WET (Xbox 360) Preview
Posted by Adam Larck on 08.28.2009
Hands-On: WET brings over-the-top violence to the table, but how does it play? Find out inside.
WET (Wetwork)-A euphemism alluding to hands literally WET with blood.
This is the intro definition you get before jumping into WET, a game that has had an interesting development cycle. After being announced in 2007, the game was not heard about for quite some time before Activision announced that it had announced that it had dropped several games from Vivendi, including WET. It would not be until this April that Bethesda would finally pick up the developer rights to the game.
Now, the game is slated for release on Sept. 15 for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. With the release being that close, Bethesda has released a new demo for the game for gamers to finally get a sense of what WET is about.
Before I get into the actual gameplay, I want to touch on the graphics and sound. The game is supposed to be like an old film, and the graphics really help to accomplish this feel. It has that slightly grainy film reel style as you play. You can see lines or dots in the screens, like you actually saw in movies. Also, the game over screen has the film burning up and being destroyed before it restarts you at the last checkpoint. It's a really nice touch.
As far as sound goes, the music is catchy to listen to in the background. The lyrics are also great, and fit the various areas of the game great. They made a good choice in finding music that compliments the game. The cut scenes normally had talking, but outside of that I never did really hear too many voices.
The demo is divided up into three parts: regular action gameplay, Rage mode and a chase scene. Therefore, I'll be dissecting each section in this preview and telling you about it. During all three parts you control Rubi Malone.
The game starts off with a cut scene showing off the scenario before throwing you into the game. There is a brief in-game tutorial, though, that shows you how to utilize jumping, sliding and wall running. While doing any of these moves and shooting, time will slow down and one of the two guns you wield will auto lock onto the enemy. The other gun can be aimed in a 360 degree radius and allows for combos and bonuses by taking out multiple enemies.
Later on in the demo, other techniques can be used in combination to slow down time and shoot, such as sliding down a ladder upside down or swinging from a pole. While doing these different things you can really rack up points and combos. There was no purpose for the points in the demo besides to brag, but the combos can help your health to recharge faster during combat.
Since I mentioned the guns above, I want to talk about them for a second. All guns look like they will be able to be dual wielded, and the pistol has infinite ammo. The other gun you use in the game, Uzis, have a number below their icon but it never goes down. This is, presumably, because it is used during Rage mode.
After the brief fighting in the beginning room (and another tutorial on how to aim at two enemies at once), you kill a few more enemies before running across an interesting item: a monkey. You step on the monkey to destroy it and earn some extra points. Through the game, there will be various toys to destroy that will just give you some more points.
After the monkey, a bottle of alcohol sits on a box that Rubi grabs, gets a swig from then throws it up in the air and shoots it. This recharges her health fully, and is the only other way to get her health up.
As you progress, you eventually are taught how to use the sword. Why you have to be taught how to press X to swing, I will never know. However, I can say that going from sword swinging to using the gun was pretty fluid. It was easy to combine both during fights to take out enemies.
Towards the end of the first part of the demo, you can pick up a few combo multipliers to boost your combo meter during a fight. Also during the final fight, you get tasked with destroying three door levels to block the doors. The levers are marked with flaming skulls, so it's easy to tell where you should go next. After finally destroying the levels and killing everything, you walk towards two vans before the game loads to an entirely new section.
The next section, Rage mode, starts off with Rubi slashing an enemy and spraying her face with blood. This turns her eye red and starts her into frenzy.
In Rage mode, the entire screen is red. Enemies show up in black and white, while Rubi is black with a red outline. Her gun has infinite ammo (as mentioned earlier), and killing enemies will make them disappear in a wisp of black smoke. You can still slow down time here by jumping or sliding, but I often didn't find a reason to. The enemies seemed to be able to be mowed down a lot easier.
This mode still has a multiplier, which is able to be kept up much easier due to the amount of enemies there are and how quickly they die. The game also announces combo kills here as you chain together kills.
After going through this quick section, the game then transitions to the final section, that involved Rubi fighting from cars on the freeway. During this mode, all you have to worry about on the cars is just aiming and shooting at enemies that are shooting at you from the side of cars.
However, also in this section is the gamers' friend, quick time events. QTE are used to jump from car to car to avoid explosions and vehicles flying at you, and to cut off some gunners hands.
This final section is fairly short before the demo finally ends. There was no multiplayer in this demo, and won't be any in the full game.
Overall, WET offers a lot of enemies to kill and decent gameplay as well. However, with no multiplayer and a seemingly limited skill list to use against enemies, it will be interesting to see if the game will be able to keep the player's interesting the entire game, or if it will become repetitive after awhile.
With some of the big name titles that will start releasing in September, WET may get swept up in the rush. The game may still be worth a look for fans that like a good single player experience.