Release Date: 9/15/2009
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The Good: Amazing gritty art style, superb voice acting, great characters, involved story, fun gun play, a variety of events
The Bad: Repetitive after awhile, cramped environments, shallow sword play
WET is one of those gritty trying-to-be-bad-ass-but-doesn’t-concentrate-on-other-aspects type games. The feeling of the game is it’s the strongest point, and ironically, not the acrobatics that the game boasts about. The developers tried to nail the 70’s Quintin Tarintino/Wild West feeling and did it perfectly. Everything from buildings to clothing has a bad ass brown dirty scheme to it. There is even an old 70’s film reel filter over the screen that adds to the atmosphere. The music is also a big helper in this thanks to its classic indie feeling to it.
But the atmosphere isn’t anything if the game has bad game play and this game does not. What it does have is the unfinished game play that seems rushed. There is a lot of thought behind it, but it seemed quickly tossed together, but also is really shallow. The whole idea of the game play is based on slow motion combat. Yeah I know, we’ve seen this before in countless game (Max Payne started it all), but to be fair they add a little twist. Whenever your feet leave the ground and you start shooting you enter slow mo mode. In this mode, you have a red circle that auto locks onto an enemy then you aim your reticle at another. This was executed brilliantly so you don’t have to worry about aiming both weapons. You can go into slow mo when you slide on your shins, jump whichever way in the air, shoot from zip lines, poles, ledges; you name it.
Another addition to combat that really felt shallow was the sword play. A simple one, two, three combos and that’s it. There could have been so much more to this, but it seems the developers were more worried about atmosphere and style than actual game play. You can swipe out your sword from a slide, wall run, or dive, but little does this do in turn with guns.
Over the course of the game you get three additional weapons aside from your dual revolvers: Sawed off shotgun, explosive crossbow, and sub-machine guns. Each has their strengths and weaknesses, but overall they are not used as they should thank to sparse ammo and limited capacity. You can, however, upgrade all your weapons and buy more abilities via balance points, but you will not be able to buy everything through one play through simply due to the fact that points are given in too small of increments.
The is also very linear and acrobatics tend to take a slight tumble thanks to this. You can hang from ledges, jump gaps, swing on poles, and what seems, everything Lara Croft can do, but the somewhat cramped environments hamper this a tad. Some times you will wall run and jump over to a ledge only to find out you can’t hand from there. You will some times try to wall run and jump to a different wall only to find out you forgot to keep the L trigger held down during this transfer.
If you think acrobatics are a tad cramped try the arena events. These are what really break up the game too much. Most shooters have “arena areas” where you have a closed off area and must defeat all enemies to advance. WET takes a little turn and has you closing off spawn points before advancing. These seem simple at first, but later on, there are so many guys that concentrating on slow mo, acrobatics, and finding the right paths to these doors and get very frustrating and many restarts will incur.
Another addition to the game is Rage mode where Rubi will see in a red vision that kind of reminds me of Killer7 and is faster and stronger. Enemies are weaker and die faster, but there are more of them. Both arena modes and driving modes (explained below) apply in Rage mode. Rubi also gets to get her counter up faster (which I find useless) by scoring more points. The more style you use the more points you’ll get that will add to your multiplier.
There are a few other events like turret events, that are fun, and the driving events which are pretty awesome and epic. You ride on top of cars and shoot at enemies while jumping and diving around cars to avoid getting killed. This is both epic and fun thanks to its simplicity and cinematics.
One thing I have yet to mention is story and WET deliver strongly upon this. You play as Rubi Malone who is a hired mercenary/assassin that gets involved in the wrong deal between a father and a son. The voice acting is superb, but the graphics are a little technically under developed. While the art style is top notch the graphics aren’t up to par with the most recent next-gen games (Gears of War 2, Uncharted 2, Assassin’s Creed 2, BioShock 2…yeah all the twos!!!). However, the awesome art style makes you see past this so it’s not so bad.
WET is a great weekend rental and has fun gun play, and a few different events to keep things mixed up. With hot eye candy that is Rubi Malone, you will want to follow this sexy protagonist through the twists and turns that is WET.