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Wet Review

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Developer: A2M Publisher: Bethesda
Release Date: September 15, 2009 Available On: PS3 and Xbox 360

Like any other lover of violence, gore and grainy film sequences, I am a Tarantino fan. The humor, the plot, even the bodies have more twists than a M. Night Shyamalan film, and for me, that makes a good experience. What Artificial Mind and Movement and Bethesda have created does a decent job of depicting the feel of the Grindhouse genre, and actually makes for a really fun experience.

Rubi Malone is a “fixer”. She cleans up messes, by making messes of a different, bloodier sort. Be it with a katana that never seems to lose it’s edge, no matter how many generic baddies you slice up, or with your modified pistols that can score instant one hit kills. Slaughtering 20-30 enemies at a time is not only fun, it is also satisfying. The goal is to be both quick and accurate in order to build up enough of a multiplier to make it easier to kill more bad guys. It sounds simple but it is really one of the main keys to your survival in this gritty third-person blood romp.

The style changes up enough to keep the gameplay feeling fresh, but not so much to make you want to play through repeated times. There are collectibles, cutscenes that you’re able to control (such as skydiving from an exploding plane), increased difficulties as well as a mode where Rubi has all of her weapons and abilities, and different time trials at your desert hideout to hone your craft. While the game is a decent length, and has a good number of options, the lack of multi-player impacts the value of the game dramatically. Which is surprising, given the style and fluidity of the gameplay begs for some form of adversarial action.

While WET sticks to a generic control scheme, it works well for the third person hack/slash style. While more varied and interactive execution animations, such as using the analog stick for the katana’s slices, will be desired by average and hardcore gamers alike, the gratuitous gore expelling from henchman after henchman from a single button press is quite satisfying. The 360 degree camera while diving gives a nice feeling of freedom as opposed to the usual “jump and hope” camera view used in most third person shooters. Aiming really isn’t an issue, as you have unlimited ammo and seemingly never have to reload, although if your timing is right you can hit numerous headshots and groin shots, thus increasing your score and multiplier.

Personally, I like the skill required to time (and slightly aim) to hit the vital spots, but some will prefer the personal touch of precisely aiming and executing their foes. The main aspect that I found unnecessary, and in need of improvement, was the use of God of War styled timed button presses on cutscenes such as the chase through traffic, where Rubi jumps from car to car, shooting and slicing her way to her prey. Actually controlling such actions would have been genre crushing, and would have been a simple touch that could send this title above and beyond any of it’s kind.

I like a good laugh or two in games as much as anyone and WET doesn’t disappoint in that department. The dialogue is creative and, while corny, has that Tarantino edge to it. The voice talent of Malcom McDowell and Eliza Dushku grace the two stars of the game: Mr. Eckers (McDowell) is the main “bad guy” and the beautiful Eliza Dushku as the devastatingly sexy protagonist, Rubi. The lines for these characters are well written, but that is about the extent of it, as most of the other characters are pretty run of the mill baddies with “I hate the world and I want money” attitudes.

WET’s graphics are nothing to really make note of. The character modeling is very well done, and the environment’s aesthetics are well detailed. While less linear paths through the buildings and city streets would have been appreciated, the space they give you to run around and slay the bad guys during the “fight for your life” sequences (which require you to activate switches to open doors that advance the story) is pretty well thought out and designed. My personal favorite area of the game, graphics wise, is Rage Mode. This occurs after Rubi is splashed with blood and must get through a three-colored (red, white and black) level with simplified controls and a much more powerful Rubi. Enemies are black and white and Rubi is all black (not much detail except for the silhouette) and the environment is all red and black, which after a second of getting used to, is very pleasing to the eye. The simplicity, combined with the swing-style music and brutally overpowered Rubi, gives the player an omnipotent feeling unmatched by most games in the genre.

Overall, WET is a pretty good experience. At the time of writing this review, the going rate for WET is around thirty bucks, which is totally worth it. The original $60 price tag was a bit sketchy unless you are a die-hard fan of this particular type of game. The only huge negatives that I can pull from the game is the lack of multiplayer, and any sense of deep character development, which isn’t a huge deal considering the point of the game is to kill, kill and kill some more. I’m just a stickler for getting involved with the characters. The name WET is a derivative of “Wetworks”, which foreshadows lots and lots of bloodshed. Have you ever known Bethesda to disappoint? Didn’t think so.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 9
Creativity: 8.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 8.4 out of 10
Written by Evan Wilson Write a User Review