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Score: 85%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Developer: Artificial Mind and Movement
Media: Blu-ray/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Third Person Shooter

Graphics & Sound:
What is there to say about a game that shoots the bird at all of its shortcomings and injects cc after cc of pure adrenaline into the player? It turns out, there's a lot to say: WET is such a game. It's got its share of quirks, but the stylish, high-octane action should have no trouble drawing fans of Max Payne and Stranglehold.

WET employs a very stylish aesthetic that hearkens back to the B-movie homages of filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. WET is impressive and innovative from an artistic standpoint, but once you remove the film scratch filter, it's a rather bland-looking game. The problem is that the film scratch filter comes with all the trappings of a movie that clearly has a very low budget. The picture will occasionally be jarred out of alignment for a half-second or so, which could make some players motion sick. However, the desaturation effects of bullet-time and the Killer7 - esque solid color schemes you see in Rage mode help give WET a flavor of its own.

The entire presentation leans heavily on the exploitation film motif, meaning you've got a script that is laden with F-bombs and cheesy one-liners. In addition, there's an awful lot of surf rock that usually kicks into high gear during one of the game's several arena-style battles. Even though the script is 100% cornball, it's amusing to see the lines delivered by the likes of Eliza Dushku and Malcolm McDowell.

WET casts players in the role of Rubi Malone, a stone cold fox who packs a lot of heat, talks a lot of trash, and kicks a lot of ass. The patriarch of a crime family (whose heart transplant is the first mission's main objective) has contracted Rubi to rescue his son, who has apparently been caught up in a ring of drug dealers in Hong Kong. You'll encounter shady and absurd villains with weird names and sinister motives. Being an exploitation film in videogame form, WET's plot isn't that simple -- nor is it even all that important.

The core of WET's gameplay is comprised of many parts, none of which are particularly new or innovative. It's a third person action shooter that places a heavy emphasis on stylish, acrobatic gunplay, as well as some rudimentary swordplay. There's an upgrade system that feels more barebones than it probably is, because it doesn't feel like it adds enough depth to the combat system. This is odd, because in many cases, you are unlocking brand new moves to play with.

What keeps WET fresh is its unwillingness to settle into a particular form. Sure, you've got several set-piece battles that have you frantically destroying enemy spawn points, but they all feel different. Each arena is a playground, and it's up to you to use the equipment to your advantage. Of course, you've got your hallway shootouts and boss fights, but there are watercooler moments all over the game. For example, the first mission ends with a pulse-pounding car chase on a crowded freeway -- and not once will you actually find yourself in a car during this sequence. WET is reckless when it comes to structure, but that's part of its charm.

WET is an accessible game that begins with an on-the-fly tutorial. It explains Rubi's basic move set in a way that all gamers should be able to understand, but the game will not let you out of the tutorial until you prove that you've got the basics down.

If you consider yourself an ace at third-person action shooters and start off at a higher difficulty level, WET will demand a lot from you. You'll need to memorize your surroundings if you want to efficiently choreograph each battle. These days, many gamers complain about shooters in which each enemy seems to target the player and the player alone. This is a valid criticism of most games that are full of friendly NPCs, but WET can't count itself among those games. Rubi is a one woman army, and her enemies will treat her as such.

If you want to unlock the Trophies that aren't focused on finishing each chapter, you can look for the toy monkeys that have been scattered around each stage. You'll always be able to hear the crash of cymbals if you're in the general area. They're not all that hard to find, because the constantly changing volume will help you narrow down your searches.

Game Mechanics:
WET doesn't bring anything new to the table, but since its reverence towards the old-school permeates the gameplay, the lack of innovation doesn't matter all that much.

Let's start with the gunplay. For starters, any time you fire your guns while doing something the game decides is badass (running along a wall or launching yourself between moving vehicles), bullet-time will kick in, and you'll have ample time to line up your headshots. If there are multiple enemies in the same general line of fire, Rubi will automatically target one of them. All you'll have to do is keep firing while you line up your second target and before long, you'll drop both of them. Rubi never has to reload her pistols. You'll have to find ammo drops for other weapons, but when it comes to the dual handguns, you can fire however many bullets you need to drop your enemies.

Between gunfights, you'll often be rewarded with booze, which will replenish your health. Of course, every single swig is followed by Rubi launching the bottle into the air and blasting it apart. Like I said, this game is all about excess.

WET is loaded with quick-time events, but the game doesn't abuse them to a fault. Many of these are thrilling to watch, and more importantly, they fit right in with the B-movie theme. Watching Rubi run along the side of a jack-knifing eighteen-wheeler and then launch herself sword-in-hand at an enemy is gratuitous, but fun nonetheless.

WET is an imperfect game that doesn't give a damn about its imperfections. The goal of WET is to show you a bloody good time, and for the most part, it succeeds. Like the films that have inspired it, WET is dumb as hell, but that's part of why it's also fun as hell.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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