WET – Review

What happens when the makers of FALLOUT 3 and ELDER SCROLLS combine KILL BILL and MAX PAYNE? You unfortunately get an extremely and annoyingly repetitive game with decent voice acting and an okay soundtrack. Suffice it to say, it was a bad sign when I saw the soundtrack get such high billing in the opening credits.

In WET, you play as Rubi, a hired mercenary with a bad attitude. That’s original… not. After completing a job, Rubi is betrayed by the person who hired her. Predictable. After surviving the attempt on her life by the person who betrayed her, she wants revenge. Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah, EVERY ANTI-HERO STORY EVER WRITTEN. The problem with the story is that it has as much depth as a kiddie pool. You enter into the story with no background of how or why these characters are like this. Don’t even get me started on the plot holes.

But I digress. The dialogue, while performed well, is cliche, immature and, again, so predictable. As an M rated game, you’d think that the game was geared towards adults, yet throughout the entire game it felt like the script was written by a 14 year old boy that just sneaked into a screening of both KILL BILL movies. Don’t get me wrong. I use various expletives somewhat liberally, but the F bomb is dropped into almost every line of dialogue. You’d think that someone best known as writing for the Fox series 24, a Mr. Duppy Demitrius, would’ve been more creative.

On to the gameplay. One of the few positive things about this game is that it allows you to aim your dually wielded guns at two targets at the same time. To do so, you must perform “acrobatic” jumps and slides to slow down the action and aim. At first this was kind’ve cool…until you realize you’ll be playing the game in slow-mo for its entirety. To be honest, there are only a few different modes of playing that the game shuffles you around in. The majority of it takes place in areas they call arenas. In very much KILL BILL style, you’re contained in an area with an onslaught of enemies coming at you. To stop them you have to close off their entry points into the arena. Another good chuck of the game play is climbing and swinging in a very TOMB RAIDER way. Despite the ability to highlight places you can climb or slide, you’ll find yourself sometimes having no idea where you’re supposed to go.

Next come the two most annoying modes. First of them is the freeway chase levels. Done with a mixture of the normal slow-mo gameplay and various quicktime events, you’d think the way it sounds it would be pretty cool. The difference is that unlike in normal gameplay, the enemies popping out of cars seem to be able to take numerous shots to the head before they finally die. The other mode is called “rage mode”. Just before entering into this mode, it always begins with some random enemy running at Rubi, she shoots him in the face which then becomes covered in blood. Once rage mode starts, you’re in a stylized black-red-and-white look until the arena is done. Again, you’d think this sounds cool, but it’s not. And this is a major factor of whats wrong with this game. Repetition.

For example, every boss in an arena gets his own little cut-scene intro and it’s always the same animation of a different unimportant character with a chain gun. Another example of repetitive game play is when you refill your health bar with a statically placed bottle of what looks to be whiskey. What’s annoying about it is that EVERY TIME it’s the same EXACT animation. Swipe the bottle from where it’s standing. Drink it down quick. Throw it up the air and shoot it. It was cool the first time, but not time after time after time after time. It was just extremely annoying. With all the repetitive, and irrelevant dialogue Rubi blurts out while killing, you’d think she had Tourettes Syndrome. Considering the whiskey is the only thing you ever see her take in, you’d think she was an alcoholic to boot.

The only original game play I liked was when you are essentially sky diving past burning aircraft debris in order to get to a parachute. Unfortunately this basically was pissed on when she opens the chute to float to the ground, but remains under the area where the debris is still falling. In most realities, the debris would’ve caught up with her and ripped the chute to shreds. What’s worse is that game doesn’t end in an epic battle but a simple and easy quicktime event.

Which brings me to the audio of the game. Whoever mixed the audio for this game should be fired or at least tarred and feathered. During the arena portions of the game you have constant gunshots, whatever Rock-a-Billy music is play, along with various Rubi and enemy dialogue. The audio is mixed so poorly, the dialogue gets buried under the sound effects and music. To hear all the annoying and repetitive dialogue during the game, you really have to concentrate (when you really should be concentrating on aiming). Another bad example of poor mixing is the “rage mode”. As soon as her face is covered in blood, a loud fire alarm like noise goes off for like 10-15 seconds. The problem is that the volume from that moment on is higher than the rest of the game, until you finish the level. So you end up having to pause the game, find the remote and turn down the volume.

Graphically it looks nice. The models look nice. The environments are done well. However, I have a gripe about when they intro a character by putting up their name next to them. It’s done in what I can only describe as varied stenciled deco font which can be hard to read most of the time. And since its only up there for maybe 1 second, you rarely have enough time to try to read what it says. Another visual annoyance is the scratch projectionist film look they try to give the game. Luckily, you can pause, go to the Options menu under Video and turn it off.

Overall, I think this game is simply an example of how, if not watched closely, the game industry could turn into the movie industry, by attaching famous celebrities and making such a big deal about the soundtrack, rather than the story. To me, it feels like all the money went into paying for the voice talent and the music rights, leaving no money for the QA department. In fact, I was surprised to see such a large QA department listed in the end credits, when it seemed like so little quality assurance was actually done. The voice talent and the graphical look was its only redeeming quality. I completed the game only to give it a fair chance to dig itself out of the hole it put itself in. I can’t really even recommend this game as a rental.

Todd Lipska

Todd's geekiness started off early with his family's first computer: a TRS-80. As a contributing writer, head photographer, lead programmer and one of the founders of Media Geeks, well, suffice it to say, he's a busy guy.

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