Hello all! Last week, we took a look at a bonkers “cut everything” action game.
This week, we check out an equally crazy action title, one that passed a bit under the radar.
Wet is a third person shooter developed by Artificial Mind and Movement, who made a bunch of games based on licensed IP’s. You play as Rubi Malone, a sort of mercenary who takes a job to find the son of William Ackers, whom Rubi has worked with before. Naturally, things go awry, as this Ackers isn’t the real Ackers, and Rubi sets out to get revenge.
For you, that means gunning down and slicing up hundreds of bad guys. There’s no pretense of stealth here; Wet is a pure action game. Rubi carries twin pistols which can target two different enemies at once (awesome) and she also packs a sword for up-close encounters (also awesome). She can also slide on the floor and jump off walls, triggering slow-motion, and she can combine all these moves too. So, for example, you can slide towards a dude, shoot him up, and launch into an upward sword slash to finish him off. It never really gets old.
An example of what you do in this game. It’s this most of the time.
Aside from the fun gameplay, Wet’s main draw is it’s grindhouse film aesthetic. Inspired heavily by exploitation films of the 70’s, Wet is loud, crazy, and ridiculous. It’s really one of the least subtle games out there, even less so than last week’s Metal Gear Rising. The game even has a setting that makes the screen jitter slightly, like it’s on crappy film stock (you should probably shut it off; it’s annoying after a while). This Z-Grade violent movie theme is seen in the plot as well; it’s full of over-the-top characters and nonsense action.
Really, the whole game reminds you of Quentin Tarantino’s movies; it’s insane, it makes little sense if you overthink it, but it’s fun as hell. I love the plot specifically because there’s not much to think about here. It’s great to play a game like this once in a while, I think.
Oh, there’s also the cool, hyper-stylized moments when Rubi goes into a rage. They offer little to the actual game or plot...
...but man oh man, they look cool. The screen goes all red/black, and you shoot and slash as usual, but you’re superpowered, and enemies die in a bloody, comic-booky explosion.
All the while, a loud garage-rock/rockabilly soundtrack blasts out through your speakers. It fits well with the insanity going on, and it further contributes to the intentionally rough exploitation film schtick. It’s a pretty great soundtrack.
Having said all that, I always wondered why more games don’t go for this aesthetic. House of the Dead: Overkill captures the grindhouse feel wonderfully (perhaps even more than this game). Those old 70’s movies are ludicrous in the best way, and I wonder why more developers don’t look into them for inspiration. Still, we have this, and HOTD:O, and probably some stuff I’m forgetting (let me know in the comments!), so it’s not a total loss.
What’s also great about Wet is the sense of fun it has; it’s clearly not taking itself too seriously, and that’s a problem too many games have nowadays. Not everything has to be so utterly humorless, right? I don’t think so. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s a game that you can have fun with without thinking too hard. I love seeing games push boundaries and make us think, and feel. Wet isn’t one of those games, and that’s totally fine; once in a while, you just wanna blast and slice crap for a couple hours.
Also, this is a level that happens.
Rubi is also a solid protagonist; she’s written well (as well as can be given the game’s aesthetic) and she has more defining traits than “is female.” She’s approximately 1200% more badass than Marcus Fenix, so there’s that! See the above screenshot, for example. I would’ve liked to see her character developed more in a sequel, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.
If you missed Wet, you can probably find it for super cheap these days (five bucks at GameStop) and it’s totally worth it, despite the occasionally clunky gameplay and short playtime. Rubi controls okay, but she’s occasionally stiff. But it’s an insanely fun romp regardless.
Thanks for reading my stuff! As always, leave comments, suggest future games to be featured as Game of the Week, and find me on Twitter! Also, read more of my stuff at Current Digital, and catch up with my (currently on hiatus) other article series here!
Next week brings us back to that creepiest of small towns, for a third time in this article series. I think it’s called Quiet Slope, or Soundless Ridge, or something.