Giant Bomb Review

49 Comments

WET Review

3
  • PS3
  • X360

Wet's terrific lead character deserves to be trapped in a better game.


It's about a girl with two guns. 
Wet is a style-over-substance third-person shooter with a bunch of slow-motion acrobatic gunplay that manages to simultaneously recall Max Payne and Lara Croft without feeling exactly like either. The game has some neat tricks, but it doesn't have enough of them. So the stylish gimmicks that the game throws in here and there get old quickly, making the bulk of Wet awfully monotonous. That said, there's something about Wet that makes it a bit better than it seems.

That something is the game's lead character, Rubi Malone. In the Tarantino Lite world of Wet, Rubi is the game's Uma Thurman. But rather than going whole-hog and giving her a billion lines of dialogue about pop-culture minutia, she's usually portrayed as a tough chick of few words. And those words manage to have a good, vulgar impact. For example, after stealing a rare book and freefalling through the burning wreckage of an airplane that she essentially destroyed while fighting in midair for a loose parachute, she returns to her employer and simply mutters "here's your fucking book." A lot of the dialogue is brief and curse-filled in a way that almost seems shocking in spots. Eliza Dushku, who voices Rubi, usually does a great job with the dialogue in those shorter bits. But in the few instances where Rubi rattles on for a bit longer, the spell is broken and the character starts to sound a little hokey. Then there are things like the noise Rubi makes when she dies, which sounds more like the grunt someone would make after discovering they got a parking ticket than the sound of someone getting murdered in some horrible way.

It's also about jumping sideways in slow-motion. 
The actual action in Wet is split between gunning down rooms full of dudes and some light platforming. The shooting is a little weird. While you can simply take aim and fire, you won't last very long playing that way. Instead, you have to jump around and perform acrobatic moves. When you take aim at an enemy while sliding on your knees, jumping, or running on a wall, the game automatically slows down. You become harder to hit and it becomes significantly easier to shoot or stab the bad guys. There's no limit to the slow-mo, so the game starts looking really silly as you hop back and forth and slide all over the place. Occasionally you'll end up in arenas, where enemies keep flooding into the room until you can get to a trigger near each door and cut it with your sword, closing the door.

When you're not flipping out and killing people, you're doing a little wall-crawling. None of the time spent jumping from one ledge to another or shimmying sideways on ledges is especially difficult. It's occasionally tricky to figure out where to jump next, but the game is usually really good about automatically positioning the camera in a way that makes it really obvious. There are also a couple of sequences where you ride around on the tops of fast-moving cars, which combine basic aiming and shooting with some occasional quick time events. Some levels are also done in "rage mode," which isn't really a mode at all. It's mostly just a visual change that makes the entire world red, makes blood white, and generally makes the game look a bit like Killer7. Like most of the other things in Wet, it's cool the first time you see it, but not very cool at all the second time it pops up. The game also takes time out of the action to force you through some really boring challenge levels, where you have to run and jump through hoops as quickly as possible. They feel really out of place.

It's also about... whatever it is that's happening here. 
Graphically, Wet looks decent. Rubi is probably the high point, with a great-looking character model that manages to emote well in cutscenes. By default, the game runs with a thick layer of film grain over everything--the gameplay, the cutscenes, the menus, everything. The picture jumps a little bit, again, like an old movie. And the game occasionally just throws up an (unskippable) old '70s-era policy trailer from the drive-ins of yore, just in case you weren't getting the whole "we're trying to make this look like an old exploitation movie" thing driven into your skull hard enough. It's a bit much, and after playing Wet for an extended period of time, the way the picture constantly bounces and drifts around the screen started making me feel a little motion sick. You can disable the film grain, but at that point, the game looks flat, plain, and even a little ugly in spots.

The story of double-crosses and revenge feels pretty inconsequential over the course of Wet, but it manages to get the game's sharp dialogue across, so it certainly has its place. But that's probably the best thing that can be said about Wet, because the rest of its interesting moments get driven into the ground through repetition over the course of its 12 chapters. It's certainly not all bad, but more variety combined with its razor-sharp lead character could have resulted in a much stronger final product. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
49 Comments
Posted by Vinchenzo

Figured as much. The demo sucked.

