Wanted: Dead – 13 Details You Need To Know

Soleil's hack-and-slash shooter is out on February 14th for Xbox, PlayStation and PC. Here's what you should know before playing.

Posted By | On 18th, Jan. 2023

Wanted: Dead – 13 Details You Need To Know

Of all the big games releasing in February, or Q1 2023, 110 Industries’ Wanted: Dead is probably the strangest. Developed by Soleil, it’s described as a “triple A” love letter to sixth-generation consoles, so the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Dreamcast and GameCube. For all its linear action game trappings, plenty of interesting things are going on with the gameplay. That’s not even taking into account all the FMVs, anime scenes, and cat shots.

Wanted: Dead is out on February 14th for Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, and PC. Here are 13 things you should know before diving into its particular brand of hack-and-slash combat.

Story

Set in a futuristic, dystopian version of Hong Kong, players control Lt. Hannah Stone, part of the police’s elite Zombie Unit. The story follows a week in their lives as they fight mercenaries, PMCs and other foes while investigating a corporate conspiracy. While there’s plenty of shooting, slashing and blowing things up, the squad’s downtime and interactions are showcased in various ways.

Cyberpunk Setting

wanted dead

Despite how straightforward it sounds, Wanted: Dead is apparently pretty heavy on the story. Its version of Hong Kong features a wide variety of NPCs and bosses while the cyberpunk setting takes cues from anime like Cyber City Oedo 808 and Dominion Tank Police. Of course, like those anime, Wanted: Dead features some goofiness to go with all the lo-tech retro-futuristic mayhem.

Combat

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Soleil comprises former Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden developers, so seeing Wanted: Dead embrace a more hack-and-slash-heavy gameplay loop isn’t surprising. It’s way more grounded, though – no grappling hooks, wall-running or double-jumping (at least not in the beginning, judging from the initial gameplay). Along with slicing enemies and dismembering them in a gory fashion, Hannah can also block attacks, parry, dash and perform counters.

Third-Person Shooting

wanted dead

However, what truly makes Wanted: Dead stand out from the developer’s previous efforts is the shooting. Along with equipping a handgun, Hannah can also use rifles, grenade launchers, light machine guns, shotguns and sub-machine guns as primary weapons. So if you want to attack an enemy, and then back off and pepper them with machine gun fire, go ahead. It’s probably not the best idea with multiple threats, but you can quickly fire handgun shots after melee strikes, and take cover.

But make no mistake – it’s recommended to mix melee and long-ranged weapons to succeed. Some bosses will mercilessly rush with melee weapons, and close-quarters combat is the only option. Knowing what to use and when is the key to success.

Melee Weapons

wanted dead

For as much variety as the guns seem to offer, there haven’t been many details on the melee weapons. Hannah’s katana has been heavily featured, but there was a quick shot of her using a sledgehammer for a finisher. The Xbox Achievements also indicate that players will wield a chainsaw, though whether this is a special weapon that runs out with use or an equippable time remains to be seen.

Weapon Customization

Wanted Dead - Weapon Customization

While you can pick up weapons and ammo from enemies, including secondary weapons that could impact your chances of survival, firearms are also customizable. For example, Stone’s Rifle, which Hannah has from the start, can have its sight, stock, magazine, and barrel modified in different ways, affecting the recoil, accuracy, magazine capacity, reload speed, and more.

The Taker sidearm is also customizable, with options to change out the rear sight, barrel, and grip to affect various stats. It’s important for parries and setting up different finishers while also serving as a backup when your primary and secondary weapons run out of ammo.

You can also modify guns with different skins like Dark Camo, Jungle Camo and more. How you unlock more skins remains to be seen, but it does add some nice flair to your arsenal.

Finishers

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What would a hard-boiled cyberpunk story be without brutal combat and finishers? There are over 50 finishers available, from tackling an enemy and shooting them in the head to executing an armbar takedown and, well, shooting them in the head. There’s also plenty of chest stabbing and throat-slitting. In short, while the gore doesn’t go super over-the-top, it’s still pretty visceral.

Skills

Upon taking down enemies, Hannah will earn Skill Points, which function like experience points. These are spent on unlocking skills from three Skill Trees – Offense, Defense and Utility. Offense skills include Bullet Time, where pressing both analog sticks when the Adrenaline Gauge is full, will fire “powerful shots” at surrounding enemies. There’s also Dash Attack, where attacking while sprinting forward executes a flying knee, and Charge Attack which unleashes a stronger attack when charging the melee attack button. While Defense and Utility trees weren’t extensively detailed, an Extended Dodge and Grenades are some of their starting skills.

Mini-Games

Wanted Dead - Space Runaway

When you’re not taking down criminals, there are some mini-games to help pass the time. These include a rhythm game, karaoke, a crane game and Space Runaway, a side-scrolling shmup. Space Runaway is the star, with seven levels, each with a boss, and unique chiptune music. It’s even available as a free standalone title until Wanted: Dead’s release.

System Requirements

PC players won’t encounter the heaviest system requirements but Wanted: Dead can be demanding in other ways. At a minimum, you’ll need an Intel Core i5 2500K with 8 GB RAM and a GeForce GTX 1060. The recommended requirements include an Intel Core i7 2700K, 16 GB RAM and an RTX 2060. PC-exclusive features have yet to be outlined; however, you’ll need 50 GB of space for installation.

HDR10 and 60 FPS Support on Xbox Series X/S

Wanted Dead

The resolution that the Xbox Series X/S and PS5 versions will target has yet to be confirmed. However, the Xbox Store listing at least confirms 60 frames per second support. HDR10 and Spatial Sound are also supported, which should provide increased immersion.

Playtime

Developer Soleil has worked on several releases with a wide range of playtimes. Regarding Wanted: Dead, Sergei Kolobashkin, founder and creative director of 110 Industries, told us it’s not a “short game by any means” but also “We made sure that it never drags through the story or combat.” The hours required to beat the story and collect everything weren’t specified. However, he assured that it would “take a few committed evening sessions to beat if you’re not rushing.”

No Multiplayer

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In case there was any doubt from all the single-player footage and heavy story focus, there is no multiplayer, be it co-op or competitive PvP. Kolobashkin also said the team isn’t exploring any multiplayer for Wanted: Dead currently. This is fine, but those who think the combat looks sick and hoped for some kind of online support should take note.


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