WET Review

Developer: Artificial Mind and Movement
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
CONTACT FROM WHICH GAME WAS RECEIVED: Angela Ramsey from Bethesda Softworks
Released: September 15th, 2009
Platforms: Playstation 3 and XBOX 360
Players: 1
Genre: Third person shooter / action
Rating: Mature for Blood, Violence, Gore, Drug Reference

WET E3 '09 Trailer


It’s a Grindhouse style movie in a video game body, it’s Bethesda Softworks’ newest darling WET. You play Rubi Malone, voiced by actress Eliza Dushku, a gritty gal with no problem toting a gun or two (or twelve). She even makes quick work of foes with her sword. WET is your everyday “prepackaged” vengeance story.

There are bad guys and there is Rubi, and she is the one who takes matters into her own hands. Without much of a story, WET moves forward off the excitement of powering up weapons and abilities, not what Rubi has in store for her enemies.

From Bethesda Softworks:

“When Rubi Malone, a gun-fpr-hire, agrees to fix a wealthy man’s problem by finding and bringing back his wayward son, she thinks it’s all going to be cut and dry. She thought wrong. The job turns out to be more complicated then expected and the man who hired her isn’t as he appears to be. On the run and looking for the man who betrayed her, Rubi is leaving a massive body count in her wake.”

SOUNDS ABOUT RIGHT. That plot is just like any other revenge game or movie you have experienced. The story is thin so it doesn’t get in the way. And I like that, for the most part. Sometimes, missions and the twists are so outlandish that you have to realize that it is best served to play the game with the sound on mute so you don’t get lost in the tale.

A third-person shooter with a twist. Think a blend of John Woo’s Stranglehold and Prince of Persia, minus the things that make those games good. Mixing in some quick time events, WET is a blend of many current popular video game trends. Not trashing WET, but its does neither of its two main gameplay features well.

Plus there is just not enough variety. Slash...shoot...slash slash slash...shoot. There is the occasional turret that breaks up the repetition, but with the levels being linear as well, the game feels to preconceived.

At the end of each stage of play, the player will receive a grade based on three different factors: Completion Time, Acrobatics and Average Multiplier. Based on performance in these areas, Style Points will be given, allowing the purchase of upgrades to both Rubi and her weapons. Different upgrades include additional health blocks for Rubi, as well as increased firing rate and damage for the pistols, shotguns, SMGs, and crossbows.

First is the shooting and swordplay element. The sound of a gun firing repeatedly made my girlfriend mute the TV. It just got to be too much. It didn’t help that each enemy was made of titanium and took a good five seconds of continuous fire to down.

Then there is the jumping/climbing and quick time element to the game. It’s a mix of a puzzle and timed jumping sequences. The game almost forced you to jump around like a fish to make it fun, which is fine except that the jumping mechanics were clunky. You can be trying to run and jump, but you will bump into the wall and flip around and fall to your death. Frustrating, to say the least. The quick time events are simple, but with now level checkpoints, miss one and prepare to start the whole level over. That goes the same for dieing. Its hard to “die,” but on higher difficulties, some hours will be lost trying to get further.

One cool level was the plane level. Without giving away any of the story, Rubi has to make her way back to earth after a plane explodes in mid air. Working through the shrapnel to get to the parachute is quite enjoyable.

The arena, or "a whole lotta guys coming to get you" battles are fun as well. You have to stave off foes while trying to close the doors in which they are coming out of. With multipliers hidden around the room, this is a good time to rack up those points for use toward powerups and abilities.

The graphics are ok, nothing flashy but function to show the true grit and grime of this title. Blood spurting out of body parts is over exaggerated but I’m sure that’s just part of the style of this genre. I think that the use of cell shading during what I termed “Rubi freaking the hell out” levels is a great visual. The white blood against an all red background is a cool site and breaks of the black and brown of each level.

Staying with the grindhouse and old school movie theater feel are funny and well placed “refreshment” and other cheesy old-time movie trailers straight from that awkward time before the previews of a movie.

This one is simple, there is none. Unless you like to unlock and find stuff, and not many people do, there isn’t anything here. No multiplayer, which is good because sometimes developers throw in multiplayer as a lure. WET doesn’t lend itself to online play and I am glad that memo was circulated within Bethesda.

Collecting monkeys and upgrading weapons is fun and all, but you don’t need the trophies or achievements do you?

The story is decently long enough to justify owning this one. But my final word on WET is… RENT IT if you liked Stranglehold… if not borrow it from a friend.