There are four main components to Wet, which takes its name form the idea of ‘Wetwork’ by the way. There are the standard run-n-gun levels, where you run around bustin’ some rad moves and tearing the world to pieces with bullet and blade. There are occasional arena sections, which function as boss fights and require you to stem the flood of enemies before moving forward.
On top of that there are also a few special encounters, such as car chases, where you have to guide Rubi through a scripted sequence with the aid of quicktime events. Yes, quick-time events are usually universally unappealing, but we didn’t think they were too bad from what we played in Wet.
The car chase section we got to play through had Rubi standing on top of cars speeding down the motorway, picking off the Triads who tried to shoot her off. The ‘Press X to Not Die’ bits only showed up occasionally and were pretty easy to get around – press A to jump to the next car before it crashes. We’re not defending QTEs as a concept, but if we have to suffer them we’d rather have them like this where the button presses are constant and correspond to the normal in-game functions and don’t drag on into huge events. Better that than the drawn-out and impossibly difficult alternative.
Just another day on the freeway
The other major component of Wet is the introduction of a Rage Mode, which kicks in only on certain levels when Rubi finds herself showered in blood, driving her into a frenzy of fears that her coat may be ruined. Suddenly the game takes on an entirely different look and filter comes over the screen that makes the action start to resemble a penguin that’s been kicked to death – it goes all red, white and black.
In Rage Mode Rubi handles entirely differently to the rest of the game, proving tougher, faster and stronger than before and unlocking another batch of Rage-only moves that she can chain together for longer. We jumped in to Rage Mode not long after the tutorial and it was interesting going from the start of the game, where Rubi could only run and jump, to her fully-powered mode.
At one point we busted an impossibly complex string of gymnastics – flipping over two enemies, shooting them in mid air, landing straight into a slide that finished in a sword slash attack, rising straight into a wall-run over a gap in the floor, flipping out of that over another enemy who we decapitated in midair and finally grabbing hold of a circular lighting rail. Then, with a roomful of enemies beneath us, we held on to the light with one hand and ran around the outer-edge of it – pelting lead down into the heads of our foes.
It was awesome – there really isn’t another word to describe how much fun we had unleashing that combo, or our subsequent attempts to replicate it. The whole thing felt smooth, cinematic and satisfying.
Rage Mode makes the game look totally different
Of course, the fact that the game relies so much on using certain set-pieces, along with the fact that Rubi’s health doesn’t regenerate and she’s forced to rely on checkpoints (marked by crates of booze) may cause a problem for some gamers. Our impression of Wet was that it relied on supplying a quantity of juvenile and obscenely stylised action – which means there’s likely to be no replay value to speak of and that, if you’re looking for something story-driven and intelligent, you may be disappointed.
That doesn’t matter hugely though. There are plenty of games out there which cater to multiple play throughs and there are dozens of games with epic, sprawling stories that’ll suck you in for hundreds of hours. Wet doesn’t have to be like those and the dev team seems to recognise that. All it has to do is entertain us for a bit with an expansive set killer moves performed by a lady in tight trousers but without becoming needlessly immature or pornographic. That’s something that Wet seems set to provide in spades – and we honestly can’t wait for the full release as, unlikely as it is to jump into our Best Game Ever lists, it still looks like it’ll be cooler than a sneezing polar bear.
Wet is being developed by Artificial Mind and Movement and will be published by Bethesda Softworks on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 later this year.