The Wanted Dead reviews are in, and despite it’s PS2-style graphics and hack and slash RPG combat, Soleil’s neon-bathed Hong Kong is plagued by errors and simply isn’t long enough to keep players intrigued.
Wanted: Dead’s story isn’t dissimilar to that of Square Enix’s Forspoken. Gorgeous graphics? Check. A beautiful setting? Check. Horrible reviews and awful performance? Check, unfortunately.
Coming in with a resoundingly mediocre 60 on Metacritic (on PC, of course, we’re PCGamesN after all), reviews complain that it’s a janky mess that perhaps plays exactly like a PS2 game instead of simply just mimicking that nostalgia.
On Steam, the situation doesn’t look much better. In the amber with ‘mixed reviews’, some players have described the game as “magnificently mediocre” while claiming there’s “very little to see.” Others, however, call it “a fine title for connoisseurs and old school game enjoyers,” and that “it’s a combination of shooter and slasher I’ve always dreamed of.”
In the Steam discussion forum, players have also stated that the game is only five missions long, which seems very, very short given the hefty price point ($59.99 / £49.99).
All of this is a little disappointing. Having played a snippet of the game at Gamescom last year, I fell in love with its neon aesthetic, screeching zombies, and seemingly fluid, ever-evolving combat. For me, Wanted: Dead was the sleeper hit of 2023 – made better by Metal Gear Solid alumni Stefanie Joosten’s involvement.
While she told PCGamesN that she really wanted to stray away from the silent and sultry sniper character that she’s so well known for, it looks like she should have stuck to what she knew. Reviews have called the dialogue “cringy,” and given the bizarre in-game cooking show, a part of me has to agree.
I’m yet to play the game, and given that it’s aesthetically right up my alley, I probably still will. The torrents of bad reviews have more than dampened the hype, though, so maybe I’ll just go back to that FFXIV Valentine’s quest I raved about.
If the reviews have encouraged you to give Wanted Dead a pass, we have a list of some of the best games like Dark Souls if you’re looking for another soulslike. We also have a list of the best cyberpunk games, too, if that glowing futuristic aesthetic is up your alley.