by Brendan Griffiths
previewed on X360
Third person slasher
Wet is a third person acrobatic shooter with some very interesting ingredients. Take a plethora of 70s style exploitation, add Grindhouse cinema cheese and force it through the Max Payne bullet-time blender and you have an idea of what you are up against. You play as Rubi (voiced by Eliza Dushku), a sassy hired gun seemingly raised by Sarah Conner on John Woo movies and bourbon.
I use the term ‘shooter’ loosely, as it comes with a nice slice of swordplay. It is more Uncharted than Devil May Cry though. The old exploitation cinema influences are obvious but perhaps more to an older generation of gamer. Gamers of recent years will instantly make comparisons to games like Total Overdose or 2007's Stranglehold. The latter being the shadow it will have to emerge from.
Wet was one the games that almost didn't make it when the Activision and Vivendi merger went through. Along with Ghostbusters and Brutal Legend it managed to find a new home. Wet will now be released by Bethesda Softworks.
My first experiences with the game included interrupting a dodgy gang deal that had already gone bad. Rubi seems to be after the main object of the deal, a metal case, possibly an organ transplant container. Pop-up menus pause the action, telling you how to dive, jump and shoot, wall-run and slide on your knees. Naturally all of these actions are in slow motion and are thankfully easy to control. I quickly took to the ability to wall-run 'up' a person, backflip off their face (their face!) and shoot them before landing.
After clearing a Chinese restaurant which offered several waves of henchmen to dispose of, I went on to pursue a gang member across city rooftops. This meant lots of jumping and vertical and horizontal wall-running. Along the way I was introduced to the game's swordplay. The moves are basic, with currently only a slash attack or a sliding rise attack.
Remember the freeway chase in The Matrix Reloaded? Wet features a scene that is most certainly inspired by scene. Fortunately, rather than forcing you into a clumsily, hastily cobbled together car chase with lousy controls, the developers figured Rubi is the sort of gal who is happier jumping across speeding cars. Quick-time events tell you when to jump or dodge, guiding you forward until you catch up with your quarry. This scene ended with a cool stunt with Rubi wall-running alongside a tipping lorry and leaping off again at the last moment.