Review Xbox 360: WET

Stylish, deadly and beautiful three perfect words to describe the lead Rubi Malone in this creative and violent modern shooter.

 

You play as Rubi a take no shit kind of girl who is paid for what she does best, and that’s dealing with other peoples idiotic problems using bullets – it’s how she rolls. You’re in a take no shit kind of game aswell; you can use several weapons to take down your foes easily but with a cinematic acrobatic edge. After just five minutes of gameplay you’ve covered the room in blood and have killed several goons by running across walls and shooting them in the face with, not just one gun but two. You can also slice and dice with your samurai sword leaving body’s minced and tangled on the floor without even thinking about it, the best part about this is you look damn cool while doing it. You get this brilliant vibe throughout the game with a side helping of catchy fast paced action, Lara croft Esq acrobatics and a top notch sound track to set the 70’s desperado tone.

 There is a story somewhere amongst the blood and guts – basically Rubi gets duped into a job that turns out to be a whole lot bigger than she initially realised – to be honest she doesn’t seem like the sharpest tool in the box going off her blunt one liners. Your mission is to kill your way to the problem, the plot is a little weak and it’s not delivered very well in places too, however there’s alot of cool ways to kill your way to the problem so it’s a  fun ride never the less.

When you start the campaign you are thrown straight into the killing spirit with some simple moves. One of the things you will learn about is running up walls, you just hold the Left Trigger button when approaching a surface you can run across or up. The game not only lets you do this easily but it’s been designed to be used without planning to do so: you can just keep the trigger pressed down and you end up doing more flips and jumps when you allowed too, not when you think about doing it. You’re also taught about firing weapons and twin crosshairs, it’s not all manic… most of it is but there’s the odd exception.

While you’re doing some crazy assed flip or slide you will hit slow-mo time. if you fire your weapon while you’re in slow-mo time a red crosshair will automaticly appear on the nearest enemy and you can aim your crosshair on another dude. This means you can take out two dudes at once making your life easier but also enabling you to get good combos flowing and high multipliers as most moves these this are rewarded. From the start of the game you will notice the fixed camera angle, this with the acrobatics can sometimes have a bad outcome, you can’t see too well if the camera angle isn’t on your side and it can become irritating if you die because of it. The acrobatics can sometimes back fire on you though the early Tomb Raider style climbing and leaping works well with all the chaos most of the time and is a welcome addition to the awesome combat style. The levels are designed well but the odd time it will fail on you anyway, you need alot of space to leap around and shoot like this and sometimes there just isn’t enough map space to make it work 100% of the time.

The fact the levels and stages have unique western sometimes eastern fittings and vibes really helps with the gameplay. I wasn’t expecting so much from the levels themselves but when you have limitations to your game or team then squeezing every last drop out of what you have really works, this is the case with WET. There isn’t that initial learning curve either, you can jump straight into the action with the basics then start to get nifty with your moves. After the first level you can purchase upgrades for your weapons and acrobatics, this helps open up the game as you progress and helps when things get harder. There’s a couple of things to look out for to help with the purchasing upgrades, there are some little monkeys scattered throughout the levels (Just listen for the clashing of his symbols) and bonus point icons that hover about the ground.

WET does really needs this kind progression in its campaign as even though shooting people in the face is a lot of fun you do need to eventually add other elements to keep your playing audience happy. WET does accomplish to bring you some exciting gameplay and visual elements but not seamlessly enough to bring all of the levels and segments together smoothly, this leaves a bit of a start stop feeling in certain places. The repetitive feel always seems faintly there in the background while you’re playing through the campaign, it didn’t bother me too much but it’s only noticeable in certain places. At times I wondered where that true exhilarating gameplay had gone, but it would return a level later sending me from the more mundane/normal side of the game to its amazing action side. The developers Artificial Mind & Movement do have a damn good crack at it bringing you some pretty awesome scenes and a few utterly hyper and manic levels.

These levels push you instantly into some bizarre and insane circumstances and they’re thrown into the game randomly so you won’t see them coming. This give WET a very exciting on the edge feel when these levels are sprung on you and helps create a small but unique draw to the game. There are one or two unspoilt examples of this creativity like chapter 11 where you have to shoot at the enemies while standing on the roof of a fast moving vehicle. At certain points you will be prompted to leap roof to roof and after more explosive  carnage your prompted again to run across the side of an oncoming lorry while shooting alot more – that is pretty  damn cool while you’re running and jumping in slow motion and have that carefully picked retro soundtrack pumping out your TV. These button prompts can also be found throughout the game like when opening doors or finishing a small boss, if you hit the right button Rubi will inflict a funny but brutal finisher just to give her a little bit more character.

The more open levels where you can freely attack people do have some great light puzzle elements, climbing around can be very enjoyable too as you get some POP and Tomb raider influences come through with some visually pleasing surroundings to boot. While your clambering around and figuring out how to get into the next room you can interact with a couple of pieces of your surroundings, just adding abit more variety when doing these levels. Again some levels are alot better than others but when the levels elements come together well you get an really good experience. There’s a certain challenge mode that you will bump into while playing the campaign which involves Rubi losing her rag with just about everything. This is called Rage mode and is triggered when Rubi shoots an oncoming enemy in the face at point blank range and gets a face full of blood. Tt’s an automatic scene so you can’t just trigger it anywhere but when this does happen the whole screen goes black and red and the challenge begins. Rage mode isn’t much different from regular fighting itself, it just looks really good and you’re also encouraged to do more aerial attacks and flips while you kill to up your score at the end.

