Review: Wet

Bethesda’s take on a gun-slingin’ shoot’em up mayhem!

I never thought the day would come where Bethesda would publish a game not worthy to brand its own name. WET is a severe disappointment, the black sheep of the family compared to iconic Bethesda productions like Elder Scrolls: Skyrim or Fallout 3.

As shoot ‘em ups go, it does provide quite a challenge whether the difficulty is intentional or just bad mechanics. However it pulls an interest twist with the film-roll visual style, even including the odd ‘ad-break’ between chapters.

Centred around three countries, Japan, USA and the UK, you play as Rubi Malone; a badass gun-for-hire with a knack for getting into trouble.  On what seemed like a usual bog-standard mercenary mission, Rubi delivers a heart to the worried son of a Mr. Atkers, who needs it as a replacement.

A year later, the now well- recovered Mr Atkers hires Rubi to travel to Tokyo to bring back his wayward son. However, it soon occurs that it was an imposter posing as Mr Atkers, but it’s unfortunately too late; his son was murdered by the imposter. The rest of the game is Rubi on a vendetta, and trying to clear her name with the real Mr.Atkers (who understandably is a tad peeved that she got his son murdered) and take down the imposter and his gang.

game_rubi_screen05

From the get go, controls are clunky and at times seem to have their own free will. They’re simple enough, thumb sticks control Rubi and the camera, RT shoots and LT performs the aerobatic moves, like wall climbing and wall running. Successfully performing an acrobatic move and pulling the trigger unleashes slow-mo mode, allowing the player more time and precision to take out foes and most crucially to line up those all-important headshots.

However, the devs seemed to have created a Rubi allergic to having both her feet planted firmly on the ground, shooting normally whilst on the floor is frustratingly slow and fiddly to line up the small reticule on vital points on the enemy. Most of the time, it’s best to make Rubi jump around the room like a mad woman just to successfully down enemies before they down you first.

Jumping animations are slow and the height Rubi manages to jump would impress Mario. She also manages to worm her way out of unrealistic situations, which is just irritating to say the least. It’s almost like the level designers put no effort into making an immersive world for Rubi, and just painted Rubi as some in-human, indestructible killing machine.

game_rubi_screen09

Although health recovery stations (a.k.a bottles of whiskey) are located strategically around the linear map corridors, the only other way to recover health is to successfully gain acrobatic multiplier points. Meaning if you’ve taken quite a beating and have one hit to kill left, it’s literally hit or miss whether you can land a shot in the air whilst jumping around to gain a smidgen of health back. Death is inevitable and the death scene that entails becomes quickly tiring and outdated.

WET adopts a cel-shaded style, and for the time of release, they were pretty mediocre. Character animations are pretty static with re-used sequences frequently implemented throughout game play, for both the protagonists and NPCs. The AIs seem to have a death wish, no self-preserving techniques are implemented into their code, making pretty easy target practice for the player.

Its soundtrack however does it much justice. It includes punk rock songs that enforces the sense of adrenaline coursing through Rubi’s veins as she blows holes in enemy after enemy. The sound of constant pistols blasting through their unlimited ammo soon gets irritating though, almost forming its own soundtrack.

All in all, if you feel like kicking some ass, WET serves as a great stress reliever. The edgy soundtrack and songs greatly compliment the onslaught of cannon fodder. However, the static animations and buggy mechanics do let it down immensely. Story-wise it could be much more creative, there just doesn’t seem to be any oomph or wow factor going for it.

By Molly Colyer

 

Overall Score:    4/10

Story: Typical cookie-cutter revenge driven plot. Nothing note-worthy                        

Gameplay: Great stress relief with lots of cannon fodder. Fiddley controls                            

Presentation: Cel-shaded with a touch of black & white film roll effects, which look great

Reviewed on Xbox 360

Age rating: 18

Available from Amazon:  WET (Xbox 360)

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