Set shortly after the events of last year's Wanted movie, Weapons of Fate is a stylish third-person shooter in which you play predominantly as movie protagonist Wesley Gibson. Armed with skills inherited from your also-playable super-assassin father, you spend much of the game gunning down goons while effortlessly moving between positions of cover, bending bullets around corners, and slowing down time so dramatically that you can shoot enemies' bullets out of the air. This is as fun as it sounds, but the action becomes repetitive after a couple of hours, and after five or six you'll have avenged your mother's murder, beaten the game, and have little reason to ever pick it up again.6206786none
From the outset, it's clear that using cover effectively is the only way to succeed in Weapons of Fate, because when you put an object between yourself and your enemies, it's almost impossible for them to attack you. The flipside is that enemies in cover gain a similar immunity and, frustratingly, often can't be hit even when their heads or other extremities are clearly visible. Getting into cover and even moving between areas of cover is as easy as pushing a single button while facing the object that you want to hide behind--even if it's some distance away from you. Getting out again requires you to either push the button again or turn to look behind you, which is a little clumsy, but the controls certainly aren't bad enough that they detract from the gameplay.
Suppressing and subsequently flanking enemies is another key to success, particularly in the levels prior to when you learn how to bend bullets. When you fire blindly from behind an object in the direction of an enemy, you invariably force that enemy to take cover, which affords you an opportunity (clearly indicated by an unnecessary glow around the edge of your screen) to move to a different position unseen. It's satisfying to outmaneuver enemies in this way, especially when you can clearly see them still firing on your previous position, but it also feels a little too easy and mechanical at times, given that almost every enemy will fall for the exact same trick.
That's because many of the enemies in Weapons of Fate exhibit similar and ultimately very predictable behavior. Enemies who look the same also behave the same, so you quickly learn which guys are going to pop in and out of cover, which have the ability to dodge bullets Matrix-style, and which are crazy enough to charge at you and initiate a button-mashing melee minigame. Enemies also habitually hide out close to exploding barrels or, when aboard a doomed passenger plane in one of the more memorable levels, explosive fire extinguishers. Occasionally you'll encounter snipers whose laser sights you have to avoid while moving in close enough to kill them, and there are a handful of undemanding bosses to take down, but though the scenery changes, the action, sadly, does not.
If there are no bright red barrels or bright red fire extinguishers in sight, perhaps you can find a bright red gas canister.
What variety there is comes courtesy of turret, sniper, and slow-motion sequences, but there aren't many and they're not always a lot of fun. The problem with turret and sniper sequences is that, by default, you spend all of your time in cover and can't see much of what's going on around you. Consequently, when you pop up to take your shots, you're not entirely sure what's waiting at the dangerous end of your crosshair. Oddly, though you're required to clear an area of enemies in these sequences, there's never any real sense of urgency, so you can regenerate health by ducking back into cover as often as you like. Slow-motion sequences look impressive; they're over-the-top enough that playing them at regular speed would be impossible. Typically, when the action slows down to a crawl, you have to shoot down bullets that are headed your way as well as take down the enemies who fired them. The problem is that, looking past the flashy visuals, all you're doing is moving a crosshair around the screen to target a number of barely moving objects before a timer runs out. Any challenge in these sequences comes not from needing fast reflexes but from struggling to locate enemies in the often dimly lit locales.