Prince Of Persia + Guns
Like a judge in [insert country name here]'s Top Model, Wet isn't above being brutally honest with you, and it certainly isn't above giving you a wild ride as if you're watching Planet Terror in an old run down theater. That's really the best way to sum up Wet – it goes past the pleasantries and just says “you're in, or you're out – those are your two choices”. So like Artificial Mind And Movement with this game, I expect you to sit down and enjoy this review!
The story is that Rubi was sent on this job to deliver a briefcase to William Ackers that was hijacked by a gang... then a year later, she has to escort him from Hong Kong to his father in London, but it turns out this was a set up, as the Mr Ackers she visited when delivering his son was actually a fake, and she ends up left for dead. Now she's pissed, because she was double crossed so easily. So now we're setting out on a journey to get revenge and find out just what's going on.
While it sounds like a neat concept, what it really is, is a typical revenge story with no twists or turns. The characters don't really do or say anything that could be considered interesting. The best way to sum up a cutscene is that some person says something to move the story along, and Rubi swears like a sailor to give them the impression that she doesn't take any shit from anybody while spouting some tough yet cheesy one liner, which is certainly better than the dozens of Princess Peach clones that probably couldn't even handle a gun because they're too busy looking beautiful while getting kidnapped, but Rubi just ends up unlikeable overall. None of the characters are given much characterization, either, which makes cutscenes really boring to watch. It doesn't scream “B-MOVIE”, at least, not in my general direction, anyway... it just screams “EHH WHO CARES, IT'S THE GAMEPLAY THAT MATTERS!”, and while that's true for third person shooters, come on, at least try to tell a good story...
But yeah, the gameplay is what's important, ladies and gentlemen. This is a third person shooter, but it has a large emphasis on acrobatics, so the best way to sum up Wet is “Prince Of Persia with guns”... and yes, I am surprised that critics didn't have a cry that Wet is a lot like Prince Of Persia if the prince was given guns... guess it's only God Of War “clones” that they have a problem with. Anyway, throughout each level, you'll have to run, jump, wallrun and shoot your way from Point A to Point B while making sure you don't get your bells whipped.
There is one thing you should keep in the back of your head – points. These are what get you various abilities and upgrades from the upgrade shop at the end of each level. Killing enemies earns you at least one point, but why be boring and just shot them straight up, when you can jump around and shoot? Of course, you should mix it up, because you get less points for doing the same action twice or more in a row.
There's an added incentive to performing acrobatic kills, and it's something I thought would be pretty annoying – whenever you shoot and jump/wallrun/slide/whatever, time slows down like it would in something like Max Payne, giving you a better chance of blowing their heads off, and you also have an enemy targeted automatically, meaning while you're aiming one gun, the other gun is shooting where the red circle is. Surprise surprise, this never really gets annoying... in fact, this makes things less frustrating, because with time slowed down, enemies have a harder time hitting you... see, when time is normal, enemies have an easy time hitting you, so in situations with many enemies, when time goes normally, you're basically *bleep*ed, so just imitate the Prince Of Persia, and you'll do fine...
Most of the time, you'll just slide and dive through hallways when shooting out bad guys, but you'll often find yourself in a situation where you have to destroy a handful of spawn points. These areas are quite open, with some nooks and crannies for you to swing across or run up in order to get to these points quickly, sustaining as little damage as possible. When you destroy them all, you'll have to take down whoever didn't die on the way, and when that's done, you'll be graded on how often you used acrobatics to kill, how quickly you did it, and how high you kept your multiplier... oh yeah, I forgot to mention that you have a point multiplier, built up by either killing a bunch of enemies in a short amount of time, or by collecting floating red circles with a number (usually 2 or 3) with an “x” at the end.
Some segments have you doing roughly the same thing, but with a different look, and Rubi is a lot stronger... hence Rage Mode, as people call it. The aim is to kill as many enemies in a row as possible while finding Point B, sometimes needing to destroy spawn points.
