I've been looking forward to Wet for a while now, and a highly anticipated game has to deliver so much more in order to not disappoint. So could Wet live up to my own personal hype? The demo I played around a month ago suggested it could, which only heightened my interest.
The premise of Wet is that you play a bounty hunter called Rubi Malone, who wanders around swinging her sword or shooting her dual guns at anyone who so much as looks at her funny. She's a no nonsense kind of girl who wouldn't look out of place in a Tarantino Movie, and Eliza Dushku voices her perfectly.
The plot begins when Rubi is hired to obtain a heart for a gentleman named Mr Eckers, ably voiced by Malcolm McDowell, who would die were he not to receive it (although obviously Rubi is only interested in how much she is getting paid). When the deal goes bad, she has to chase down the perpetrator and get the heart back to Mr Eckers, thus saving his life. Skip forward a year and Mr Eckers returns, requesting another job from Rubi. The money's right, so what else is a girl to do? Cue lots of action, plot twists and, of course, death.
The game is played from a third person perspective and while it takes a bit of time to get the hang of the controls, once you do you can unleash a whole heap of whup-ass, wiping out scores of enemies with ease. And that's what the game's all about. You're started off with a tutorial that teaches you how to use the main controls, and as you progress more skills and weapons become available, all the better to deal out all that aforementioned death.
First, you learn how to use your dual pistols to dispatch your enemies, and while you could just run around shooting them, this is unimaginative and definitely the least effective way of achieving those glorious kills. Jumping, sliding and wall running are all much more fun. Once you have begun one of these moves pulling the trigger plunges you into slow-mo mode and two cursors appear. One of these is for auto-targeting which allows you to dispatch a single enemy with ease, but using the left stick means you can target a second enemy, which helps you to rack up the all important chain kills. Slow-mo lasts until you hit the ground, so with a little practice as more enemies start appearing you can take down 3 or 4 enemies in one beautiful move.
Your other weapon, of course, is the sword, which is my personal favorite: one quick slice and anyone stupid enough to be standing near you is history. You can still get plenty of chain kills, as it can go through multiple enemies like a hot knife through butter. This always reminds me of a certain film- you know, the one with a yellow jumpsuited character hunting down a man named Bill.
So this is how most of the game is played out, with you slashing and shooting your way through the bad guys, although there are 2 other modes which add a nice bit of variation to the gameplay. One mode sees you leaping from car to car along a freeway, shooting and slicing as usual, but with the added challenge of avoiding the cars and lorries that are flipping out in front of you. The other mode is Rage mode and occurs a number of times in the game: Rubi's face will get splattered with blood, and the whole game then shifts to a red, black and white film noir inspired screen, which along with the soundtrack really gives a jolt to the senses. This mode only lasts for a short period of time, although it can be increased buy racking up those chain kills.
While you start out with a decent number of skills, as you progress more become unlocked and you are able to purchase these at the end of the level with the points you have accumulated. These range from improving your weapons (be that via strength or rate of fire) to brand new skills such as the ability to shoot from zip lines or use your sword whilst sliding. You are free to chose whatever unlocked skills are available which adds a nice RPG element to the proceedings.
It's true that the visual style may not suit everyone's tastes, but I found it most refreshing. The grainy style is reminiscent of the old 70's and 80's kung-fu movies I used to love as a child. While the game doesn't exactly push the graphical boundaries, it is by no means shabby and it oozes style, which, coupled with the excellent soundtrack, means that this really doesn't feel like a problem.
So did Wet live up to my expectations? I would say so. I really enjoyed it, and found it a refreshing change from the standard 3rd person game we have been engulfed with over the years. I hope to be seeing more of Rubi in the future.