WET review
Robert Rodriguez would be proud


To improve a concept, give it an arsenal of guns. It worked for Fallout 3, didn't it?

Wet is one of those games that, on the surface, looks like a cheap game with nothing worth noting, aside from grainy visuals and repetitive gameplay. Then you actually play it, and what you get in the end, is a game that's fun to go through the first few times before leaving it on your shelf to collect dust. It lives and breathes grindhouse, meaning gritty fun and ultra-violence... okay, Wet isn't all that violent, since you aren't seeing limbs constantly fly off and heads explode like fireworks on the 4th of July, though it's got that grainy look, and there's a lot of low brow humor to be found, as well as intentionally poorly written dialogue to have a bit of a laugh at with your friends while drinking a few beers each. Really, Wet is just a lot of fun...

Rubi, gun for hire, is told to get a briefcase from some gangster from Chinatown, which contains something that'll be of help to the person who requested it (for a hefty sum, of course), but to get there, she must go through gangs upon gangs of henchmen. Eventually, she gets double crossed and must dish out some revenge. How? By going through more henchmen than people on the respective continents that this revenge quest takes place. Like any grindhouse film, the story isn't emphasized much. The concept is fine, if overdone in action films, but hey, at least it isn't terrible, so no harm done there.

Honestly, I'm glad Rubi isn't some helpless woman with giant knockers; she's a rough, tough, trash talking woman who does anything to get the job done. The only other female protagonists I can think of who aren't just a helpless pair of boobs with legs are Jade from Beyond Good And Evil, and Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII, and that's pretty pathetic when you think about it. The other characters aren't much to talk about, because you don't spend much time with them, except in some cutscenes when they either help or hinder Rubi, and they manage to play their parts well enough, though not enough for their own paragraphs.

Through and through, Wet is a third person shooter with platforming segments. In each level, you'll need to run through a bunch of corridors/side streets/back alleys/anything with thin passages, and on occasion, partake in either a shootout, or some Prince Of Persia inspired platforming via scaling walls, jumping across large chasms and jumping from grabbable ledge to grabbable ledge. At times, you'll be in a big, wide area full of guys to shoot. There isn't much to do, but then again, there wasn't much to do in Prince Of Persia, and that's a well loved series, so what's wrong with Wet doing the same thing with some shoot em up action?

In fact, this game feels more like Prince Of Persia with guns, much like how Fallout 3 is The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion with guns, though Prince Of Persia's platforming is a lot more refined than Wet's. See, Wet has a few instances where you'll need to run across a wall, and then jump at a specific time, and it's so specific, that if you're even a millimeter off, you're dead. Distancing is also inconsistent - some instances look impossible, but if you think to just jump, surprisingly, you'll make it, but that's only for a few choice instances - other moments, well, forget it, you're dead! Don't get me started on some of the chasms where you'll need to jump, and even a millimeter off this one line at the edge of where you're jumping off will result in instant death! I just can't stand the inconsistency of it all! They're not hard; they're just frustrating!

While on the topic of level design quirks, there are a few levels that don't host platforming and acrobatic shooting. Instead, you'll have a couple of levels where you'll be surfing on cars and, when a button pops up, you press the button to either jump from car to car, or slice a henchman's head off, and... that's about it. Then there's a level where you'll be freefalling from an airplane, just shooting whoever's shooting you. These levels manage to break up the usual formula a bit, and they're generally more memorable (in a positive manner, mind you) than most of the other levels, as most of the other levels feel like some sort of blur - a fun blur, but a blur regardless. As a bit of a tease, the last level is also different, but I won't tell you how, though maybe this might hint you towards it - when I first went through it, I thought "shit, seriously?!" But yeah, out of the 13 levels you'll be going through, expect 4 of them to stick out more than the others.

For a majority of the game, though, you'll be running around, shooting down as many henchmen as possible. You'll have a small arsenal of weapons that you gradually unlock as you progress. Starting with revolvers and a katana, then getting shotguns, SMGs and crossbows with explosive arrows, you'll be able to take down either groups of henchmen, or nearby henchmen. Whenever you slide, jump, wallrun or swing on a bar and start unloading lead, time will slow down so that you can get a more precise aim. There will be times when you'll need to not only take down henchmen, but to also slash whatever's marked with a flaming skull so that less henchmen will come on in, until you block off every spawning point and kill every henchman on the open area.

There's more to it than that. To get the best out of Wet, you'll need to use the environment to your absolute advantage. The more stylish, the more your multiplier goes up, and the more points you'll get. A lot of points at the end will ensure that you can upgrade yourself and your arsenal at the end of each level, and trust me, you'll need to upgrade often, because the henchmen, as you progress, will get stronger. Trust me when I say that this game gets pretty difficult as you progress, with more and bigger henchmen to contend with, and even tougher platforming segments. To say the least, Wet isn't for people who are willing to challenge themselves a little, and being more stylish than plain will help in making it a little less tough, which is nice, though the pacing is a little off, with some levels being long-ish, and others being short, and the difficulty can feel all over the place because of this. Good thing for the alcohol at some points and respawning giving you full health, or you'll be losing it more than you probably should!

The graphics are bad, but it's that good kind of bad. It sports a grainy look with some dull colors and rough looking textures, but it's supposed to look like this - how else can you pay homage to grindhouse films? Just ultra violence and ultra less-than-sophisticated dialogue? Nah. And to its credit, it looks really effective. It gives out that raw, gritty feeling, although it's easy to mistake it for outdated and “crap” graphics thanks to the less than stellar textures and colors...

The soundtrack will definitely stand out, as it's loud and in your face rock music. Each of the songs will accompany you as you gun down henchman after henchman, and it'll really get the blood pumping, as each song is just as energetic, rough, raw, gritty and just plain awesome as the last until the final credits song. The voice acting is okay. Nobody in particular stands out, and it just feels like they're doing their jobs finely. It doesn't exactly draw you into the story or anything – that's probably more for the music.

Wet is a game that, to be brutally honest, should've been a colossal failure in all aspects. However, given the cheesy dialogue, shallow yet surprisngly fun combat, and the grindhouse aesthetic, it doesn't fail. The platforming segments aren't quite up to par with Prince Of Persia, but the combat, forget about it. If you're looking for the next big thing in action gaming, look elsewhere, but if you're looking for a giant slice of fun, give Wet a go!

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