Wet/ Publisher: Bethesda Softworks/ Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360/ Release Date: 9-15-09/ Genre: Action-3rd Person Shooter/ Single Player/ Rating: Mature
That 70’s Game
Wet Work: A messy job or task that involves one’s hands becoming wet with blood. Meet Rubi Malone: a hardcore mercenary with a heart of steel and a trigger happy finger. If there is anyone that can play the intense female role, it’s Eliza Dushku. While most of the voice acting is subpar, Bethesda really hit the nail on the head having Dushku voice Malone. She has a natural voice that gives you goosebumps in more than one emotion. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and will kill anyone that stands in her way. Saddle up boys, she’s the star of the show.
Right from the get-go you’re given control of Rubi and a quick tutorial of the acrobatic moves she can make. Each jump, slide, or wall run will immediately send you into slow-mo and auto aim for one gun, while you control the other firearm with the right stick. Master these moves quickly because you’re going to be using them for the entire 8-12 hour campaign. Imagine if Max Payne had infinite bullet time, that essentially is what Rubi has. If you shoot while standing still Malone’s health bar will drain like a jobless man’s wallet. If you’re running low on health, either consume some whiskey or chain some kills together to regenerate. The goal is to kill as many enemies while performing the before mentioned acrobatics. This gets very, very repetitive.
Besides the slow-mo gunslinging and sword slashing that accounts for about 90% of Rubi’s kills, developer Artificial Mind and Movement decided to put the “timed button pressing” into play. I’ll admit to liking it when I was hopping from car to car in some of the levels, but the fact that the final (only) boss is fought with only the timed buttons was nothing short of an extreme disappointment. This system was put in at some frustrating times, and accidentally pressing “x” instead of “o” was an automatic death and usually a long wait in between a new life and the lack of plentiful checkpoints. Dying and replaying the same parts of levels only made the gameplay that much more repetitive.
Perhaps the best part of the story mode was when Rubi went into her rage when blood spattered on her face. All that mattered was chaining as many kills in a row as possible. Rubi’s strength of attack got a boost and I was able to slay enemies much more quickly during these sessions. Kill all enemies in the room in a row and be rewarded with the most possible style points that can be used to upgrade Rubi’s health, moves, and weapons.
If you’re into collectibles, you can find ammo packs for Rubi’s smg, shotgun, and crossbow. Don’t worry about running out of ammo though, her twin pistols have unlimited bullets and hacking bad guys with the sword is as much fun as diving at them Matrix style and killing them with a headshot. Slashing wooden boxes will lead to the ammo or style point bonuses. If you hear the sound of a toy slamming two instruments together, that would be the monkeys that are found in each level.
Most of the campaign takes place in Japan with Rubi looking for answers and the man who set her up, Ze Kollektor. The story is average with some highlights. I was never really sucked in at any point in time or felt a connection to any of the characters other than Malone. The setting was made to make you feel as if you were watching a movie from the 70’s, and the frame rate compliments it very well. However, the graphics are nothing to write home about, even with the Bethesda label. The cutscenes simply didn’t do enough to impress me. One key aspect of Wet is the soundtrack. Every song fit the point in time it was set for, and you can even access each track in the Extra Content menu. The only problem with the list of songs is that there are multiple titles from the same bands, so like the gameplay, the music seems too similar at times.
My favorite aspect of Wet is Challenge Mode. Here, I was in a race against time to acrobatically hit as many targets as I could to knock off precious seconds off my clock and try to earn either a bronze, silver, or gold medal. I got to use each of Rubi’s four guns in the different obstacle courses and it’s the best way to show off your skills. Trying to memorize the courses and get through them in the fastest time was really a joy to experience. The trophy list requires multiple play throughs and it’s another great way to test skills, as well as collect every monkey toy.
Wet was a frustratingly enjoyable game that gave me my money’s worth. At just $17.99 used at Gamestop it’s not the worst buy available. However, if you’re really into action-shooters (and own a PS3) I highly recommend any of the Uncharted games over this title. If you’re through the PS3 signature franchise, or are just waiting for the 3rd game to come down in price, then you might want to give Wet a shot. If 3rd person shooters aren’t really you’re genre, then I suggest passing on Bethesda’s shoot-at-will work of 70’s themed art.
Do you like Wet? Has Geoff made you want to play?