Posted by Death_Burnout
@Vinchenzo: 
 
Original!
Posted by Brendan

The Readers Digest version of this review can be seen in the quicklook.  Sounds exactly like it looks.  Good review Jeff.
Posted by Darkstar614

Hm, I was expecting a 2 instead of 3, but I guess the game does have some strong points. I think for the average gamer though, they're going to be spending their money on something else. A shame really that so many mediocre games never get played because of the shear volume of other games available.

Posted by RHCPfan24

I really enjoyed the demo so this is still going to be a rental for me.

Posted by JoelTGM

sucks whenever a game falls flat like this, those developers probably thought it was going to be great, but apparently they didn't know enough about making this kind of game :\

Edited by Delta_Ass

This *is* a tasty review!

Posted by Kohe321

Great review!

Posted by Venatio

I really like the main character too, I liked the demo so Im gonna get it when its cheaper

Posted by mfpantst

I actually like the game.  However, I sort of compared it to a "Red-Dead Revolver" meets Kill Bill.  Looking through that lens (and incredibly liking both sets of references), I really enjoy the game.  I haven't gotten the motion sickness part at all, though I could see how if one were prone to that it would be possible.  I would generally praise the game for being a "light-hearted" action game in a world of a lot of serious long-play games.  Maybe not worth it at $60 for everyone, but I got it at that price, and still feel good about my choice.

Posted by dbz1995

I expected lower because of the quick look. It didn't seem like you were enjoying the game, Jeffster.

Posted by mosdl
@DOUBLESHOCK: 
Or they were forced to hit a deadline and had to compromise.
 
Seems like a rental
Posted by rjayb89

ALL OF THESE IMAGES ARE FROM THE FIRST LEVEL.  YOU'RE FIRED.  Just kidding, <3.  
 
Game definitely had visual style, but probably the most repetitive gameplay I've experienced this year.

Online
Posted by Subject2Change

The gave has a very 2 strong sides to it; people either loved the demo (my side) or absolutely thought it was terrible. I am agreeing a lot with this review solely on that the game while I find it good is a bit shy of being complete; it contains only 12 chapters which are fairly short (a chapter is doing 3 time trial event like things which you can finish each in 3 minutes and continue on despite not getting "trophies" for them). The game is worth a rental at the least if you have any interest in it and if you enjoy it and see yourself replaying it a bunch due to its short length go buy it. I don't regret my 50 dollar purchase (thanks to a pre-order) but wish it had more to deliver.

Posted by Akeldama
@Vinchenzo said:
" Figured as much. The demo sucked. "
agreed. The demo was physically painful to play.
Posted by Atlas

I enjoyed the demo, but sounds like the game gets old pretty fast. Shame. I hoped this game would be better than it seems to be. Should still be a solid rental, though.

Posted by Metal_Mills

The grain filter in the quick-look drove me crazy in just 20 minutes. I'd hate to play it like that and the game seems boring but the lead character I liked, she's sexy, powerful but not sleazy. Too bad about the games name then.

Posted by Octaslash

It sounds like Eliza Dushku was channeling Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That's a good thing BTW.

Posted by DondonIcon

I too, shall wave my hand in front of me and give a look of disappointment.

Posted by Bigandtasty

It seems many action-shooters can't transcend the average this generation. Quite the shame.

Posted by OneKillWonder_

Spot on review. I wasn't impressed by the demo, but I ended up renting the game two days ago anyway. Suffice to say, the whole game isn't much better. Not only that, but the game is only about 5 or 6 hours long. I beat it last night, and I feel ripped off just renting it (especially because Blockbuster charges 9 fucking dollars). There's minimal replay value. The game isn't good enough to bother playing through again anyway, unless you want the achievements. The only thing I will disagree with this review on are the graphics. The entire game is way below average graphically. That, and many of the in-game animations are choppy as hell and awkward to look at. Basically, everything this game has to offer has been done in other games in the past, much better than what Wet manages to pull off.

Posted by hwarang

I definitely liked the demo. And I think I'll play the full game. Not sure if buy-in though.

Edited by JasonBlood

I just finished the game about 20 minutes ago. Definitely agree with this review. Although once you beat the game you do unlock the challenge levels which in my opinion really make the game shine. This entire game is about getting a high score and once you nail the mechanics of her acrobatics you can do some really neat stuff, that is, if the camera agrees with you.

