By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on March 27, 2020
Well, ladies and gentlemen; the Coronavirus has managed to even ground Dennis and me. Imagine that... grounding US! Apparently, our Big Red HQ is a major health risk, so the man (yes, them!) chained up our Big Red Timemachine and secured said chain with the biggest motherlovin' padlock you've ever seen. It's like they ripped it of the chastity belt of a female giant... and a particularly large one at that! I wonder how they went about performing that feat?
Oh well, back to the issues at hand. Seeing as how we are unable to actually go anywhere, we started searching through the literally thousands of boxes that are neatly tucked away in our HQ. Well. neatly might be kin of a stretch. Let's just say they're. about the place. Anywho, we found our old PS3, along with a few games, so we decided to hook the thing up to our 3000 inch ultra flat-dynamocrystalline 32K TV and see what happens. And wouldn't you know it, the damn thing worked!
When rifling through our collection of old games, I came across a disc that I hadn't touched in quite some time: WET. And no, that's not my DVD of aquatic porn (which is, in a way, a lot like Aquaman, but without any men in it...), but rather a very nifty third person shooter, developed by Artificial Mind & Movement (which is called Behaviour Interactive nowadays) and published by Bethesda Softworks for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in September 2009. The game followed the rather violent exploits of one Rubi Malone, who is a female "problem-solver" (which is basically a nice name for a mercenary). As Rubi, you'll get involved in some seriously shady business and are forced to shoot, run and jump your way out of trouble.
Our story begins when Rubi is hired to retrieve a suitcase which has fallen into the greedy clutches of a vicious gang. After obliterating said gang, Rubi delivers the suitcase to a nearby hospital, at which time she discovers that she has been carrying a round a human heart. This heart turns out to be the only thing standing between a man named William Ackers and certain death. Rubi is paid in full for services rendered and she returns back home. Fast-forward a year and Rubi is hanging out at her Texas junkyard-like home when Mr. Ackers makes a surprise appearance and tells her he has another job for her.
Apparently, William Ackers son has fallen in with some really bad people in Hong Kong and is in dire need of saving. So Rubi is hired to bring back Ackers Jr and sets off for Hong Kong. Once there, things go from bad to worse in a shorter amount of time than it takes Dennis and me to finish a case of cold beers (and that's saying something!). Suffice it to say that, within almost no time at all, Rubi is up to her elbows in people trying to kill her. Now, as one would suspect, she will not take this lying down. She won't even take it standing up. What she will do however, is fill every bad guy in sight with lead while performing a few awesome acrobatic tricks along the thoroughly bloodied way.
When you think of a third person shooter, things like shooting, walking, running and even crouching may come to mind. What usually not comes to mind is powersliding, wall-running. Backflipping and more of that ilk. Yet, that is exactly what you'll be doing a lot when playing Wet, because Rubi is no ordinary mercenary. Damn, if her career as a soldier of fortune had failed, she could have just as easily joined the circus as an acrobat! In any case, while performing these tricks, time slows down, so Rubi can actually get a better shot at some of the bad guys surrounding her. And not just that, she will also automatically aim for a second bad guy, so she dispatches two enemies at the same time. How cool is that?
So, aside from the time slowing down, why would you perform all sorts of acrobatics? Well, first off, you can kill a lot more enemies this way and killing enemies will determine how fast your health regenerates. And with the sheer amount of enemies coming at you, health regeneration is something you really want to have working as quickly as possible. Furthermore, at the end of each stage, your performance will be rated in three separate areas: Completion Time, Average Multiplier and. you've guessed it: Acrobatics. The better your scores, the more money you'll make and the more money you have, the more upgrades you can buy for either Rubi herself or her ever-growing arsenal.
Yes, ever-growing arsenal! Every now and again, a new weapon will be introduced into the game. And herein lies the only real issue I had with the game. You see, whenever you get a new weapon, you'll be forced to complete a kind of obstacle course on Rubi's junkyard home. As such, this is not a problem, but the obstacle course will have to be completed WITHIN A SET TIME! Now, I was never someone who could appreciate the pressure of an added time limit and I'm especially no fan of it when it's there only to introduce a new gun into the game. Just give me the weapon and plenty of ammo and send me on my merry way, I always say!
Oh yes, at a few points along the way, Rubi gets really mad when her face is covered in blood and she goes into an absolute killing frenzy. When this happens, the screen gets kind of a Noir style look, with everything presented in Black white and (what else?!) red. At these times, Rubi's attacks do a hell of a lot more damage than usual and seemingly never-ending throngs of enemies just keep coming at her. By (stylishly, of course) chain-killing enemies, this frenzy is prolonged and Rubi can happily keep doing what she does best: kill bad guys! Also, you will come across a few stages in which you'll have to make your way across the tops of fast-moving cars using your guns and a few well-timed Quick-Time-Events while your enemies in said cars will do their very best to fill you with such an amount of lead that they could use your head as a pencil!
When Wet was released, it garnered mostly average reviews, with the most heard complaint being the game's low originality and dated graphics. Well, I can't agree on originality, because, even back in 2009, it was already becoming increasingly hard to come up with something that was never done before. Lots of games borrowed or blatantly stole from one another, so why put this game down because of the things it tried to do? What I kinda can agree on is the fact that, even back then, the graphics were never really top-notch. I say "kinda" because, personally, I liked how the game looked at the time. When comparing it to the bigger games at the time, Wet might not exactly measure up, but I never thought it looked bad or even under par. so there! Also, the game had originally been slotted for an earlier release, but it was dropped by its original publisher and later picked up by Bethesda, so that may also be one of the reasons for what seemed to be perceived as being dated graphics.
So, in short, I really loved playing the frenzied madhouse shooter experience that is Wet. The controls were good, the graphics definitely adequate and the soundtrack just ripped through your head like a speeding freight train. which is on fire. and heading for a ravine. that is also on fire! Let's just say it was really good if you're into the heavier and much more up-tempo approach to music which, luckily, I am! As a whole, Wet is a highly enjoyable and fast-paced action ride that definitely deserves to be played!
Well, that is all the time we have for today, dear readers. Normally, I would say it's about time to return to our Big Red HQ and see how Dennis is doing (i.e. check if nothing blew up while I was gone). Not this time though! I already know how Dennis is doing, because he has been tirelessly trying to get my attention the entire time I was talking to you. Luckily, I've learned to handle this type of situation, so I, very responsibly, slid a case of beer over his way halfway through my story. This resulted in Dennis not poking me as much. Anyway, that's it for today. I hope to see you again in a couple of weeks, when it is Dennis' turn to present you with a game from our past!
Artificial Mind & Movement (now Behaviour Interactive) & Bethesda Softworks