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
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WET (Xbox 360)
Member Name: Stunt 101
WET (Xbox 360)
Advantages: Stylish, atmospheric Grindhouse vibe.
Disadvantages: Too much focus on slow motion action.
Action games which carry a lot of flair to them can sometimes be bogged down by a case of style over substance, when the game is too busy showboating to actually create a meaningful game experience. Shooters which get it right carefully balance style with gameplay to create something more meaningful. With WET, you take the role of a gun-for-hire who knows nothing but how to kill. Will style take over your enjoyment of this game, or will you have some great times with this smoking gun?
You play as Rubi Malone, a 'gun-for-hire' voiced by Eliza Dushku (Wrong Turn). At the beginning you are chasing a goon who made a deal go sour which was in favour of your client. After chasing him and, well, burning him to death, you deliver the package to your client, which turns out to be a heart to save a dying father. Fast forward a few years and this man has come to ask for your help, but things go sour from there. After that, this giant revenge quest, in all it's gruesome glory, kinda fades to the background, favouring gameplay over cutscenes.
You'll immediately notice how stylish WET is. It creates the atmosphere of a 70s grindhouse flick by using several techniques. The most obvious is a special film filter which makes the game look dirty and dark, much like 70s grindhouse. This can be turned off though, but the game looks worse for wear when this filter is removed. Turning it off highlights the slightly blocky character models and environments. Unfortunately, what aren't optional are the frequent interruptions from old film advtert clips, which try to create the feeling of the cinema intermission. It does just that, however what this means is that it feels like you're stopping and starting, which is jarring.
WET is also violent, and doesn't seem to hold back at all. Limbs are chopped off as easy as sausages, and even in important cutscenes violence is a key factor. It definately fits in with the 70s grindhouse vibe. WET also has a great soundtrack to fit with this vibe. The heavy Punk influences from these tracks are quite fitting and help pump adrenaline into the game, as do some of the more Mexican-influenced songs. It's all completely original too, which makes it seem like a more whole hearted effort amongst most soundtracks these days.
While WET nails a grindhouse atompshere, we are supposed to be 'playing' this rather than watching it, but thankfully WET isn't too bad of a game either. It's a first person shooter, but rather than going with a robotic 'Gears of War' style cover system and shooting mechanics, WET is like an adrenaline crazy version of older shooters, taking us to a time when there wasn't even cover systems. It's all very nostalgic and provides some old school fun and simplicity, with only four weapons to speak of.
These weapons are the pistol, sub-machine gun, shotgun and...Crossbow? Each weapon is good for different situations-shotguns for close range enemies, crossbows for crowds of enemies and pistols for lone wolves. However, the poor accuracy on the sub-machine and crossbows dampens their effectiveness, meaning you'll probably rely on the pistol and shotgun, especially seeing as the pistol has infinate ammo. Still, each respective weapon packs a punch, with deafening gunshots and brutal kills which are indefinately satisfying. You also have a sword, and if you get close enough, you can perform absolutely brutal kills with this.
WET also has a unique focus on Acrobatics. Not only must you scale walls and other obstacles to make progress, but it is a big part of combat. Outside of combat, some wall running and wall jumps will be needed to move further, as well as pole swinging and huge, death defying jumps. In combat, jumping or peforming an acrobatic move, then shooting, will cause time to slow down for a few seconds and an auto lock to kick in. The amount of stylish kills you can earn from using acrobatics is phenominal, and the amount of times you'll say 'woah' will be large.
Unfortunately, this blessing also happens to be WETs biggest curse. While it's incredibly fun to do this for the first couple of hours, it gets quite repetitive after the fifth or so level. After all, trying to get kills without using slow motion is nigh on impossible, thanks to awful aiming. Not only that, but to earn the most points for upgrading weapons and moves, you have to perform chains of kills in slow motion, meaning the game feels like a one tricky pony repeated across a dozen levels. The only break from this is when Ruby gets blood on her face, and goes into a rage mode, where kills are easier without doing the slow motion acrobatics, but there's only about four of them in the game.
There are also vehicle sections in the game, where you ride on top of cars while shooting any goons who are shooting you. Unfortunately, these levels highlight the poor aiming, and with no slow motion to help you out, these sections can be incredibly frustrating. There is also a level where you are skydiving through the sky, and must shoot goons before avoiding flying debris from a destroyed plane, but again, these highlight the poor aiming outside of the slow motion.
WET's 12 levels will probably take you around 7 hours to complete. After that, you can play the game on 'golden bullets' mode, where you take less damage to die, but enemies die with one shot. There is also a challenge mode which test your acrobatic and shooting skills, and a score mode where you must score the required amount of points on each level. There are four difficulties, and on the easiest, WET is almost a cakewalk, but on the hardest, it becomes quite a frustrating game due to the fact that unless you're in slow motion, you will likely take a lot of damage. If you're into WET's other modes, you could probably get a lot of hours out of it.
Is WET good, bad or ugly?
WET nails a stylish amotsphere with a grindhouse film filter, incredible violence and a blood pumping soundtrack. However it isn't quite as polished when it comes to the actual gameplay, which becomes repetitive way before the half way point. It's vicious focus on slow motion gameplay makes the game feel repetitive, and the sections which try to break up the action are worse for wear, thanks to a poor aiming system. If you can look past it's flaws, you'll find an okay action game which has a great sense of style, if not then it will numb your mind and leave you bored.
WET was released on September 18th, 2009 for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It is rated 18+ for strong bloody violence and can be bought for under £10 on most websites and game stores.
Summary: It's stylish but flawed.
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