PC Games

Published on April 22nd, 2024 | by Marc Rigg

Wanted: Dead PC Review

Wanted: Dead PC Review Marc Rigg

Summary: Wanted: Dead is evocative of a mid-tier 6th console generation hack & slash game in all the right ways, as well as all the wrong ones too.



Wanted: Dead is a game that had been on my radar for a while, so when the opportunity to check it out along with the new 1.13 Combat Overhaul Update, I jumped at the chance.

Primarily a hack-n-slash game, Wanted: Dead follows Lt. Hannah Stone, a former convict, as the leader of the Zombie Unit.

An elite squad of the Hong Kong police force tasked with uncovering a corporate conspiracy in a fast-paced cyberpunk adventure.


It’s an… interesting story. At least what I could decipher of it was. It’s mostly told in cutscenes between the members of Zombie Unit and features some comically poor voice acting. Depending on your tolerance for this sort of thing it might come full circle and fall into ‘so bad it’s good’ territory, but I doubt it. The sound design in general is a mixed bag.

A lot of the effects and impact noises are a bit on the weak side of things and often sound generic, but there’s some decent music tying it all together. Thankfully the visuals don’t suffer quite the same fate as the audio. It’s not a bad-looking game at all, with some beautiful environments and the characters are mostly all well-modelled with high levels of detail.

The combat is the main meat of the experience though and it takes the form of a hybrid, mixing over-the-shoulder third-person shooting with sword-based hack-and-slash melee attacks. It’s a system that feels like it couldn’t quite decide on what it wanted to be.

Gunplay doesn’t feel great. Enemies are bullet sponges and only a limited amount of ammo can be carried at once. It’s barely enough to take down more than a handful of foes even on the lowest difficulty and even fewer as high difficulties are attempted.

I presume that this is to force the player into the melee combat, which it does, and to its credit, feels quite good for the most part. Simple combos can be strung together using Hannah’s katana and handgun. Frequently dismembering enemies in some creative ways.

The combat system excels when it’s set in smaller, more condensed environments that play to its strengths. The very first of the many abilities to be unlocked from the skill tree (unhelpfully just titled ‘bullet-time’) can stun various nearby targets and set them up for takedowns. Multiple enemies close to one another can have their takedowns chained together in a John Wick-esque display that can make you feel like a total badass when clearing out an entire room.

Unfortunately, in the Wanted: Dead’s many wider open spaces, the combat kind of falls apart a little. As previously discussed, the gunplay isn’t very good and is unsatisfying to use, and often leaves you needing to spring into melee range of the nearest enemy, getting cut down by the teammates in the process. There’s a basic cover system but it felt even more redundant than the ranged combat. It’s all a little bit Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and a little Ninja Gaiden, but inferior to both.

The rest of the Zombie Unit doesn’t help much either. Your AI teammates are largely useless, and aside from the Doc reviving the player should they fall, don’t do much of anything.

Final Thoughts?

Wanted: Dead sells itself as something of a love letter to the sixth generation of consoles, and in that respect, it moderately succeeds. Everything is a bit weird and there’s a lot of junk under the surface, but despite that, it can be quite endearing.

One of the reasons that I have kept an eye on it since its release, is the discourse online surrounding it as an enjoyable mess, a game that under all the issues and terrible voice acting, has a surprisingly solid core. After having played it, I can safely say that this is mostly accurate. When the combat all comes together, and you can get into the flow of countering and taking down rooms of enemies it can be extremely satisfying.

I honestly tried to love Wanted: Dead, in the end I couldn’t, but now I get why some people do.

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