Bethesda’s latest offering (developed by A2M) is a rather oddly named third-person shooter. The heroine, Rubi, stares out from the box cover with a pouting and wanton expression, the game title “Wet” boldly printed beside her head. Quite why she’d be wet, we’ve no idea. Presumably she’s just been swimming.
Actually, Wet is slang for getting your hands soaked with blood, something our Rubi is so familiar with she has to wash her mitts more often than Lady Macbeth. Wherever our gun- and sword-wielding mercenary heroine travels, a whirlwind of severed limbs, spurting veins and shower of innards follows.
Rubi slashes and shoots her way through Wet’s levels, jumping from window ledge to window ledge, flipping over fences and running up and along walls. It’s an acrobatic themed shooter, and when she leaps and slides while blasting away, the game drops down into “bullet time”, allowing Rubi to pick off multiple opponents as she glides along in slow-motion.
If all this sounds a bit like EA’s Mirror’s Edge, that’s because it is. Only with much less emphasis on the base jumping antics, the focus here being on constant all-action blasting and pulling off breathtaking multiple kills, with the odd bit of wall running. There’s no limit to the amount bullet time that can be used, so you can churn through crowds of hostiles, constantly chaining together slow-mo slides, jumps and gunfire while cackling like a maniac.
It’s marvellous, albeit linear; great dollops of entertainment. While it’s true that the game is very channelled, and essentially boils down to the chain slow-motion slaughter of room after corridor after room full of bad guys, Wet doesn’t become a chore. That’s partly because it’s just plain fun to experiment with the different weapons and killing moves you can pull off, but also due to two further factors. Namely the game’s finely honed sense of cinematic style, and the various levels with a different spin on them which A2M has dotted throughout the campaign.
For instance, there are obstacle course training levels, a sky diving sequence and boss fights (naturally). The latter occur at the close of an episode, facing you with a massive onslaught in a small arena, and several spawn points which must be eradicated before you’re overwhelmed. Boss creatures themselves have to be conquered by executing quick reaction button press sequences (as seen in Viking: Battle for Asgard).
In fact, the reaction button scheme is put to good use in set pieces such as a car chase early on. Rubi has to leap from vehicle to vehicle on the freeway with well timed button presses, interspersed with bouts of crouching and shooting gun-toting thugs hanging out of the windows of blacked-out Escalades.
It’s a simple set piece level, but an effective one thanks to deft cinematic cuts and tastily crafted car crashes and explosions which wouldn’t be out of place in an action movie. With some eminently watchable cut scenes and a true sense of cinematic style, Wet’s presentation is top notch, though it’s clearly borrowing heavily from Tarantino (Kill Bill in particular).
Throw in some genuinely humorous touches of comedy and there’s a lot to like here. It isn’t a particularly original game – with bits and pieces borrowed from everywhere – and neither is it a massively lengthy action outing either. However, it’s well executed riotous blasting all the way, and it left us with an undeniable grin on our faces the majority of the time.