Jeff Markiewicz On October 1, 2009 at 10:05 am

Wet is from developer Artificial Mind and Movement for the current generation systems. They have worked on a lot of licensed properties for handhelds, Wii, and Playstation 2. Some of these properties include Iron Man, High School Musical, and Lord of the Rings. Their previous work hasn’t gotten too much critical acclaim but that could because they are constrained to a property. Now they’ve upgraded to the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and have their own home baked property. Will this game wet our appetites or leave us wanting more?

Wet is a game that tries to recreate the style of classic 70’s action films. The films tend to be high on the action yet have a somewhat simplistic story and that’s what you’re going to get here. You’re Rubi, a gun for hire to the highest bidder. The beginning of the game has you chasing down a special case for Trevor Ackers which leads to a second job a year later than takes you on a journey around the world and meeting tons of characters. The story won’t blow you away but it’s not supposed to, it’s just there to support the action. The biggest issue is the amount of characters which leads to little development for any, even the main character.

The game is a third-person action shooter combined with some platforming elements. You will prance around the levels jumping and sliding while doing fancy acrobatic moves and killing bad guys. The game is like Max Payne ratcheted up to the obscene levels of classic 70’s action movies. Whenever you’re in the air or gliding across the ground, firing will slow the game down similar to bullet time. The first weapon you’ll have is akimbo pistols where one will automatically aim at the nearest target and the other is up to you where you want to aim it. Other weapons include the basics like submachine gun, shotgun, and explosive crossbow but they require ammo pickups unlike the pistols. The effect takes some time to get use to but works pretty well. The game takes a largely linear path but interspersed throughout the adventure will be several arena areas where you’ll be charged with taking out spawn points. Literally. These rings will have several nicely placed pieces of geometry to show off Rubi’s full acrobatic skills. Even at the end you’ll be ranked on how well you used your skills and rewarded appropriately.

Killing enemies with style will earn you increasingly high multipliers and style points to upgrade your abilities and weapons. It’s a neat distraction but the upgrades never feel like they change much and most of the abilities are for special occasions. The other purpose of the multiplier is the speed of which your health regenerates. If they takes too long, frequently throughout the game you can drink some whiskey to replenish it in full.

The level design does a nice job of making them feel different but they do get tiresome after a while. Pulling the left trigger will enable Rubi vision so you can see which parts of the level you can interact with and works well. Spread throughout the game is small quick-time-events which are supposed to look cool but usually it won’t. At least you’re given a long time to press the button so it won’t add to the difficulty. The best part of the action is when Rubi gets a face full of blood and enters Rage Mode. At certain sections the game will turn into a very stylish red look. The gameplay stays the same but the style ramps up immensely and you get a glimpse into the greatest this title was intended for but then something gets in the way.

There is a lot of fun to be had but when you die, it rarely feels like it’s your fault. It’s usually because you’re fighting with the controls to get the game to do what you want. The game takes some time getting use to them. For example something as simple as jumping is not just up and down; you will always jump in a large arch so it takes time to learn how to jump onto poles which leads to frustration. There isn’t much wiggle room for initiating a pole grab or a wall run so either you pull it off as you like or you get frustrated and failure later on usually means death. To add to the frustration, sometimes the game will put the camera into a stylish position rather than a useful one while you’re platforming which can lead to some unfortunate falls.  The game frequently checkpoints so you never start too far away but after experiencing games like Ninja Gaiden last generation with superior controls, it makes you wish for more.

The graphics are the weakest part of this game. At most times the game will look worse than early next generation games. The textures are bland and lack detail. The levels have a nice design and consistently mix things up visually but they lack much geometry. The game does push a decent amount of characters on screen but others have done it just as well without sacrificing image quality. The animations also aren’t that great and get repetitive after a while. Rubi looks decent but doesn’t look any better than Joanna Dark from Perfect Dark Zero. In attempt to add style to the game there is a film grain but it muddies the picture of the game and is best turned off. When you die, a cool film strip break sequence happens and at particular parts through the game you’ll get old intermission clips just like watching a movie long ago and adds a little coolness to the game. The best part is rage mode, a red filter goes over the entire world and style just oozes out. A particular scene near the end has you doing something you actually already did gameplay wise but with the rage mode on, it looks awesome. Unfortunately the rest of the graphics couldn’t keep up with those scenes.

An immense portion of style comes with you add in the music and sound. Something that looks just cool before becomes classic with the right auditory addition and this is what this game does best. The music selection is phenomenal and really fits in with style of the game. The voice acting is great for the main characters with Eliza Dushku voicing Rubi. For the supporting actors the quality falls off a little bit but still decent. The guns sound beefy and worthy of you shooting them.  Some sound effects like those of the random rats scurrying across the ground can be pretty bad though.

In an idyllic world, Wet would’ve had that perfect controls of Ninja Gaiden and style and flow of Mirror’s Edge but it doesn’t succeed very well. The controls are manageable but frequently hinder any sense of flow that the game wishes to create and at times will get you killed. This also destroys any hope of replayability the designers had intended. The level design for the most part is actually pretty good but without the fundamentals it’s just not worth another look. To add to it the game will sometimes try to force a cool camera angle or interject a short stylish cut-scene into the middle of the action which further hampers the sense of flow. The story is simple enough to keep the momentum going forward and fits with the style they are trying to create but fewer characters to give the main ones some more development would’ve been nice.

The poor graphics further hamper the sense of style but the developers did hold one ace in their hand, rage mode. The red styling of the screen worked perfectly and made you wish they fleshed it out more. The best part is the great sound design. The music fits the game perfectly, guns and hits sound great, and the main voice acting is pretty good. The game tries to have a 70’s action movie vibe but it typically underperforms. The graphics of the world and cut-scenes just can’t keep up. But on the other hand the rage levels and soundtrack are phenomenal except for getting lost on occasion. The biggest issue is really the controls that hampers the experience just enough to negate anything else that’s good in the game. There is some fun to be had here but being single-player only with no replayability, its best to look for renting this adventure. If you push through it, there is an awesome rage mode scene near the end that makes it somewhat worthwhile.


The story fits in with the style they are trying to present but lacks much character development. The gameplay is fun but is marred by mediocre controls and eventually gets repetitive.


The levels are largely bland and lifeless. The effects and textures are poor. Aliasing is prevalent throughout. The saving grace is the occasional rage mode where the world will go into shades of red and will blow you away with style.


Soundtrack is amazing. You’ll almost play just to hear more. The main voice acting is pretty well delivered but the others are fairly lackluster. Guns sound beefy but some other effects not up to par.


Fundamentals are important and since the controls didn’t get the extra polish they needed, the entire package suffers. The graphics don’t help but at least there is a glimpse of greatness in the rage mode scenes. The best part is the sound design which is excellent, especially the music selection. There is some fun to be had here but being single-player only with no real replayability, its best to look for renting this adventure.

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