wanted corps review
The life of a space mercenary is not an easy one in the least bit. For the most part, you are far away from home, lurking in the black gulfs of space, traveling from world to world, hunting for the universe’s most vile scum. You encounter hostile indigenous creatures, uncomfortable environments, and aliens ready to kill you on sight.
However, the big trade-off to this life is the cash. For every kill and capture, there is a bounty to be paid. If the bounty is good enough, it makes all the risks associated with it all the more worth it. This is the world of Wanted Corps, a twin-stick action shooter from French-base EKO Software. The game was recently released for the PlayStaiton Vita and Steam platforms. The game features non-stop action, with upgradeable weapons, a smart AI companion, and lots of bad guys to kill. How does it fare out?
Wanted Corps puts players on a campaign spanning eight missions to track down two highly dangerous intergalactic criminals. Two maximum security prisoners escape their cells, along with their massive gang. Fortunately, their ship is damaged in their egress and crashes on a recently abandoned forest planet that was once home to scientific research. It is up to Irena and Maddog to take these criminals down. Justice is not required, but money and lots of firepower are.
Maddog is the traditional shooting protagonist. With his assortment of weapons, Maddog will constantly be shooting at the bad guys. From a rail gun to a spreadshot laser crossbow to dueling laser pistols, Maddog is armed to the teeth and ready to deal with any situation. Irena, is a cyborg, using enhanced mechanical and cybernetic parts to project lighting and manipulate energy.
Players have the option to switch between either character at any given time. The unchosen character will stand to the side of the player and assist them at all times, depending on the engagement currently taking place. With the basics out of the way, the game becomes a solid action fest for anyone to play, though, by later missions, it can become frustratingly difficult.
Each mission brings hordes of enemies on-screen to face our heroes as they track down these dangerous fugitives. Cyborg gorillas and robot sentries dot the battlefield, along with indigenous wildlife. Everything will attempt to kill you, but you are armed to the teeth. Coupled with a solid control scheme, Wanted Corps has you blast through waves upon waves of bad guys, all for that sweet payday. Seeing you dish out punishing firepower and watching enemies fall is quite the sight.
Adding to the combat, players will have the option to either kill or capture most enemies. Capturing enemies yields the highest possible bounty and will keep your score chains up. Kills may give you a bounty, but also snap a chain. This is most prevalent with fugitives, primarily the cyborg gorillas that are part of a huge gang. Robotic enemies and indigenous wildlife can either be slain or captured without risking the cut of a score.
With different objectives in each mission, along with each mission lasting an average of 15 to 40 minutes, Wanted Corps has plenty of gameplay value. Even the presentation is quite solid, with the typical combat sound effects and graphical effects perfect for the experience.
Wanted Corps isn’t without some faults, though, and should be noted for those wanting to enter the danger. Wanted Corps has quite the difficulty spike, and may require players to replay a previous mission to gain enough currency to upgrade their team and proceed. The game does have the ability for players to upgrade their health, weapons, and attributes to make them more capable in the more intense missions in the game, but they are incredibly expensive. Wanted Corps is designed with repeat gameplay in mind to find missing archives and get higher scores. However, it can be repetitive and tedious to have to double back on missions.
The difficulty issues continue when one of your characters goes down. Players will have 30 seconds to successfully recover them, but most of the time, players are swarmed by bad guys, leaving recovery an impossible task. Should a character fall, they will be teleported back to the ship in an emergency. You can bring them back instantly, but it’ll cost you your heard-earned credits. Your best bet would be to head to the checkpoint portals and call back in your fallen comrade. Having both Irina and Maddog are ESSENTIAL to the completion of any mission in Wanted Corps. Completing with just one mercenary is absolutely impossible.
While the checkpoint system works well, it is misleading as you have to quit the game after the game over screen appears. If players choose “Start Over,” they will start from the very beginning of the level again. Ultimately, the difficulty could have been ironed out to be a bit more accessible.
Additionally, the game was originally released in 2011 to the PlayStation 3. It seems baffling that more was not added to the game as Wanted Corps finds itself being released to the PlayStation Vita and Steam platforms. The potential is there, but it is unused for some reason. I could have imagined Wanted Corps having an additional four planets worth of missions and change-ups in gameplay to keep the action fresh and inviting. Despite this, the game is under $10, so the value isn’t quite wasted.
Ultimately, Wanted Corps is a solid top-down asymmetrical combat game with interesting mechanics and flowing action. Those looking for a solid good time can check this out and leave satisfied, especially for Steam players looking to play with a friend. PS Vita players have it going as well. The game gives a very good impression on Sony’s handheld. Wanted Corps is a good action game that will satisfy those eager for a game that cuts to the chase.