Another mode you will encounter is the Challenge path mode which consists of you running through a series of gates until you reach the end of the allotted path. These will test your patience as they require abit of careful foot placement by you and abit of luck to get round the course. While you running the course you must hit the normal gates and the ones that are a flame as the flaming gates trigger a small target panel to appear somewhere in front of you. You must shoot this red target to trigger other panels to pop up, these ones knock 2 seconds off your time each. This mode is fast paced and your acrobatic skills are put to the test constantly, not only that but it tests your hand eye coordination as you don’t get much time to hit the panels. It’s a welcome break to the endless fighting but can get frustrating as there isn’t alot of room for mistakes, the course can sometimes be confusing and the camera angle can causes a few minor problems. A little tip here is to take abit more notice of the position of the panels before they pop up and try to take notice of where your crosshair is at the time of you jumping or sliding.

As you get further into the campaign things start to get alot better with the games possibilities fully open, also a change of scenery and buy guys with a trip to Hong Kong. The latter part of the campaign does seem to be noticeably better when you’ve unlocked more acrobatic skills and weapons. You eventually end up with four weapons consisting of pistols, shotguns, two small machine guns and a couple of crossbows. These can unleash some pretty nasty consequences for your opposition and don’t forget you will acquire more sword skills to lop limbs off with. You don’t have that time wasting business of reloading your weapons either but you will need to pick up ammo to use them, fire rate on all of the weapons is crazy fast.

WET does try applying different and interesting visual elements to certain parts of the campaign like in Rage mode, but the majority of the game looks like an old western film: you get that familiar grainy layer over the screen giving it a stressed cinematic look. The levels are well built too give or take one or two inconsistancies and you can see a good standard of quality coming through this grainy layer whatever you look at. A problem I did come across with the graphics is the characters themselves, they aren’t detailed enough compared to the environment around you. It’s only Rubi and a few others that are at a high enough standard to fit in, the rest seem cheap and empty and tend to stick out.

After you have completed the campaign it will unlock Points Count mode, where you can reply the missions to get the highest score possible. There’s also the Boneyard Challenges to complete at any time if you get a little bored of the campaign. The Boneyard Challenges are set in the first open area you get to visit in campaign; it’s actually called Rubi’s boneyard. Here you can venture round and start challenges when you approach them and you can also adventure and climb at your own pace. There is no online multiplayer thankfully I really don’t think it would have been a wise move, though after you’ve completed everything which will take you a while there’s nothing carry on with apart from some achievement hunting.

Overall WET seems to be in two minds and because of this it can’t always achieve a good balance between all of its unusual elements. It’s a shame as you can see the developers have really pushed the game and have created some fantastic ideas and an un mistakable theme but it always seems to be balancing on a knife edge between really bloody good and mundanely repetitive. The acrobatics work well throughout until you come up against that fun killing level that doesn’t work well with its chosen elements because of its design or location, this causes – jump of ledge in cramped space while trying to attack enemies that are close but out of swords reach – syndrome, which these games do suffer from time to time. The odd fiddly level and Rubi really don’t get on well and this can put the dampener’s on the whole energetic feel of the game and bring it to a frustrating halt. The games tiny problems will change depending what level, challenge mode or objective you’re currently doing: you might get a underlying confused feel now and again just stopping you from reaching that perfect high. You do however get very close to that high when the games better elements work and the camera angle compensates so you can see clearly, creating a strong contender for the modern action shooter genre. The developers have shoved so many other little gems into the game too, there’s alot to mention. My little favourite has to be the planted mini-gun scenes where you’re sat behind the gun and just mow down multiple enemy’s in some ironic arcade style on-slaught.

Because the game has alot of well made gameplay elements it’s not disappointingly short and has the other modes other than the campaign to complete, which was a very pleasant surprise. Sadly that camera view is either a friend or foe so the game isn’t up there with the big boys and girls but the developers do get the up most out of the game while adding alot of different elements. I’ve seen alot of pumped up popular titles achieve less than WET does because these big titles pick things people already love and get away with it, but for once I can say this game fights it’s problems head on with an array of elements that work well and some good old fashion hard graft. The lack of story is noticeable and makes the game a tiny bit hollow which the bigger titles do get right, the small flaws do add up to the game being abit irritating at times but most of the time it’s pretty kick ass, defiantly a game to pick up if you have the cash and are into your modern action shooters.

Score: 6.9/10

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2 comments on “Review Xbox 360: WET

  1. Good review, Kitty. I think that’s a pretty fair assessment.

    I played this a while back (demo, then rented). I really did enjoy it, but I didn’t make it all the way through. The repetitiveness that you mentioned started to get to me a little, but nonetheless it was an extremely enjoyable rental. I loved how they incorporated the cinematic storyline with the game and the over style was refreshing, sexy, and pretty damn cool.

  2. Finally found 5 mins to sit down and read this! Good work!

    It’s a game you’re not meant to take too seriously; it’s all about over-the-top action, sexy leather outfits and blood spilling – lots of blood spilling. The camera can often work against you as you say, and I agree that a little more exploration of the gameplay would’ve been appreciated, but as a game that’s simply “fun” there’s few arguments against buying it at a budget price.

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