Wanted game brings next-gen bullet curving

Kevin Kelly
K. Kelly|07.17.08

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Wanted game brings next-gen bullet curving

Universal and GRIN are working on a Wanted game, and we got to take a peek behind the scenes during E3. Faster than you can say "rushing a movie title into development" our cynical preconceptions were shattered. Not only were we impressed with the gameplay they showed us, we also were bolstered by the fact that one of the developers cared enough to drop the f-bomb several times during our appointment.

Find out more about this upcoming title after the break. If you haven't seen the film, watch out for spoilers and don't come crying to us later.
First of all, the best news about this title is that Pete Wanat is executive producing it. He's the guy who made The Chronicles of Riddick: Butcher Bay one of the best movie-related gaming titles since Goldeneye. If you get him started talking about game development, sparks start shooting out of his eyes like a wind-up tin toy from the 1950s, and that's when the f-word comes out to play. Seriously, it's good to see someone so passionate about games who doesn't bombard us with sales figures and pie charts.

So, the premise of this game is that Wesley, played by James McAvoy in both the movie and the game, has just finished destroying the Fraternity of Assassin's in Chicago at the end of the movie, and the game picks up the action seconds later. It turns out that there are other fraternities around the world, and some of them want to magical fate-dealing loom that belonged to the Chicago chapter.

Wesley has to use his bullet-curving gun-fu skillz to not only protect the loom, but to chase down the new baddies through different settings, including the level we were shown: on a jumbo jet plummeting to earth. Wanat stressed the core gamplay mechanics that have become a part of this game, including a new cover system and a version of bullet time called Assassin Time that lets you slow time down and target multiple enemies at once.

Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group's (what a mouthful) Nick Torchia talked us through the demonstration as they showed off the bullet curving ability, which was the coolest thing about the trailer for this film. It doesn't come into play much in the movie until the last 20 minutes, but they use it to the nth degree in the game. They were curving bullet around corners, over chairs, and even dual-wielding and bullet curving as a special ability. All curving, all the time.

The airplane level (and we're promised, the entire game) features a lot of of destructible elements, like the ability to blow walls of the airplane out by shooting fire extinguishers, shooting the emergency exits, and so on. In fact, you can blow out the exit doors and watch as your foes get sucked out by the decompression. Spiffy. Although we didn't see it, both Pete and Nick promised us that the plane eventually goes fully vertical, and you play an entire section of that level trying to navigate through a plane plummeting nose-first to the ground.

The plane level was all we got to see, but it has a very slick look-and feel that runs circles around the stylized look of the Bourne game. It's also not a combo-stringing button masher where you have to memorize sequences to get past harder enemies. Pete Wanat was very emphatic when he told us "We've played those kinds of games a thousand fuckin' times! We don't like playing them either!" We're glad the developers feel the same way we do.

We'll have more about this game as more develops. They're shooting (get it?) for a holiday 2008 release, and are aiming (get that one?) for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. They'll have no multiplayer unfortunately, but there will be downloadable content of some sort. Stay tuned.

Oh, and here's the big spoiler: Angelina dies.
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