Category: Action Games
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Number of Players: 1
Required Hard Disk Space: At Least 10MB
Supported HD Output: 720p
While at E3 in Los Angeles this year a couple of us had a chance to head over to the Bethesda booth and check out WET. The stylish looking game showed some serious promise as the blending of gunplay, sword kills, and acrobatics certainly heightened my interest. A few months later, WET has arrived in stores and we were fortunate enough to give the PS3 version of the game a spin. Well, after some extended playtime with WET I have to say I am a little mixed. WET certainly has some moments, but at the end of the day the game never really lived up to the expectations I had at E3.
The visuals in WET are much better than I expected. That being said, the game, like fine wine, is an acquired taste. Its’ grainy and raw look can take some getting used to; not to mention WET has a very unique look which is clearly aimed at the more mature gamer. The best way I can describe WET is that it looks and feels very much like a B-Movie rated movie, or better yet a Tarantino film. Playing it is like watching a movie on an old film reel. It is delivered in such a manner it is inevitably remind you of the movie "Grindhouse". If you are not a fan of Tarantino films, WET will likely appear dated and underwhelming. Yet for those that enjoy those twisted Tarantino films, you will like the look of the game and the way the game is delivered, just as I did.
In terms of the games characters, WET also scores high marks. The main character Rubi looks fantastic and I was impressed with the level of detail that went into her design. She has a sexy look about her and pulls off acrobatic kills in a Laura Croft type manner. The enemies on the other hand look decent during the game’s cut-scenes but once you make the transition to in-game play they can appear bland. Not mention they look awfully similar to one another.
The game’s environments are also very appealing. Staying with the Tarantino-esque look and grainy cinematics, WET features a wide variety of landscapes set in London, Texas, and Hong Kong. Overall, you get a lot of detail in each of the levels which feature many destructible objects. WET also includes some highway chase sequences that are visually stunning and appear to have been inspired by the highway chase scene in "Matrix Re-loaded".
As far as glitches and framerate issues, I didn't notice many. Loading
screens are minimal and there was only some minor slowdown when the action becomes intense, but these are few and far between. WET is smooth running game. My only concern for the 'tech heads' out there is the question of why the game runs in 720p? This is just not acceptable at this stage in the game in my view.
At the end of the day WET's presentation is arguably the best selling feature of the game despite some of the game scenes which leave you scratching your head at times. For instance, whenever Rubi drinks a bottle of health, the game goes into a brief cut-scene where she takes a swig of the bottle, throws in up in the air and shoots it. It is cool at first but does get old in a hurry. There are some other questionable in-game cut-scenes scattered throughout the game which could have been deleted in the editing room, but despite some of these oddities I quite enjoyed the overall look and presentation of game.
In keeping with WET's mature rating, the game features some pretty lewd comments and lots of f-bombs. Some of the lewd sexual references can be entertaining but parents need to keep the kids out of the room when playing this one. The dialogue and voice acting itself is nicely done as the characters speak clearly and the story telling is decent, albeit cheesy. Some of those lewd one-liners get repetitive as your progress deeper into the game, but overall it does not hinder the experience. I should also mention at times the dialogue was out of synch with the movements of the lips. Again, it is not a major issue but more of a small annoyance.
The games soundtrack is perfectly suited for the game. The music has a retro 70's sound perfectly tailored for the game as those twangy guitars and fast paced beats create the perfect atmosphere. Again, it is very Tarantino-esque the way the games tracks are laid out and the way the music keeps the game energized.
As for the rest of the in-game sound effects, WET is decent but nothing incredibly innovative. Such sound as guns blasting, crates exploding, and enemies getting sliced up like Swiss cheese sound as they do in nearly every other action game I have played to date. Don't get me wrong they sound good in 5.1 surround sound but it is just nothing we have not heard before.
As far as the story is concerned, you play as the sexy Rubi Malone. In many ways she is an 18A rated version of Lara Croft and that chick from Mirror's Edge. She is a gun for hire who agrees to fix a wealthy man's problem by finding and bringing back his wayward son. She goes into the job anticipating that it is going to be quick and easy; but it does not take long until she realizes it is much more complicated than expected. The man who hired her eventually betrays her and Rubi embarks on a bloody adventure of revenge. The story takes you from the streets of Hong Kong to the desert terrains of Texas as Rubi destroys nearly everything in her wake. As you progress along in the game Rubi manages to single handily murder what amounts to the population of a small country. To say that Rubi does some killing in this game is an understatement. All in all it is not a bad storyline but it isn't Pulp Fiction either. It lacks the originality of a Tarantino film, but WET does what it sets out to do and the storyline did manage to keep my interest for more than a few levels.
WET mirror's many games we have played over the years. It takes some concepts and ideas from several games and melds it into one. WET has slo-mo elements from Max Payne and Stranglehold; acrobatic elements from Tomb Raider and Prince of Persia; and even has elements from Mirrors Edge like the way certain areas turn red directing Rubi in essentially the right direction. This third person shooter does work and a couple of hours into the game you will find yourself highly entertained. Yet after those initial positive first impressions, WET becomes dull and at times a very frustrating experience.
When playing WET's single player experience, Rubi carries twin pistols (revolvers) and a sword. The amount of weaponry in the game is limited but you can eventually upgrade to a machine gun or shotty. When proceeding through the many levels, Rubi can slide on her knees, run on walls, take giant leaps, or pull off acrobatic swings from poles. During the acrobatic actions the game enters slow motion whenever Rubi fires her weapon. She will also automatically aim at a second enemy, allowing her to shoot at two enemies at once. She can also combine her attacks, such as wall running off a person, or performing a sword uppercut while sliding. The death count is high in WET and you are rewarded for your killing. Racking up kills and collecting multiplier icons scattered throughout not only increases your score but also the rate at which Rubi regenerates health.
One of my biggest issues with WET is the fact the game relies too heavily on acrobatic stunts and those dreaded sequential button presses. The game also goes a little overboard on those slo-mo bullet time sequences. Bullet time in WET is fun the first couple of hours but eventually it becomes tedious. It is accomplished whenever you pull the trigger when running on walls, leaping in the air or sliding on your knees. Unlike many of other games of this ilk, WET features no gauge for your bullet time. The amount of times you can go into the bullet time mode and blast enemies is endless. You can literally slide around on your knees throughout the majority of the game picking off enemies one by one. It is almost as if you are cheating in way as you become nearly invincible during these sequences. WET does force you to the master bullet time though as attempting to take everyone out without using it will lead to your demise. In real time the game is a steep challenge and surviving is difficult.
Killing is not entirely the name of the game in WET, as it does offer up some challenges where you can get weapon upgrades as well as get the ability to upgrade Rubi's attributes. Completing an obstacle course and mowing down targets with a chain gun are just a couple examples of the types of other things you can do. There are also motorway sections that feature shooting integrated with quick time events (QTEs). I am not a big fan of the QTEs; however they are visually stunning to watch. For those who are a little unfamiliar with the PS3 controller this aspect of the game will be a bugger.
Another twist to the game, and one of the more original aspects which I really enjoyed, is that in some sections of the game Rubi's face gets covered in blood and she goes into a murderous rage. These sequences are presented in black and white with bold red visuals. In these instances Rubi's attacks become faster and stronger as she kills chains of enemies. Killing chains also extends her psychotic fury.
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