There’s something about slow motion that tickles the fancy when playing video games or watching movies that’s hard to nail why it feels just right despite the fact that it’s used extensively in both mediums, yet never gets old. There’s too many instances to mention here in gaming which have utilized the slowing down of time whilst the gamer sits in the comfort of a real time bubble, dancing around the heavy enemies who can only become fodder for something that moves beyond their comprehension.
Bethesda’s Wet is the latest example of an excessive use of time manipulation in the furores of combat, yet does this overly stylish game captivate or grate considering its lack of originality in its procedures? Wet is a third person action game, with guns, swords and an overly compensating aggressive female lead whose charms and charisma seem perfectly balanced for video game antics. Is the game any good, and more importantly is it worth taking a slow motion dive to your local games store and picking it up?
The story of Wet is typical and not really worth going into any detail, you’ve got leading lady Rubi who is as quick with her tongue as she is with her sword and pistols. She’s a gun for hire, cold blooded and as tenacious as they come, yet this rather macho demeanour of hers does little to pacify the gamer, because she comes across more like a tom boy than a sweet, flamboyant killing machine. Maybe this is what the developer’s intended, yet it doesn’t necessarily make her stand out or be likeable. In fact the game’s story does little to give any sort of background to her at all and so she comes across rather 2 dimensional which is a shame as there could have been plenty of scope for exploring her character, the reason why she’s a killing machine, the reason why she’s a money grabbing mercenary and what her dreams and goals are. Another game perhaps…
Looking at the gameplay and you’ve got the basics of any third person action game. Run, shoot, jump and simply kill anything that moves, There’s very little depth to the basics of the combat, yet it’s the use of Rubi’s acrobatic skills that propels the game into another realm. By jumping in the air, wall running or sliding along the ground Rubi enters a slow motion like state and begins to dual target enemies and not only look mightily cool but extra deadly to boot. The level design is quite linear, yet from time to time you’ll enter arena like areas where it’s a little more open to flexibility. Chaining moves together, getting kill multipliers and such like are the order of the day, where thinking a little before shooting can make a big difference to how things pan out. It’s unoriginal but still mildly clever all the same.
As you meander from locale to locale across the globe you’ll sometimes enter ‘Rage’ mode which takes the game into another realm of stylish action. Well, stylish in the sense that the graphics change to a more graphic novel type look and you’re up against a plentiful supply of cannon fodder. It’s a good opportunity to show off, yet sadly these moments do begin to get repetitive considering there’s little to do other than the same stuff you’ve done previously, which is to kill anything which moves.
This is perhaps the game’s biggest problem, as there is little to no variety with the gameplay. You merely run, jump, slide, dive and shoot from room to room (sometimes from vehicle to vehicle with some QTE thrown in for good measure). Although there are some minor navigation elements interspersed with the shooting action to perhaps throw you or break up the monotonous nature of the combat. Saying that though, there is one free falling section that might cause a few burst brain cells and controllers being thrown at the screen. It certainly breaks up the combat, but not in a good way as this moment is probably going to make some players give up on the game as their patience is stretched beyond breaking point. A bad design choice perhaps, or just a ramped up difficulty to prolong the game? Either way, you’ve been warned and if you do endure with success the feeling of elation is orgasmic. Phew!
Sorry to say but the game offers a film grain look in the style of one of those drive in movies of the 50s 60s. It works but was turned off for a much cleaner look. That said, the game’s graphics never really push the boundaries and come across as adequate as opposed to mind blowing. The abundance of red and white in Rage mode is good, but overall the game’s graphics fail to offer any stand out moments. You might feel some anger welling up with some of the animations and jumping to your doom because you weren’t lined up properly, but overall the slow motion and the general flow of the game is handled well enough to keep you entertained by the gameplay and not being distracted by plaguing issues.
The sound is a mixed bag, because there’s some pretty feisty music on offer which drives the gameplay along and pumps up just at the right moment when there’s thugs to slice and shoot up. It’s good but only if you like screaming vocalists and screaming leads. If not, then you might feel the music grates and should be switched off pronto. The other sound effects such as guns, explosions and ambient sounds are adequate, but the voice acting is neither here nor there. Rubi is voiced well but the other players are about as cliché as they come. Oh well, to be expected really.
Wet offers some 13 levels to blast through and several modes of difficulty to try your hand at once beaten. There are hidden items to hunt down and some time trial events to master if you’ve got the mad gun skills. Overall, with the absence of any multiplayer, as a single player game only, offers enough challenge and extras to keep you coming back for more, as long as you don’t get bored of the repetitive nature of the game. perhaps one game to dip in and out of from time to time rather than long marathon sessions.
Wet is a solid action shooting game which features some fine slow motion inspired moments. However, the game can get repetitive, perhaps more than other games simply due to its design, yet don’t let this put you off as the game does have its own charms when the action comes thick and fast, which is from start to conclusion. Wet isn’t the most intelligent offering or the most stylish, but what is does provide is some pure unadulterated fun that will keep you entertained for the duration. Well worth checking out if you can stomach lots of blood, cheesy dialogue, some overly scripted moments, dreaded QTE, in fact all the ingredients that make an action packed game that’s more expected than inspiring.