Ten times more absorbent than the leading brand!
After playing through Wet I would not be surprised to learn that at some point Bethesda had the rights to make a game based off the Kill Bill movies, somehow lost it and said “screw it, we’ll rename it and make the game a homage to the films”. Because that’s pretty much exactly what it is. Combining elements of action-based arcade style games like The Club and Max Payne with the platforming of Prince of Persia to create a visually stunning, but eventually somewhat mediocre playing experience.
[image1]Wet is simply a feast for the eyeballs, the grainy film filter used throughout the entirety of the game really helps give it a cinematic grindhouse vibe. Classic movie theater intermissions are thrown in between loading levels that help set the tone and give you something more to look at than just your average spinning wheel in a corner or a slowly filling bar.
Really this game is all about looking cool while taking on wave after wave of mobsters and other criminals. Using acrobatic leaps and inexplicable groundslides along with pole flips, wall runs and my personal favorite, the hanging upside down sliding down a ladder while shooting everyone below me into tiny pieces in conjunction with an automatic bullet time effect makes you look like a real badass. The impressive rockabilly-infused soundtrack will soon have you shopping for a muscle car in order to start racing squares for their pinkslips. It’s actually quite remarkable how much the music adds to the intensity of the gunfights.
Unique transitional stages - such as a level that has you leaping from cartop to cartop while racing along San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge - helps to break up some of the monotony that occurs all too often in repetitious action games. About half-way through, just when you think you’ve seen it all they hit you with a level that will remind some players of fighting the giant sentinel earlier this year in Wolverine: Origins. Going into Rage mode harkens the black and white and red all over graphics of the more brutal scenes of Mad World, but with more taste and depth perception.
[image2]There are a few snags to hit along the way though. Much like in Afro Samurai, later levels have a lot of platforming action that, while not as tedious as Afro, are still time consuming and leave you jonesing to get back to a bit of the ultra violence. But at the same time, Wet would be nothing but killing Asians in slow-motion without the Prince of Persia inspired leaping around. They just needed to work on the pacing a bit more to get the balance right it seems.
Another huge disappointment is the final stage.
SPOILER ALERT. Highlight the following invisible text if you wish to read the spoiler: Normally I wouldn’t talk about the end of a game in a review but it’s just such a let-down. There are two unique enemies in the game that are set-up to be THE badguys, they’ve got fancy weapons and cool costumes, the whole nine yards. But when it actually comes time to face them? It’s nothing but very rudimentary Quick Time Events. I didn’t just play through 6-8 hours of this game just so I could push a couple buttons to take out the final boss. I was expecting a shoot-out that could put the Good, The Bad and the Ugly to shame only to end up with some rudimentary button pushing a-la George Jetson. END SPOILER.
Quick time events in general could have been taken out entirely and no one would have noticed the difference. It’s mostly only used for opening doors and a couple times for finishing moves and timed leaps. But I guess they’re a standard now thanks to God of War, even if they aren’t needed.
[image3]Eliza Dushku (I always think that sounds like the name of some exceedingly dirty sex act) and Malcom Mcdowell provide voices of the main antagonist and protagonist respectively and do as good a job as one could with cheesy video game dialogue. The plot starts out strong building an intriguing story of a hitman/woman set up by a drug syndicate to take the fall over a murder, but never wraps itself up properly. Again, this could be Quentin Tarantino’s influence again; sure, it's blatantly apparent (It was called volume 1, after all), but I only paid 10 bucks to watch the first half of Kill Bill and another 10 for the second. Wet’s gonna run you about 60. I would like some closure to come with that price tag.
There’s also not much to do after you beat the game other than play through it again on a higher difficulty or with a variation on the scoring system. Challenge levels are not that great either, offering little more than a quick obstacle course.
Don’t get me wrong though. Wet is definitely enjoyable for those of us who like our action games with plenty of hack and extra slash, but like most of these titles, it’s not going to break the mold. Bethesda does a great job of creating the closest thing that we’re probably ever going to see to an in-game fight between The Bride and Gogo and the Crazy 88s, it just needs to offer more bang for your buck.