Wet Review

   21/09/2009 at 10:59       Joe Bennett       8 COMMENTS. - Score 2/5
 - 
I don't know about you, but whenever I go to open a door I find it helps to cuss at it. "Gah, open up you fucking wooden lump of cack". "Take that, you cut-down once-living piece of shit". Sometimes I've even been known to glare menacingly as well. I'm hard. Deal with it.

As is Rubi. She's so hard she has to open up doors with her sword. She doesn't even bother trying the door handle first to see if it's open. Nope she's that badass it's straight to her sword to prise it open. She's my idol. I might try it with a butter knife later.

It's not just doors that get Rubi all riled. Bad guys that double-cross her do that as well. So riled that she'll often go down on her knees, which results in a very wet ending for the recipient. She may even partake in a little dual-handed action, maybe even whilst swinging around a pole. As long as her opponent gets wet, she doesn't mind. She's thoughtful like that.

Dante want me baby, Dante want me ohhhhhh

If Dante and Lara got together (and let's just visualise that for a moment; Dante's there, lying on his back, with Lara atop him, still wearing her gun belt. Then at the climactic moment, Lara reaches up to hang from the chandelier, only she misses her grip and falls off the bed to her death), the offspring would be Rubi. If Lara survived the fall that is.

[THUMB1]While Rubi is very athletic and handy with her weapons, it somewhat surprised me that she wasn't able to jump more than two inches off of the ground. It also surprised me that only light beige crates are destructible. I must admit that I'd always thought that a shotgun to a barrel might end up with the shotgun winning, or that a katana to a wicker basket might end up with wicker going everywhere. But no; wicker basket > katana.

Spinning around poles are no problem for Rubi though, and neither is sliding backwards down ladders. She's definitely a lady that slept on the top bunk as a child. Be it pistols, shotguns, SMG's or even some bizarre exploding crossbow, Rubi can destroy her enemies in mid-air, on her knees or on a ladder. Well as long as they haven't got a wicker vest on.

As you can imagine with a girl that gets off on hurting people, she's a little inconsistent. She may be willing to run up a wall one minute, but refuse to do so to an otherwise identical wall the next. She's also a little uncontrollable. She'll often miss jumps purely because you're one degree out with your stick movement, and there's nothing Rubi hates more than incorrect stick movement.

[THUMB2]She's also against showing anybody any emotion. Although when your long-lost friends turn up without so much as an introduction ("who exactly are you, you Irish twunt and why am I waking up in your caravan" was a line that I feel should have been included in the script) and your foes are devoid of any character, you soon share Rubi's lack of care for anybody in her world.

Oh. So the flickering is meant to be a film effect

WET's visuals are dire. Truly last-gen affair. Cut-scenes result in anything that moves clipping through anything that doesn't. Facially people look hideously deformed and the animation is a jerky frame-missing mess. Running up a wall, jumping off it and landing in a slide across a table, finishing off with a katana to the head should be fluid (fnar) and graceful. It shouldn't be missing frames of animation, result in Rubi hovering a few inches above the table while sliding or have a camera hell-bent on making me feel nauseous.

[THUMB3]Talking of nausea, what the hell is with all that screen flickering? Yes I get that it's meant to look like a film, but since when has a film looked this bad? I don't care how many little black scratches and spots you put on the screen, or how many times you make my screen flicker, it just looks like an XBOX game being played in a nightclub. It also gave me a headache. It also gave my friend a headache. It also annoyed the shit out of me that I didn't realise you could turn off said flicker until after I'd completed it (not that you should; the visuals somehow managed to look even worse then).

If flickering screens aren't guaranteed to make your blood boil, perhaps inane QTE sections will. I'm not dead against QTE's, I'm just against how they've been badly implemented into games. WET is no exception. It even has the gall to turn all boss fights into QTE's (including the final battle, which has to be the easiest end of game boss section I've ever played).

It's not a wet patch on Stranglehold

Virtually everything that is implemented badly in WET was done well in Stranglehold. Visually better, much more enjoyable and requiring far more skill to complete, Stranglehold is superior to WET in almost every way.

[THUMB4]Aside from the rather excellent soundtrack, the Killer 7 styled 'Rage' sections (same combat, different visuals, but at least it changes things up a bit) and the challenge areas, I'm finding it really difficult to think of anything else that WET has over Stranglehold. Even the challenge areas are broken by ridiculous level design. Sure having wave after wave of enemies after your blood helps you rack up the multipliers and improves your score, but when the multiplier bonuses are up near the ceiling, and the only way to reach them is by swinging on the bars that offer absolutely no structural benefit to the building and are purely there for you to swing on, you realise how much the developers struggled with creating realistic yet serviceable environments. There are no neon-lit signs to shoot down on enemies, there are no stair rails to slide down or chandeliers to swing from. Just metal bar after endless metal bar, and always in the right place to ensure that you can reach the next area or score multiplier.

All that aside, judged purely on its own merits, WET is strangely enjoyable, in a self-harming kind of way. I wouldn't want to play it for long (thankfully it only lasts about seven hours) but for the short time it stuck around, the desire to poke blunt implements into my eyes started to dwindle with every passing minute. In a complete lack of self-control, I even played the first two levels again on a higher difficulty level as soon as I finished the game. Thankfully sanity returned and I went on to do something more fulfilling, such as picking fluff out of my belly-button and watching the download bar for the PES2010 demo crawl up a few more percent, but there must have been something there hidden deep underneath all the foibles to make me want to start again.

I can't fathom out what that was, as even recommending WET as a rental would feel slightly wrong, but it obviously had something. Whatever it was it made me want to play Stranglehold again. A game that itself wasn't short on faults, but at least had style, more than one way to complete a level, a lead character you cared about and destructible wicker. Stranglehold > Wicker > Wet.

I'm off to cuss at some doors.

Stars
User Comments:

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HairyArse - on 21/09/2009 at 13:11 wrote:
 
But it looks so awesome from the trailer.

:(
 

NewYork - on 21/09/2009 at 13:59 wrote:
 
Style?

Nah, it's trying too hard.
 

NewYork - on 21/09/2009 at 14:26 wrote:
 
"there are no stair rails to slide down or chandeliers to swing from. Just metal bar after endless metal bar"

I love that line, BTW :D Should be the quote for the top of the site :)
 

papa rabbit - on 21/09/2009 at 16:24 wrote:
 
"WET's visuals are dire. Truly last-gen affair." Or, in our house, "What are you playing, can you get PS2 games working on the PS3 now?"
 

Murbal - on 21/09/2009 at 17:33 wrote:
 
Might check out Stranglehold then.
 

kentmonkey - on 21/09/2009 at 18:47 wrote:
 
Hmmm, somehow it double posted a five word review.

Anyway, yeah, I was really looking forward to this, but I couldn't have been more disappointed. It's so inferior to Stranglehold, a game that can be had for £5 now, it's just really not worth bothering with.

And while I was initially drawn in by 'The Club' style score mechanic, it just wasn't as well implemented and it was far too easy to lose your multiplier when Rubi went one degree away from making a ledge and you had to start a climb all over again.
 

Trip SkyWay - on 22/09/2009 at 10:59 wrote:
 
I thought the demo was pretty good fun, but stopped playing before I got to the end.
 

kentmonkey - on 22/09/2009 at 21:12 wrote:
 
That kinda sums up the game I suppose.

It's not often you'll get a seven hour game that people don't bother seeing the end of.
 


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