Swarms of mini-robots continue their attacks as two enormous cyborg monkeys furiously charge onto the screen, while two bounty hunters try to evade a robed wizard’s constant onslaught of deadly purple energy balls. The powerful walking mech is closing in; its massive destructive power will hopefully ensure survival, but a giant green beast makes his appearance – this mission just hit brutal. Welcome to Wanted Corp.
Top-down shooters have been a favourite for many gamer’s for years on home consoles and PC. Known for their notoriously difficult gameplay that features enemy hordes and tons of firepower, Wanted Corp comes equipped with these standard features. While PC gamers have always had the preferred control option with keyboard and mouse, Move brings a similar control method to consoles, eclipsing the standard dual analogue console set up.
The storyline in Wanted Corp is fitting of the zaniest of those in the NES era of gaming. Two bounty hunters — the heavily armed MadDogg and his psychic-powered friend Irena Zimoy — have been sent to an alien planet to capture crazed monkey fugitives who’ve escaped a crashed ship. Decent graphics, annoying repetitive voice-overs and a story that’s near impossible to follow are also fitting of games from years past, but they definitely aren’t highlights in today’s gaming market. Thankfully, Zoo Games has a few tricks up its sleeves with Move in mind to help make the game worth a look.
Players can quickly swap between the two bounty hunters via the Triangle button for quick access to their two vastly different fighting styles. MadDogg offers the usual assortment of gunplay — machine gun, spread shot and grenades — while Irena’s arsenal is much more creative. Her basic lightning attack is a simple point and click affair, but she can also throw a disc that instantly traps foes, vibrantly glows to illuminate dark areas and use telekinesis to throw and move objects. Regardless of which bounty hunter you use, both are controlled with the Navi and aim with Move via an on-screen cursor, allowing for more speed and precision than the standard DualShock controls. Motion controls are creatively built into Irena’s arsenal by holding Square and quickly drawing symbols to quickly equip the desired psychic power. This creative approach to weapon selection perfectly fits Irena’s character, as well as being quick and efficient in the heat of battle. The mix of fighting styles not only gives multiple options to the player, but it truly makes you feel like one tough-as-nails ape-killin’ bounty hunter duo in the process.
This genre of shooters just begs to be played with a friend in co-op, and Wanted Corp delivers. In single player the game’s AI controls your partner and while the AI is adequate, it has its moments of idiocy too: allowing themselves to be pummelled by bosses and in situations that add new elements – turrets, mines, etc. – they seem to run headfirst into danger many times. Not only is this frustrating, it’s also costly as respawns are very expensive and can quickly drain the funds needed to upgrade the hunters’ weapons. Fighting it out with a friend along alleviates these issues and can be performed both locally and online. But if you don’t have a friend that owns the game, the online mode doesn’t include lobbies and after an hour of the game performing a random search for a co-op partner, the server never matched us up with anyone – possibly limiting many to single player only.
What sets the game apart from others is that you have the option to kill or capture fugitives. Random enemies can be blasted away at will and still continue a combo’s progression, but killing fugitives (i.e. robotic monkeys and wizards) will end the combo, reducing the amount of money made per kill. Using MadDogg’s cryo ammo with the Move button or shooting Irena’s disc power will freeze enemies and getting close to them and pressing the X button will instantly teleport them off to some unknown prison: continuing the combo and gaining a massive monetary increase compared to just killing off the fugitive. It’s a unique system that causes you to make spit second decisions, because when the enemy hordes build up to the extremes, failure to yield to one’s greed will find a quick end to their bounty hunting career.
Wanted Corp brings a unique top down shooter to PlayStation Move and trumps the PS3’s standard dual analogue controls that we’ve become accustomed to using in the process. While you’ll likely opt to turn off the annoying character voices and care less about the game’s story, capturing and blasting through the hordes of fugitives with the unique fighting styles each bounty hunter possesses is good fun indeed. Those who’ll be hunting fugitives alone might want to hunt somewhere else, but if you can scrounge up a co-op mate, then this bounty is worth pursuing.