Product Type: Bethesda Xbox 360 games
Newest Review: ... looked a bit like an old western but in colour, it was more of a comic book feel, but it was quirky and different. After the first c... more
Quality is Slippery When Wet
WET (Xbox 360)
Member Name: samueltyler
WET (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Grindhouse look and feel
Disadvantages: Poor central game mechanics, levels design
For some people the gaming landscape is one of only great games. These lucky few are usually gamers that dabble in the hobby picking up a 'Call of Duty' here, a 'Halo' there. In many ways I pity these people as they miss out on so many hidden classics - did they ever see their house from the heights of 'Crackdown', or fall in love in 'Half Life 2'? There are many great games out there that are popular, but not massively popular. However, perhaps these people are right in just playing the gems on the gaming landscape. For those of us who play games a lot you soon get through the cream, straight down the milk and get to the horrible remains of a soggy biscuit that you have to sieve through your teeth. I play lots of games and many of them are not good. Speaking of which, here is a review of 'Wet'
'Wet' is the title of one of the most displeasingly named games in a long time. Couple the dank title with the sexualised female lead and I was a little dubious about the game. Turns out that I need not have been worried about the name as 'Wet' refers to the term 'wet works', used by military personnel when they are undertaking a mission that will probably involve causalities. In this case the protagonist, Rubi, is a mercenary who is wronged early on and sets out to get revenge in the most violent way possible.
The game is a third person shooter that is near identical to the poorly received John Woo game 'Stranglehold'. You move through a series of areas dispatching countless goons with your guns or sword. The unique elements to the game (although they are taken directly from 'Stranglehold') is that Rubi slows down time when leaping or swinging. This gives you the chance to perform acrobatic moves on many enemies at once. For ten minutes or so the mechanic is reasonable fun as you leap from post to post. However, the same gameplay over and over again for 6 hours is not enough.
A more successful feature is the rage mode that Rubi goes into on occasion. This turns the colour scheme into red, white and black like in 'Sin City'. You bomb around at a fast pace slicing up enemies like there is no tomorrow. Although slightly more original than the core gameplay, this rage mode also gets tiresome relatively quickly. I did complete the game from start to finish, but I was never convinced Bethesda truly got to grips with the action. (2 out of 5)
This is the one area that Bethesda perhaps felt they had got things right by hiring a big name cast including Eliza Dushku, Alan Cumming and Malcolm McDowell. Unfortunately, these big names are forced into poor parts. The story is one of revenge and is very linear; more of an excuse to string set pieces together and swear. As the lead writer was from '24' the linearity seems even more surprising.
The game has a grindhouse feel that does work. Many of the cutscenes are interrupted by cinema adverts from US yesteryear and the game also has a crackly screen filter to make it feel aged. With some great ideas in creating atmosphere it is a real shame that Bethesda is unable to use this in any way that is not juvenile or insipid. (2 out of 5)
Modern games are never that long and in cases like 'Wet' this is no bad thing as the gameplay only entertains for the first half anyway. As an experience the game is about moderate length clocking in about 6-8 hours for someone playing it quickly. As always there are some achievements for those people looking to extend lifespan, but as the 'collect X number of this' types of achievements I could not be bothered myself. (3 out of 5)
There is no online mode in 'Wet' and this is increasingly uncommon in modern gaming. However, 'Stranglehold' proved to me that having numerous people all slowing down time doesn't work online. (NA out of 5)
In 2009 High definition gaming has come a long way and whilst dodgy character models and flat textures were just acceptable near launch, by now they seem plain lazy. The best graphical elements of the game are nothing to do with the gameplay, but the atmosphere of grindhouse - be it a scratchy look or levels finishing like a camera unspooling. The actual game itself is just functional with bold colouring. However, there is plenty of screen tearing on offer and more than a few glitches. In many ways the game feels like it could have done with six more months work to boost the appearance. (2 out of 5)
On the initial level 'Wet' looked like a solidly enough built game. Each level is themed with a location e.g. China Town or London, and Rubi must navigate a linear section to a more open area. These open areas act like arenas where Rubi has to destroy various targets to stop more enemies from spawning. As the game progresses the arenas have more spawn points and harder enemies. By level 3 you realise that the same thing is happening over and over again and that the different environments actually look he same! I didn't know that London and Shanghai were almost identical. A lot more could have been done to spice up the game and about halfway through Bethesda try this by adding far more platforming elements. In a game with poor controls this is a bad thing. (2 out of 5)
The grindhouse feel of 'Wet' is probably best exemplified through its sound and music. The 70s Wawa guitar sound track and chunky bass means that you do feel like you are listening to a period soundtrack. The sound effects also play into this with some great pops and squeaks that represent the 'poor' quality of the sound. In terms of voice talent Bethesda have proven once more that big names do not always make for great voice acting. Alan Cumming is probably the best actor in the game, but he has little to do; the likes of Eliza Dushku and Malcolm McDowell sound bland and record their work as if they are there for the paycheque only. (3 out of 5)
With its overly sexualised female protagonist and ultra violence 'Wet' is a game aimed squarely at the hardcore and the juvenile. I will be the first to admit that in terms of game players that is a pretty big group! However, these hardcore gamers also expect quality. Developers Bethesda have come up with a good idea of making a grindhouse game, but executed almost every facet in a poor manner. The actually look and feel works, but the game itself sucks. With repetitive gameplay, bland levels and ropey controls the game is not that much fun. If they spent as much time improving the core game as they did the sound quality they may have made something worth playing. (2 out of 5)
Maker: Bethesda RRP £50
Amazon uk £11.99
Summary: Some nice ideas executed poorly