WET Review

Wet, you are shit.

I know this. Now, I have not actually played you. I have not watched you being played, or read any reviews of you. The sum total of my experience with you is watching your minute-long Basketball Court gameplay video and half of your Rage gamplay video on Gametrailers circa E3 2009 before closing the browser tab in terror. Finally, I’ve been unable to avoid the TV ads you’ve started putting out recently. Some people might say you have to play a game, to know if it is shit. These people are not professionals.

I am a professional.

Here is my review of Wet:

In Wet you control Miss. Alice Wet on her globe-hopping mission to murder literally a whole bunch of dudes. With such far-flung cinematic influences as both Kill Bill and Sin City, this game is a game that oozes cool.

You will shoot guys while backflipping. You will cut a guy with your katana, and he won’t even know what’s going on! You will shoot guys while hanging from the ceiling, and you will do it all while lookin’ fine! Alice Wet belongs to a school of character design that believes in well rounded personalities, if you know what I’m saying.

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I’m saying she has a fine ass!

It’s a shame, then, that Wet’s such a dog to play. Supposedly Wet gets its name from the fluidity of the protagonists’ fighting style. I’d say this is the absolute pinnacle of PR bullshit if I didn’t fear their car-owning kind would take it as a challenge. Wet’s animation and controls are unforgivably sloppy. Your attack animations jump in and out of movement animations in a jerky, illusion-snapping fashion, and your sword and guns jump in and out of Alice’s hands as your button presses demand. You’ll even watch Alice Wet leap off of platforms after she’s run over the edge, her feet pushing off of thin air.

The combat enjoys a similar fast-and-loose development strategy. Enemies have been coded to run at you and attack because… that’s what enemies do, right? No thought’s gone into how to make combat remotely deep or rewarding. Or maybe that’s unfair. Maybe thought has gone into how to make combat interesting, but the developers were incompetent. Guys run at you and you put them to death like you might fold a pair of jeans on a sunny day. It doesn’t take long for your walk-in closet of acrobatic moves, slides and flips to start feeling like ‘cool’ distractions, when really a game like this should be braiding them into combat and the way you’re attacked to create something interesting.

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Worse, for a game so self-consciously struggling to be cool, treading those icy waters with all the elegance of a fat man still wearing his business suit, it’s impossible to make Wet look cool when you’re playing. You’ll take spastic swipes at thin air with your katana, jostle for a decent camera angle in tight corridors and take hits from guys you had no idea were there. Better still, the sweary quips that come both from Alice and her enemies don’t stop coming when the game slows into bullet time, which it does for 35 seconds of every minute. As in, Alice and her enemies will be sassing each other at normal speed while Alice cartwheels above them in slow motion. That’s attention to detail!

Every so often Wet lets you interrupt your not-having-much-fun with RAGE MODE. But I mislead you! Rage Mode isn’t much fun either.

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In Rage Mode everything turns BLACK and RED and  SILHOUTTED, which I see Spike TV calls ‘Seeing the world of Wet through THE EYES OF FURY ITSELF.’ In Rage mode you move a little faster, get your health back a little quicker, and wonder a little harder if you’ll ever find someone who’ll love you for who you are.

All told, Wet is a man who vomits on you on the bus and doesn’t even say sorry. It’s an action game which hasn’t bothered intelligently analysing what makes a good action game, and it’s a ‘cool’ game which honestly believes you can be cool by stitching together other people’s ideas and flashing a thumbs up. When you enter Rage mode the actual fucking “I am angry” siren sound effect from Kill Bill plays.

Put that last sentence on the front of the game’s box, Bethesda. I’m sure it’ll sell you another 60,000 copies.

Comments

  1. I WUD LIEK TO DISAGREE I HAVENT PLAYED IT BUT UR WRONG

  2. “honestly believes you can be cool by stitching together other people’s ideas and flashing a thumbs up”

    Just like Tarantino, then!

    In related news: awesome review :D

  3. i havent even heard of it it’s clearly an 8.7 game

  4. Played the 360 version’s demo. The review is actually spot on. Well done, sir.

  5. In Kill Bill, it’s not a siren sound effect — it’s Ironside by Quincy Jones!

  6. Y’ain’t wrong, not by a long shot, but the name Wet comes from wetwork. Y’know, killing people. Which alludes to hands wet with blood.

    THE MORE YOU KNOW!

    But yes, I’VE PLAYED THE DEMO AND TOTALLY AGREE.

    • Clarification! The PR I heard mouthing off said the name Wet came from three things: What I said about the fluidity of movement, what you said about Wetwork and a third thing I forget.

  7. I thought (and said) exactly the same based on the trailers. Then I played it.

    Believe it or not, there’s a lot of fun there. The game is so completely aware of how silly and over the top it is it’s actually laugh-out-loud funny in its ridiculousness and fun to play. No, not completely original, yes the moves wear thin, no, it’s not going to be anyone’s game of the year. But it’s actually worth playing, insomuch as grindhouse cinema is worth watching. A weekend rental perhaps.

    Also – psychobilly soundtrack. Awwww yeah.

  8. Chad Sexington says:

    I get wet when I play it.

  9. Thank you sir! I saw a little flash of the great Hunter S. with the bit about being a professional, and it was not unwarranted!
    Grindhouse cinema = not worth watching.
    I’d rather fold jeans for hours on a sunny day than play even the demo of WET again. It’s so unambitious that it makes me less ambitious. A human being is made up of its experiences, so think twice before you play lazy crap (and support those who make it).

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