WET - Xbox 360

WET continues the trend of me reviewing games two weeks after they are released. This is why I urge all of you to write all of the big video game publishers and demand that they start sending us review copies of their games. Then we can play them and get you these reviews in a timely fashion. Get out there and do our dirty work for us! But first click ahead and read my not timely but still entertaining review of WET.

The demo for this game seemed to divide a lot of people but I frankly had a lot of fun with it and even played through it multiple times, which is rare for me. It got me quite excited for a game that frankly was not on my radar at all prior to the demo’s release. After having played the full version start to finish (almost twice) I can say that WET ranks up amongst the years’ biggest surprises so far.

WET works well because it knows exactly what it is – a silly, violent, over-the-top action game that is an ode to the world of Grindhouse cinema. It wants nothing more than to provide you with a solid action experience that’s full of total ridiculouslessness (absolutely a real word), and it completely delivers on that promise. It may be a shining example of style over substance but man, this thing has a helluva lot of style.

The story of WET is a pretty basic revenge plot. Main character Ruby (voiced by the almost unfairly attractive Eliza Dushku) is double crossed and the game is mostly about her not being pleased about that and killing a LOT of people. Of course it goes into a little more depth than that and the story itself is actually pretty interesting. Don’t get me wrong I was never playing for the story, but I never skipped any of the sequences and was never upset when the story interrupted the action, and for this game that’s perfectly acceptable.

The graphics for the game aren’t spectacular, but they are fine. The animation is really strong on Ruby as she performs all sorts of acrobatics from running along walls to swinging around horizontal poles. The coolest effect are the scratches that appear on the screen in order to give everything that old movie look. This might annoy some people and they’re in luck because there is an option to turn that feature off. I thought it added to the overall style of the experience and never once found it to be a distraction.

The voice acting is fine, with a few known names such as Malcolm McDowell and Alan Cumming joining the lovely Ms. Dushku. They all do fine in their roles but the dialogue is not that great so they never really get a chance to shine.

Where the audio really shines is in the music. I need to look up whether or not this thing has an official soundtrack or not because it would absolutely be worth picking up. All of the music was designed originally for the game and it’s pretty much awesome across the board. It really adds to the action and gets you amped to shoot some sum bitches.

I think that’s a decent lead-in to the most important aspect of this game – the shooting and general dismemberment of bad guys. That is essentially what the game boils down – killing people in creative and stylish fashions. You can shoot them while jumping, sliding, running across walls, sliding down ladders, swinging around poles and more. It’s also worth mentioning that just about all of that is slow motion which yes is a staple of just about every action game now, but it’s implemented well here. Often what you’re doing to dispatch dudes is so badass that it deserves to be placed in slow motion so you can admire it.

If shooting faces doesn’t satisfy your bloodlust, you can pull out a sword for close combat and start slicing off limbs and stabbing crotches instead. Both weapons have their pros and cons so you should find yourself switching between the two of them quite often.

Although the majority of the game is running around killing people, it does occasionally switch things up with some large action set pieces including jumping from car to car in a high speed chase and shooting people/dodging debris while falling from an airplane. The second one really reminded me of Shoot ‘Em Up, which is always a good thing. Although these events are very quick-time event heavy, they are still really well done and a great change of pace.

As much fun as I had with WET, there are still flaws to be had. The game is quite short, clocking in at around 5 to 6 hours on Normal difficulty. You can add a couple more hours for the harder difficulties since you will be dying a lot more frequently. There is some replay value to be had with finding all the monkeys (yes that’s right), and a couple of extra modes that are unlocked after you complete the game. As I mentioned earlier I did start a second playthrough but I think for many people, one play through should be enough.

Despite the short length, the game does start to get repetitive by the end. I almost guarantee you’ll be tired of those “endless enemy closet” sections by the end of the game. Another aspect I could have done without are the obstacle courses the game forces you to run through everytime you get a new weapon. The weapons don’t differ too much from one to the other so this felt quite unnecessary. Also I won’t go into details but the last level is a colossal disappointment.

In the end though I really liked this game despite a few repetitive gameplay aspects and a very disappointing ending. The core gameplay is just a lot of fun and action game fans should definitely check this one out.