In Metal Gear Solid 5, the iconic stealth sandbox game from Hideo Kojima, Stefanie Joosten plays Quiet, a mute sniper who accompanies Venom Snake on his missions across Afghanistan to destroy the giant, hulking Sahelanthropus. In Wanted: Dead however, the new sci-fi hack-and-slash, set to launch on Steam later in 2022, her character is much different – serving also as the game’s cutscene director, she tells PCGamesN, live at Gamescom 2022, that she wanted to play a character who represents the “polar opposite” of Quiet.
Taking inspiration from Bloodborne, Ninja Gaiden, and the John Wick movies, Wanted: Dead is a tough third-person action adventure with a steep difficulty curve and plenty of deaths. You have a skill tree to build, AI companions to help you out, and the whole thing is steeped in a distinctive future-meets-retro VHS aesthetic. It’s larger than life, with frenetic visuals and bold characters, but developer Soleil, the maker of Valkyrie Elysium, also wants to tell a serious detective story, set inside the murky underworld of Hong Kong.
Joosten plays Vivienne, a former TV chef (who even has her own YouTube channel – you can watch it now) turned Hong Kong police officer who joins central character Lt. Hannah Stone, and the rest of the Hong Kong police’s elite “Zombie Squad”, across a single week as they battle mercenaries, gang members, and sinister private militaries. Joosten says she was attracted to the game owing to Vivienne’s varied personality and interests.
“She ventured in a variety of career paths,” says Joosten, describing Vivienne, “one of them being a TV chef. It’s not her ideal career and eventually frustration grows high, so she joins the Hong Kong police force. The other characters are a little less chaotic, but with Vivienne, she’s more like the comic relief character. I drew a lot of inspiration from myself in real life. I have a lot of different interests, and I thought it would be good to play a character who does a lot of different things.”
It’s a far departure from Quiet, whose iconic look and style said more about her character than her personality or actions. After starring in one of the biggest games of the last ten years, Joosten says she was looking for a very different challenge.
“I feel like I wanted to really depart from that kind of character in this game,” she explains. “I obviously treasure having played Quiet, but I think it’s quite a polar opposite actually, and it’s fun to venture into new fields in this game. Underneath all the violence and chaos there’s actually a serious detective story going on. I think you’ll be pulled through by that seriousness as well.”
Described as Bayonetta meets Yakuza, but with zombies, Wanted: Dead is available now to wishlist on Steam. As we wait for its release, you might want to check out some of the other best zombie games, or perhaps the best action-adventure and best detective games on PC. PCGamesN is reporting live from Gamescom 2022 and will continue bringing you exclusives on all the biggest and most exciting games revealed there.