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Wanted: Dead Review

Wanted: Dead

Developer: Soleil Ltd
Publisher: 110 Industries
Platforms: Xbox Series XPlayStation 5, PlayStation 4PC (Reviewed)
Release Date: 14 Feb 2023
Price: $59.99 USD – Available Here $99.95 AUD – Available Here


There is something in video games that I like to call “treats”. I’ll explain. It is usually a gameplay mechanic or a gimmick that’s not overused but it always brings a smile to your face whenever you trigger it. Could be a fatality in Mortal Combat, activating a ghost stance in Ghost of Tsushima, triggering a slow-mo in Killing Floor 2, and so on…

What I have here is a game called Wanted: Dead and one of those treats are executions and takedowns that happen quite often, yet you’ll never get bored of them. Why is that? The game boasts over 50 different finishing moves that took over 100 hours of motion capture. They can also be a lifesaver depending on when you use them but more on that later. Let’s go through Wanted: Dead one step at a time.


You get to play as Lieutenant Hanna Stone, a hard-boiled Hong Kong cop, slashing her way through enemies with a trusty katana, a pistol, and an assault rifle. What, it’s all standard equipment for your average police officer in Hong Kong. She is also a member of the Zombie Unit, an elite Hong Kong police squad on a mission to uncover a major corporate conspiracy. Get ready to plow through a small army of mercenaries, synthetic humanoids, ninjas, and challenging bosses.


As I said, the takedown mechanic is a key part of the game but there is a lot more under the hood. Hannah is a master of weapons and blades and you need to use both efficiently in order to get from one section of the level to another. Notice the bolded part? Yeah, not the levels alone, but merely making it alive from one section of the level is an accomplishment in itself. Calling this a challenging game is an understatement. The enemies have strength in numbers and they’re often anything but easy to kill (wait til you get to the ninjas). Some use weapons, some melee attacks so you have to constantly be on the run sprinting from one enemy to another. You have to use everything at your disposal and I do mean everything.

Imagine a section where you’re surrounded by around 30 enemies at the start and half of them are wielding assault rifles. Being behind the cover won’t get you far (they’re not dumb so you’ll be spammed by their grenades in no time) so to successfully clear a section you have to deploy a mix of shooting, slashing, sprinting, evading, shortly hiding behind cover and doing takedown. Sounds easy? You can bet it’s anything but easy. As I said before, takedowns also have a life-saving mechanic. At first, you’re limited to 3 health packs per level (and one free revive per checkpoint) but executing takedown strategically will restore some health back every once in a while.

There is also a decent level of gun customization where various parts of your pistol and assault rifles influence the stats such as stopping power, damage, accuracy, and range. Also, in case you want to take a break from all that murdering, after every level you can freely explore your police station that’s filled with minigames. Have fun with a claw machine where you can win figurines of your characters, you can even competitively eat ramen against someone, do some karaoke, test your skills at a shooting range, and turn over every rock in the building looking for collectibles.


With such a fast-paced game, one should expect above average level of smoothness and optimization. And it is there. The visuals are astounding, and the lighting is great but the most important thing is how everything runs so smoothly and without a hitch, while you’re pushing the katana from one belly to the other. The character models in general are something that takes time to get used to. Hannah has that animesque look, while the other members of the team are bordering on caricatures with their outfits.


Another thing that won’t click with you at first is the voice acting. On the surface, it feels subpar and like the voice actors were that day in the studio merely to collect a paycheck. Once you dig more into it, you realize that the voice acting is meant to be B-Movie style. It’s a throwback game to Gamecube, original Xbox, and PS2-era gaming where less money was spent on getting big-name voice actors to do the lines. For those of you that played Deadly Premonition, you’ll know what I’m talking about.


Wanted: Dead is a tough nut to crack. The initial skills you unlock are just enough to barely get you through the first level. What will help you more than them is mastering the gameplay, strategically executing takedowns and constantly scanning the rooms looking for safe spots and isolated enemies that you can safely turn into minced meat. It is challenging without being unfair, with purposely bad voice acting that turns into entertaining and a cyberpunk aesthetic done right. In short, a game that’s definitely worth your time.

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here


Wanted: Dead is a sneaky love letter to the PS2 & OG Xbox era of gaming. It's tough as nails, charming, and addictive as hell. What more could you ask for?
Admir Brkic
Admir Brkic
I play video games from time to time and sometimes they manage to elicit a reaction from me that I can't help but to write about them.
<em>Wanted: Dead</em> is a sneaky love letter to the PS2 & OG Xbox era of gaming. It's tough as nails, charming, and addictive as hell. What more could you ask for?Wanted: Dead Review