Mercifully, as you plunge deeper into the world of Wet then it all starts to improve and the more interesting aspects of the gameplay start to replace races around the scrapyard. ‘Interesting’ is perhaps being a bit generous with the incredibly derivative bulk of the game, but we certainly deny the fact that it’s satisfying nonetheless.
As if a non-grumpy Max Payne had been reimagined by the director of Desperado, Wet basically involves running through all the usual kinds of set-pieces and shooting all the baddies as stylishly as possible. At the start of the game Rubi can do little more than jump through the air while shooting, but as you progress you can unlock more advanced moves by bloating your score with multipliers.
It’s a simple and oft-repeated mechanic obviously, but Wet accomplishes it with gratifying panache and by the mid-point of the game you’re linking together bullet-time combos and somersaulting backwards into floorslides and rising sword slashes. Every second of the game quickly becomes punctuated by akimbo shotgun nose dives off of high buildings or stylish crossbow killings done while you descend a ladder upside down. It’s overblown, but bordering on brilliant.
It beats taking the subway
The main function of the corridor-gunning is to lead you into the various arenas that form the central challenge of the game; huge areas littered with score multipliers and respawning baddies whose flow must be stemmed as fast as possible. Each one is filled with the type of environment usually reserved for Lara Croft’s dirtiest dreams – there are vaulting poles and handrails everywhere for you to clamber over like a child in a playground.
Unfortunately for Wet though, the ambition of the gameplay never really moves beyond this mechanic and the arenas, while fun, quickly become stale. Doubly so when you can only really restore your health properly at certain checkpoints. The only other twists the game is able to present at a few quicktime events (which aren’t nearly as bad as you’d expect thanks to their easiness and speed) and the ‘Rubi Rage’ sections.
It can be tricky to know what's happening in Rubi Rage mode
The Rubi Rage segments are one of the most fun parts of the game, occurring at preset points where Rubi gets blood on her face and goes a little bit psycho. The look of the game suddenly changes into a stylized red, white and black aesthetic and all of your attacks become more powerful until you reach the end of the level and calm down a bit. The first time you hit one of these levels it’s undeniably cool and brutal – but be warned that the law of diminishing returns applies here. When the exact same thing happens the second time around you’re left wondering why the developers couldn’t have come up with a slightly different scenario.
You won’t be wondering that for too long though, as Wet is just too fun to really stay bothered about once you’re able to get stuck into the meat of the game. The main problems are just that it takes too long to actually get to the fun stuff and that, when you do get there, it’s hard not to realise that you’ve seen this schtick a billion times before.
But then, Wet never really claimed to be anything approaching innovative and that’s an important thing to remember when you play. All it ever really aspired to be was a slick and bloody third person shooter that you can plod easily and mindlessly through with fretting about the deeper themes and plot points. On that front it more than delivers despite the occasionally dated visuals and tired ideas. If all you’re looking for is something you can switch your brain off and gun through on a rainy weekend then Wet fits the bill perfectly.