WET is a fast paced, action packed, adrenaline fueled rollercoaster ride that keeps the player on their toes the entire way. This is the story of Rubi Malone, a cold-blooded killer with a taste for blood whom a man named Pelham made the deadly mistake of crossing. Rubi could be considered the new Lara Croft, she’s is just as acrobatic, beautiful and deadly though much more rugged, angry, and violent. There will be lots of bullets fired, swords swung, and bodies dropped and while you might make it out alive, no one makes it out without getting…WET.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you about how well stylized the game is, the fact that it has a unique visual appeal that separates it from most of the games we have seen recently was one of its selling points. With a game that touts its visual distinction the way WET did, it would be easy for it to feel like they were trying to do too much, but it never feels like they are. What WET is full of is memorable moments and excellent action sequences including one of the greatest car chase scenes I have ever seen in a video game.
The game will draw a lot of comparisons to Afro Samurai because of the amount of violence and the sword play, and while we actually enjoyed Afro Samurai this game definitely has much more depth. The game features controls that are well thought out and for the most part easy to master. While the game features an array of weapons, the two primary weapons for most players will be the basic pistols and the sword. The game has a nice upgrade system that is powered by the player collecting style points for dispatching enemies. What makes WET unique is you can get even more points for eliminating them with flair. While you could just shoot a bunch of guys, why not jump up in the air and shoot two guys then bounce off another guy and shoot two more dudes and then slide across the floor and take down three more guys and then rise up with a devastating kill blow on the last one?
Over the last few years there has been an interesting trend in video games where it was almost impossible for characters to die. Examples include the systems that were seen in two of the better games of the past year, Prince of Persia and Batman. The system was widely panned in POP because you couldn’t die and thus gamers felt like there were really no consequences for your actions. While Batman featured something similar, at times you could die and it was overall much better received. I say all this to tell you that WET is not like this and there are definitely consequences.
In fact, I initially saw this as a negative until I realized that this was not a design flaw, but rather a deliberate design decision and upon further review a refreshing one. At first, I thought that one of my major criticisms of this game would be bad checkpoint placement; however, as you play it becomes apparent that the placement of the checkpoints is a deliberate attempt to make you aware of the choices that you make. When you die, they actually make you start from the beginning of the level or from further than you would expect to. WET actually made me realize how spoiled and lazy some of these other games have made me and that hasn’t happened to me in a while. In WET, if you get ahead of yourself or make a bad decision there is a consequence which is what gamers have been asking for. I wonder how well we handle it now that we have it.
For all the things that WET does right, it has some glaring holes that can’t be ignored. I think the biggest of these holes is in the story itself and while you will be compelled to root for Rubi as the story progresses, all the while you will have some major questions. You will wonder why she is the way she is and how she came to be that way and unfortunately those questions are never really answered. As far as game characters go, Rubi is about as deep as a kiddie pool. While this may be done purposely by Bethesda in order to set up a sequel, it definitely could have been done a little smoother. Perhaps my biggest gripe with the game was with its jumping mechanic. On several occasions Rubi will need to scale different structures to get from one place to another in a way that I haven’t really seen since Uncharted, though the problem here is that while it looks very cool when she pulls it off at times it appears to be quite random as to whether she does or not. Sometimes you will take a very long jump and Rubi somehow manages to make it and then other times you will take what seems to be a more than manageable jump and come up short and die. It just doesn’t seem balanced and with a mechanic that is so vital to the gameplay it has to be tighter and more consistent.
While other weapons have an ammo count, Rubi’s pistols don’t and for a game where you are so outnumbered the majority of the time I actually think it’s necessary to be that way but some gamers won’t like that. The game also has a tendency to want to keep the player on their toes by having one big moment and then another one back to back. There are points in the game where you will have to do a series of fairly complex things that create a very nice action sequence and right when in most games there would be a lull, something happens that you didn’t expect and you die. I don’t necessarily know if I can call that a criticism, more than I can simply observe that the game doesn’t follow the normal video game flow.
WET is definitely a change of pace on a lot of fronts and Bethesda has to be commended for that. But just as brilliantly as all those things that they do right shine, so to do the holes they left. Besides not giving any background at all on Rubi’s past, they left several story arches open without resolution. Even if you are planning on doing a sequel, which seems highly likely, you have to tie more loose ends up than they did. All in all I think the game was a success, I just felt like they might have been thinking ahead to a sequel and because of that glanced over some basic story components. While WET displays splashes of brilliance it ultimately leaves players wanting; therefore, we give WET by Bethesda 7.5 out of 10, but this is still a very good game and definitely worth playing.
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