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  • IBF Plays: WET

    While the PSN was down, I decided to get playing through my back catelogue of games (which vastly outnumbers the games I've actually finished). First up was 2009's WET.

    To start with, you are Rubi Malone. She is the single most unpleasant protagonist I have played as in years. She's obnoxious, she curses like a fucking biker for no reason, and she's just absolutely generally unpleasant. And you know what? It's awesome.

    The entire game is an homage to the old school "grindhouse" movies, as well as Tarentino-esque action flicks (which are, all in all, an homage to the old school "grindhouse" movies), as well as the Max Payne style of games. In both gameplay and cinematics, there are retro-feeling scratch marks coming and going all over the screen. The cut scenes, as well as in game dialoge, are loaded down with testosterone-infused dialogue from all characters present. Schwarzenegger doesn't do macho this well. Combat is done with a combination of swordwork and balls-out gun-fighting. To rack up combo points, you've got to leap, wall run, and slide through the maps in slow-motion, making it possible to target multiple enemies at once. Blood and over the top violence are, of course, present in spades, giving the impression that the game would come across as cheesy, were it not for the fact that the ridiculous factor is so obviously intentional.

    The gameplay itself is, for the most part, divided into four distinct styles. The most common involves Rubi navigating through buildings in a rather straightforward manner, leaping and sliding about to shoot everybody standing in her way. Of all the combat sections, this is probably the simplest, due to never having to face more than 5 or so enemies at once. Complicating this, however, are the arena sections. In these, Rubi must close all the doors to the area to stop enemies from piling in in high numbers. Combo multipliers litter the area, making it quite easy to max out your multiplier at the 5X score cap.

    Arena battles are significantly more difficult than the standard fighting, because there is no limit to the amount of enemies you will fight, as well as the leader class, who is vastly superior to the standard opponents, and whose presence causes everyone else in the arena to attack Rubi more aggressively.

    The third variant occurring a few times in the game kicks off with a cut scene of a plain opponent rushing towards Rubi, getting shot in the face, and his blood splashing into Rubi's eyes. These segments are, graphically, a notable difference from the rest of the game.

    As far as gameplay goes, these areas are different in that rather than keeping score, it simply tallies up a chain of how many enemies you can kill consecutively. Personally I found these to be rather hit-and-miss. Some of them were among the most exciting parts of the game, and some felt wholly unnecessary.

    Also interspersed through the game are car chases, in which Rubi jumps from car to car shooting at the antagonist's henchmen. These areas are extremely quicktime-event heavy, and are the one bit of gameplay that actually requires some accuracy. For the most part, when I died it was during these, but since they're required to progress the window to actually PRESS the button is quite sizable, so long as you don't press the wrong one. And, true to the game's roots, these car chases are explosion-heavy and dialed all the way up to 11.

    The upgrade system works pretty well for the game, using the points you rack up during combos to unlock new ablities for Rubi to do (such as a wall run off an opponent), as well as the ability to upgrade the guns in a few different areas. Chaining 20 kills together whilst running along the wall, back-flipping over your enemies, and stabbing them in the gut while sliding on the ground are not required, however. While it'll be impossible to unlock every upgrade without getting proper command of the combat system, it is somewhat intuitive and will still rack up a small amount of points even if you just stand in one place and shoot everything.

    Complimenting the 5 basic difficulty levels, however, is "Golden Bullets Mode", in which Rubi's bullets instantly kill enemies. On the flip side of this, however, Rubi also takes MUCH more damage than normal, usually dying after 4 or 5 hits. An interesting addition to the easy-medium-hard scale, it forces you to play the game in a much different way, focusing more on not being hit than just peppering everyone else full of bullet holes.

    However, what I found to be some of the best aspects of the game were not gameplay-related. The game has a rather extensive soundtrack, consisting of close to 25 songs of fast-paced rock music with a southern feel. The music makes the whole grindhouse-homage come to life. Also, WET features some quite talented voice acting. Cursing and yelling through this game's amusing story are Eliza Dushku (as Rubi Malone), Alan Cumming, and Malcolm McDowell as the lead villain. That's right, Malcolm McDowell.

    All in all, the game's biggest fault is a lack of originality in gameplay. It's fun, but if you've played a Max Payne game or any of the Matrix videogame adaptations, then you've pretty much done it all before. WET's main strength, however, is the feel it evokes in the player. The original score, over the top scripting and very talented voice acting really come together to compliment the decent gameplay, making this a game worth trying out. So if you find yourself with nothing to do, head down to your local video game store and pick up a copy secondhand. That's what I did, and I don't regret it one bit.
    Except for this one fucking arena in Golden Bullets Mode, I keep getting killed halfway through.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: IBF Plays: WET started by I Buck Fuffaloes View original post