WET (Xbox 360)

WET (Xbox 360 cover art)
May
14

WET in theory could be an amazing game - with it’s Tarantino-esque style and fighting techniques along with great voice acting from Eliza Dushku and Malcolm Macdowell it sounds like it can’t fail. It’s problem is in the way it becomes repetitive and predictable for most of the game.

The gimmick for this game is slow motion combat which is a “must-use” if you want to survive, especially on the more difficult settings (it's so hard when you don't use slow-mo that there's actually an achievement for getting 30 kills in this way). In using slow motion acrobatics during combat you build up style points so that you can purchase new moves and weapon improvements from the “upgrade shop” after arena combat and between chapters. The requirement for such moves is fun at first as you chain together different moves to get better style bonuses and to see how fantastically you can kill your enemies. After several chapters though it just feels like more of the same and the disruptions in the gameplay in the form of a car chase and falling from plane actually feel like welcome changes. It makes playing the game begin to feel more of a chore than fun. It’s true that games like Max Payne also have gimmicks in the form of “bullet time” but they do not rely on it in order for the character to progress - it’s just a tool you can use to help you.

The first chapter is the same as what you play in the demo, it is a chapter where you learn how to control Rubi (the main character portrayed by Eliza Dushku) and get an introduction to the style of gameplay and the general format for each chapter. If by the end of this review you’re still a little unsure then I do strongly recommend playing the demo, it rarely deviates from the format of level in that. There usually a lot of jumping around and sliding down zip-wires which is interrupted with at least one fight where your health won’t generate and enemies will keep respawning until you destroy a marker which will block the respawn point. Every now and then a chapter will also contain a race against the time (when you get introduced to a new weapon) or an Arena fight.

The premise for the story is that Rubi was initially hired by William Ackers son to retrieve a heart for his fathers transplant operation. A few years later Rubi is hired again, presumably by William Ackers, to bring his “son” back from Hong Kong. Alas, Rubi is framed and the old man is not who he claims to be and William Acker’s son is killed. This turns the rest of the game into a revenge mission.

The music for the game is actually quite good and fits in quite well with both the normal style of game play, and the “noir” style when Rubi enters the “beserker rage” mode. In beseker rage Rubi quite literally sees red as the entire level turns into solid colours of red, white, and black. The music tends to pick up the pace a little here and the action can be a little more intense, but is still fairly easy.

Looking back I don’t think the game was that bad, and I am glad I played it. The overall style of the game, and particularly it's noir-style sections were enjoyable as was the soundtrack. I think if they were to make a WET 2 they could certainly make enough improvements to make it a truly great game. For now though, WET is just a fun game you don’t have too think too much about when playing.

Rating: 3.5/5

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