciting city atmosphere, including employing the use of realistic weather effects, day and night cycles, and an ominous and thrilling soundtrack that throws players into a rough and tumble urban landscape.
And in terms of over-the-top violence that almost borders on the ridiculous, Wanted Dead really outshines just about any other title released this year. That’s not to say that it’s got better graphics, storytelling, or anything like that (although it’s fine in all those areas) just that it really leans into its almost excessive, crazy violence. If you let go and have fun with it, then Wanted Dead will provide you with a lot of action overload in addition to many other game elements like investigations, exploration, and simply enjoying the city that the developers have set up for us.
Wanted Dead has players take on the role of protagonist Hannah Stone. The story focuses around the city’s raging crime rate and the authorities’ inability to stop it in the face of powerful criminal cartels and gangs that run the streets. As Hannah, players must navigate the dangerous urban landscape, find and kill the most notorious criminals, and in doing so restore peace and order to the city. But really, the plot is just kind of there to give you an excuse to turn loose on the gangs of the city.
The title itself offers a vast open-world environment where players freely explore almost everywhere and discover its darkest secrets. From towering skyscrapers to mysterious back alleys, you can wander around on your quest for destruction. And as a nice touch, each district in the city has unique details that give it a look and feel that is distinct from the rest of the metropolis.
Speed and Tempo
From the start, you are thrown into a fast-paced and action-packed adventure. Hannah utilizes a wide range of weapons, gadgets, and special abilities to find and exterminate her targets. It’s unique in that it seems to prioritize close up encounters, while also having a good shooting and ranged mechanic, so players can focus on which they enjoy more, or what is better for the current situation. Whether it’s intense gunfights, executing stealthy takedowns, or high-speed car chases, Wanted Dead offers a lot of different ways to enjoy it.
One of the most interesting features is the Wanted System. Each criminal target has a unique profile, complete with a list of crimes committed and the level of danger they possess. Players must gather intel, investigate crime scenes, and interact with NPCs to discover clues and track down the criminals. This immersive system adds a layer of depth to the gameplay that makes every mission feel consequential by showing features like the city responding dynamically to the player’s actions, with news reports and citizen reactions reflecting your progress.
Wanted Dead also offers a variety of side quests, challenges, and collectibles to keep players engaged and provide additional hours of gameplay. Whether it’s helping citizens in need, infiltrating criminal hideouts, or even participating in street races, there is always something fun to do.
Wanted Dead, developed by the renowned studio Soleil, may combine intense action and immersive storytelling with compelling narrative, but it does lack in some areas. My only major complaint is the fact that I wish you could target specific enemies when you fight them, similar to the Assassins Creed titles in which users can lock onto enemies as that helps a great deal in massive fights when you need to take down opponents that are the most dangerous threats standing in groups. I feel like that mechanic would make a huge impact in the gameplay of Wanted Dead. You can live without it, but it would be so much better if it were included.
Wanted Dead also has a high level of difficulty. That is not a negative on its own, but players should know going into it that they should be ready to face a pretty tough challenge compared to a lot of other games.
Graphically, Wanted Dead is impressive. The detail in the character models is awesome, and the jaw-dropping special effects (some of them are also pretty bloody and graphic in combat) kept things mesmerizing. Even the cityscape is impressive. In fact, one of my favorite elements of Wanted Dead is looking out at the towering skyscrapers, which are bolstered by bustling crowds that make it feel like a real place.
If you like action RPGs and cyberpunk-like atmosphere, then Wanted Dead has a lot to offer. The title is kind of marketing itself based on the crazy amount of violence that it packs into its world, but really has a lot more than just that to offer. It’s a surprisingly complete package and is really fun to play.
Wanted Dead can easily captivate players with its distinctive style, and ultimately proves to be a winner in large part due to its really good graphics and the unique style of combat that it offers. Wanted Dead was difficult to get into at first, but then won me over with its graphics and overall presentation, especially as I slowly mastered the intense combat and got to feel more at home in the city I was charged with cleaning up in the most violent way possible.