|System: X360, PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: A2M||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Bethesda Softworks||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 15, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Adam Brown
June 15, 2009 - Wet is a game that almost didnt come to be. While it has been in development for awhile now, the merger between Activision and Vivendi temporarily left this title out in the cold without a publisher. Thankfully, Bethesda swooped in and ensured that wed finally have a chance to play this highly stylized acrobatic shooter. Much like a newborn baby, Wets new parents were ecstatic to show it off at this years E3.
The first thing I noticed when I sat down to play through Wets demo was its interesting visual style. Clearly taking some inspiration from the recent Grindhouse films, Wet maintains a partially seventies styled look to it. The games characters fit into this theme as well with open-topped shirts, big collars, and gaudy medallions making up the majority of these characters fashion choices. Tying together the whole Grindhouse feel is a grainy filter that somehow makes everything seem that much more authentic but can also be turned off just in case you want a completely clear view of the action.
Speaking of action, ridiculously over-the-top and stylized action is exactly what Wet is attempting to provide as soon as you are put in control of the games main character Rubi. Rubis backstory is still a bit of a mystery, but for the purposes of this demo, and perhaps the entire game, it is enough to know that she is very skilled at combat and not a woman with whom to trifle. Starting off with a basic tutorial of how to do some of the more basic maneuvers, the game quickly rolls out a host of stylistic and useful abilities. Youll be able to easily dual wield firearms, run up short walls, hack enemies to pieces with a sword, back flip off walls, slide down zip lines, and swing from poles just to name a few.
Some of my favorite abilities from the demo include ladder and knee sliding as well as the dual wielding mechanic. At one point in the demo, I was told to dispatch with some enemies at the bottom of a ladder, which actually turned out to be more interesting than I had expected. Once Rubi got on the ladder, she wrapped her legs around it, turned upside down, and then I took out my foes as I slowly slid to the bottom. Knee slides are equally as visually appealing and fun but are much more useful, as they can be performed at any time with the press of a button. Whether you need to slide underneath a low-lying object to proceed, or just want to look like a rock star while shooting your adversaries, this maneuver is quite handy.
Surprisingly, dual wielding weapons also manages to work really well in Wet. Instead of just aiming both guns in one spot or making shooting multiple targets a chore, the game has found a happy medium. When you leap in the air and the game shifts into slow motion, one of your firearms will automatically aim at the most logical enemy while you are still able to free aim with the other reticule using the right stick. This allows you to take out multiple enemies with ease or just riddle the auto locked on target with both guns bullets. Once you dispatch with the locked on target the game will automatically move onto the next best target as well. This worked rather well and I cant wait to try it out with some of the games larger weapons, as we only had a chance to roam around with dual pistols.
The key to unlocking more abilities and upgrading existing ones in Wet comes down to how good you are taking down baddies quickly and stylistically. There is a score multiplier present that continues to grow as you quickly kill enemies, netting you even more points if you happened to be sliding, flipping, or shooting them in the head. We werent able to see any of the upgrades and skills that will be available for upgrading or unlocking, but it definitely seemed like an intriguing concept.
Besides the fairly straightforward intro level I had a chance to check out, two other action-filled sequences. The first was referred to as rage mode, which had Rubi getting blood splashed on her face to kick it off. After sneering at the camera in anger, Rubis world suddenly turns into a reversed version of Sin City. Instead of everything being muted and red blood drawing your attention the environment turns red, the characters look like silhouettes, and the inevitable and abundant blood splatter and spray is a bright white. In this mode, Rubi is also much quicker, stronger, and heals more quickly, so youll definitely get a chance to appreciate this appealing color scheme change while taking down hordes of enemies.
The other sequence can best be described as a playable version of the second Matrix films highway scene. Here, Rubi is essentially car surfing while trying to catch up to her target. Carloads of foes will frequently appear and attempt to shoot you but, luckily, you will be constantly on the move and firing back. While taking aim at your adversaries, youll also need to pay attention to the bottom of the screen, as quick time event like button prompts will appear that you need to press so you dont end up eating highway. It is hard to describe just how over-the-top this segment was, but you can expect many leaps from car to car, some running along the sides of semi-trucks, and a few narrow escapes from cars that are flipping end over end down the highway.
The time I got to spend with Wet was certainly enjoyable, and I cant wait to get my hands on a retail copy. The stylized action actually reminded me more than a little of Stranglehold, but if you didnt like that one dont let this comment deter you as Wet seemed to have much more variety in its gameplay. So, if you liked Stranglehold or are just looking for some over-the-top action this fall, you should definitely keep your eyes on Wet.
CCC Staff Contributor