Developer: Artificial Mind and Movement
by: Katrina 'Shadokat Regn' Pawlowski
WET: A messy job or task that involves ones hands becoming wet with blood. This isn't normally what one thinks of when it comes to the word wet, but the game makes sure that it's the first thing we see when starting up story mode. WET's hero is Rubi, a hardcore mercenary that doesn't take lightly to being used. The story revolves around Rubi's involvement with a certain family, the Ackers, who she helps, hurts, and avenges by the end. Her rough demeanor gives her a dimension most women in gaming don't even get; she'll finish off bosses by stabbing them through their special male place, she curses at doors, and she has no problem torturing, burning, and name-calling.
Visually, WET turned some heads with its sexy main character, film grain effect, and intriguing retro movie intermissions. But, is WET fun to play or is it all washed up?
The first battle in WET has Rubi infiltrate a "deal gone wrong" where an illegal organ trade leads to blood shed. While in combat, Rubi has a hard time aiming and dispatching enemies. She has a special John Woo approach to combat, where she flies gracefully through the air in a dive, runs along a wall to throw enemies off guard, or sliding across the floor unloading magazine after magazine into an unsuspecting foe. All of these moves are done very much in slow motion - which unfortunately got stale pretty quickly. Sword combat gave Rubi a cutting-edge chance to battle without slow-mo combat, but don't get too used to it. As the enemies grew stronger, Rubi's sword grew dull, and it became more of a baseball bat...and Rubi wound up dead.
She also has several types of gameplay modes in most of the stages. There's Rubi Rage mode, where the entire stage is a stylized red and black, and enemies disappear in a puff of white - this mode was easily my favorite, as it had the most enemies, and the most interesting visuals. Then the car chase mode, where Rubi is on a highway loaded with enemy cars. She has to jump from car, to truck, to car (almost The Matrix style) while shooting the enemies around her before they shoot her. Turret mode, which gave the player a first-person perspective while they dispatched a stage full of enemies and oil canisters. Finally, arena mode, which pits Rubi against an endless horde of enemies until she closes off the many entrances to the room.
Finally there was a strange, somewhat out of place platforming element to WET. When traveling to her target, Rubi often found herself having to scale buildings, jump across courtyards, and flipping on poles. While this type of platforming was cool to play, they were very broken in most of the game. You were given a "helpful guide" by holding the left trigger, and the possible destinations to jump, dive, or run-to were illuminated in red. This was helpful, but misleading on occasion. Inconsistencies in the distance that Rubi could actually jump made me question my own dives, sometimes she made it, sometimes she didn't - if she didn't, you got to start over, and potentially miss an entirely different jump.
Although the overall premise of the game was interesting; film grain, 1960's movie intermissions, stunts, and of course Eliza Dushku (as Rubi), the game just didn't feel as complete as expected. Broken platforming, frustration when Rubi's health got low the film grain got worse - guaranteeing death, coupled by redundant combat just didn't float well. Fun and mildly entertaining, but not quite fun enough to own.