Xbox 360 Review: WET

Will Rubi get you all wet?

WET is an odd one. It combines elements such as shooting and swordplay with acrobatic movement to create an action game on acid. It has an interesting look and sound to it that instantly makes me think of any film by Quentin Tarantino, especially Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. It has that same feeling both in terms of story and with the great soundtrack. It’s pretty obvious that the team got their inspiration from these films, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own ideas…
WET follows the story of Rubi Malone, a gun-for hire who agrees to fix a wealthy man’s problem by finding and bringing back his wayward son; she thinks the job is going to be cut and dry. She thought wrong. The job turns out to be more complicated than expected and the man who hired her isn’t who he appears to be. On the run and looking for the man who betrayed her, Rubi is leaving a massive body count in her wake. The story has a great vibe to it and some brilliant voice-acting, especially from Malcolm McDowell while Eliza Dushku voices Rubi. The story is written by Duppy Demitrius who is best known for the TV series 24.

WET promises seamless gameplay and it does work for the most part but it’s not 100% seamless, it’s not as flawless as the fighting in Arkham Asylum. Swordplay is button-bashing but fun, the acrobatics of Rubi feel like they’ve been taken from Prince of Persia and handle well, but shooting isn’t as rewarding as it could have been. You have to upgrade your weapons to make them have more impact, but it doesn’t make sense for any enemy to survive after a shotgun round to the face. I found that the weapons slowed the gameplay down more than anything; I honestly preferred to just slice the enemies up with the sword than shoot them.

WET has that arcade feel to it with multipliers, respawning enemies and so on. I guess the main problem with the game is that Rubi can sometimes be too fast for the game to keep up with, it’s held back because of this and fails to flourish against its competitors. Imagine a game in which Sonic was just too fast to control and the game had trouble keeping the camera in a good position…well, that pretty much sums up all Sonic’s 3D outing, but you get the point I’m making about Rubi. She just doesn’t handle as great as she could have.
Don’t get me wrong, WET is a blast to play. It’s just that the gameplay simply doesn’t hold up well enough at critical moments, when it really counts. I do love the style of the game though, that mindless setting. At one point, blood splatters over Rubi’s face and she goes into a mad mode kill The Bride does in Kill Bill and the screen turns red while you kill multiple enemies, it’s brilliant. It’s because of these great moments that I’m somewhat on the fence when it comes to the game. It has some issues that hold it back, but I forgave it because I can see what it was trying to do and I simply love the vibe that it gives off.

It isn’t the longest game, but it does have a number of challenges for you to tackle such as a shooting gallery and courses where you need to get through quickly, but you can shoot targets to shorten your time down to get a higher rating. These challenges are pretty difficult, but I’m sure they are do-able with practise. Alas, there’s no multiplayer which is a shame but then again, I’m not sure if that would have worked.

In terms of visuals, WET is pretty strong. Characters are detailed well and animate decently, it may not be the best-looking game out there…but it does hold up very well with a steady framerate, which isn’t bad considering how much can be going on at one time. Like I said, the soundtrack and voice-acting are simply amazing and well done.

The Verdict

WET is a mixed bag. It has a great story, setting and sound that would make Tarantino proud. If only the gameplay was more solid, it might stand a chance against its rivals. That’s not to say you wont enjoy the game, you will…just not as much as I hoped.