Posted by JasonBlood

I would honestly in a way call this Crank: The Game, it doesn't take itself seriously in anyway and to truly enjoy it you need to not take it seriously.

Posted by VibratingDonkey

Hopefully this will bring the metascore down to 69.

Posted by happyfatman

This looks like a fun game but only for a short period of time.  It seems like it would make a great rental, but I'll bet it's not quite worth buying for $60 considering that it doesn't seem like it has a lot of long lasting appeal.  I definitely want to play it though, because it does look really fun.

Posted by DukeTogo

There are plenty of women that sound hot that look like hell, so having a hot girl do voice work seems like doing magic on the radio, they could save some money and use it on making the game a little better.  Does Dushku even have a draw in 2009?  Buffy was where she got famous - and was at her best frankly - so several years later when Buffy is all but a memory, is WB banking on those Tru Calling and Dullhouse fans?
 
The game itself was surprisingly fun, I tried the demo and turned it off after failing the first thing 3 times in a row, stuck in some groundhog day loop.  Then I tried it again and went through it, and liked it quite a bit.  It reminds me much of Stranglehold, and like it - is a great rental or used game you pick up in six months for $20.

Posted by Octaslash
@DukeTogo: It's not like they hired some random celebrity, Dushku fits the roll perfectly. 
 
She fits in here more than she does in the first few episodes (it got better later on) of Dollhouse anyway. When she tried to play a hostage negotiator she came off as more of a sexy librarian (in a porn video).
Posted by Veektarius

It seems like the level design and presentation are better than Stranglehold, but the shooting doesn't look like as much fun to me - fewer baddies and more shots per kill.

Posted by Laticsfan

Granted the style + graphics look decent but I still don't even think it's worth  3 stars.

Posted by Media_Master

O well....

Posted by bybeach

"hers your fucking book" 
 
may buy this game someday, after i play stranglehold. That`l pace me to a better price-point than I bought Stranglehold. But i`m not too turned off at all from what i saw in the Quick-look, kinda liked it!
Posted by agentboolen

The demo reminded me of Strangle hold, but it zag in some of the spots SH zig in.

Posted by Vect

Played the demo before. Controls felt kinda stiff for me and the pistols kinda sucked in the car-hopping sequence.
 
Still, like the style and the character sorta. I like a strong female protagonist who isn't overly sexualized.

Posted by Niccoles
@agentboolen: agreed
Posted by Godlyawesomeguy

I thought the review was great (standard here at giantbomb), but I still love this game a lot, which reinforces the fact that all reviews are opinions and just because one person might not like a game dosent mean the next person wont.
Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles

This kind of game is exactly why i have GameFly
Posted by ahriman22

I love this game, it satisfies my virtual blood lust lol. But I love the rage mode levels, they're so pretty.

Posted by TripMasterMunky

This game made me want to go back and play Stranglehold, because that's a sweet game. Wet could've been cooler with more variety, but it's too repetitive.

Posted by s0mah

Man, wtf is going on with the front of her pants?

Posted by Tortoise

No mention of the music? It seemed from the demo to be totally different to anything I'd heard in other games, and pretty funky.

Posted by Ghostiet

Hot chick? With guns? In a game that seems not to be a piece of shit everybody thought before?

A rental.

Posted by KimFidler

Just finished WET this morning.  Game is ok.  Rubi is amazing.  Quite possibly one of the best female characters in video game history and hopefully Bethesda decides to do keep her around.

Posted by pplus0440

JEFF IS AWESOME. I FEEL LIKE I KNOW HIM PERSONALLY.

Posted by DazMoo

hmmm, not sure if the title is just one ploy to get me to buy... or is there actually something to it...?

Posted by Godlyawesomeguy

Happy 1 year anniversary Ruby!

Posted by Godlyawesomeguy

I am going to continue to post here every year. Can't wait for the sequel.

Posted by Napalm

@Godlyawesomeguy said:

I am going to continue to post here every year. Can't wait for the sequel.

Something is wrong with you.

Posted by Godlyawesomeguy

@Napalm said:

@Godlyawesomeguy said:

I am going to continue to post here every year. Can't wait for the sequel.

Something is wrong with you.

OH SON OF A BITCH I FORGOT THIS YEAR GODDAMMIT

Awesome game still.