But I'd imagine that it'd get repetitive after a while... don't worry, the developers thought so, too, so they inserted these platforming segments. I have no problems with platforming, especially because there aren't really any left that isn't Ratchet And Clank (great series, by the way), but the way it's done here is that it's just there. There's no risk factor involved most of the time, and the only reward is progression – nothing satisfying in the slightest, because you're hardly ever in any real danger. Most of the time, you're running across walls while hanging onto a long stuck out piece of wood, or just running up or across walls. The only danger is when you begin platforming, because sometimes, you won't make it. Oh, and when wallrunning, because you often have to jump at the right time, lest ye want to fall into the black abyss. Sounds like Prince Of Persia 08's platforming, BUT unlike Prince Of Persia 08, it at least has its priorities straight, focusing on combat instead of riskless platforming. At least when it knows it's little more than just progression without risk, it focuses on that what has risk, or at least fun attached to it...
Even when you're done with the game, there's more to experience. For one thing, if you beat the game on hard mode, you get to unlock very hard mode, as well as golden bullets mode (basically, bullets are damn powerful), points count mode (in which you beat levels by achieving a certain high score – tip: DON'T *bleep* ABOUT!) and Rubi's boneyard (where you get to go through rings while shooting targets with specific weapons, or just get through rings, really – all in the shortest amount of time possible). Also, there are some of those toy monkeys that bang their little cymbals together – 5 in each level – and they're fairly tricky to find. There's a fair amount to do when you're done, but it comes down to how much you liked playing through the first time – if you found it awesome, then yeah, get ready to play through it some more if you want that shiny platinum trophy. If not though, well, that sucks...
The graphics are... well, they look like that of an Xbox 360 launch title, in which the textures, while there, aren't quite as good as you think they should be. It also has a grainy look, which is meant to replicate those B-movies that play inside those run down looking theaters – and it does a pretty good job, actually, It's not really an eyesore – it just doesn't look as good as games like Uncharted 2, but it manages to get the look it was going for. Unfortunately, cutscenes tend to have some stiff animations, which, when combined with the piss poor storytelling, makes the cutscenes rather awkward to watch.
Then there's the audio side of things... the voice acting isn't anything that'll rock your jock, but it's serviceable. Sadly, it doesn't help the story look or sound better in any way. What kicks major ass in this department is the soundtrack. Lots of rock tracks with a gritty production, executed in a way that gets the blood pumping. If you've heard old school punk music, that's roughly what each song from this soundtrack will sound like – it's not pretty, but it's not meant to be. It's meant to be an expression of how much ass they can kick with instruments, and how much they want to piss off the establishment... well, okay, Wet isn't something that should piss people off, but it's just what this soundtrack comes across as... oh, and just *bleep*ing awesome, seriously...
You spend most of your time acrobatically shooting enemies... To change it up, you'll be doing some platforming and some puzzles, but platforming feels like filler, and the two or three puzzles just suck nuts. So do quick time events.
Sometimes, it has a hard time letting you jump over certain chasms, and it's just hard to gauge some jumps properly.. The other controls work well enough.
Huge case of “who gives a shit” syndrome. Nobody was interesting, no line of dialogue was funny or worth caring about (but there's lots of swearing!), and not much really develops. It's just a basic revenge story as far as I'm concerned.
Looks very dated, but it goes with the B-movie aesthetic it was meant to strive towards. Nothing really hurts the eyes anyway, so nothing really wrong here, except some oftentimes stiff animation.
The voice acting is above average, but doesn't really help you care about the story. Doesn't matter, because the music is just *bleep*ing awesome! Each song has that gritty feel to them that fits the B-movie aesthetic, and goes well with the ultra violent shoot em up segments (ie. 95% of the game). Just awesome, really.
There are a lot of different things to do in order to get all the achievements/trophies, like more difficulty modes, and a lot of challenges in Rubi's boneyard. Guaranteed, at least three playthroughs are required... well, technically, four... It's just up to whether or not you liked it the first time. If so, great, here it is, three more times, two at higher difficulties and one where you have to get heaps of points. Don't forget those collectibles!
It's just dumb fun, really, just shooting a bunch of guys while running on walls or sliding or some other acrobatic shit. Just comes down to repetition – this can get pretty repetitive as you spend a lot of your time doing this, with a few platforming segments here and there.
Wet is nothing but good times if you keep your brain switched off. The dumb fun received from shooting enemies acrobatically keeps you playing despite repetition, fillerific platforming and bad storytelling.
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