Welcome to the Midlife Gamer Game of the Month Club’s second audio DLC.
This month Kyle Brown (Discobeaver), Neale Jarett (Baron Von Pleb) and Greg Giddens discuss WET, but despite prattling on for just shy of an hour, there was so much more that could have been said. Therefore, below you’ll also find the comments and reviews from the community. Listen, read and enjoy!
Apologies in advance for some dodgy audio from Kyle on occasion. His audio feed forgot what it’s supposed to do for a living.
Right click and choose Save target as on the link below to download the mp3.
Next month’s game will be Overlord. Check out the forum post for links on where to get it cheap and join the discussion.
This started out as a forum post for June’s 2011 Game Of The Month – when it got to 500+ words, I thought it was probably a bit long winded. It then broke 1000+ words and I knew it was long winded. On the basis that it’s not quite right as a forum thoughts post, but given that I’m something of an egotist and convinced my views matter, what follows is my experience from playing WET – Midlife Gamer’s Game of the Month for June, 2011.
- PLOT -
Rubi Malone is a gun (and sword) for hire. A femme fatale with kick-ass moves, Rubi gets herself drawn into a violent feud between drug barons that finds her seeking both revenge and redemption. Aided by a number of allies providing locations and information, Rubi travels from her Boneyard home in Texas to London and Hong Kong to go up against an almost never-ending wave of opponents.
Slow-motion-action, wall-running and barrel-exploding shoot-outs are part of Rubi’s everyday life. WET is a grind-house movie experience that puts you in control of the protagonist.
- GAMEPLAY/GRAPHICS -
If Stranglehold and Tomb Raider had a love child, and she went on to be engaged to Quentin Tarantino, I’m fairly certain WET would be the resultant marriage. The slow-motion shoot-outs reminded me of Stranglehold, whilst the climbing, jumping and shooting on the move clearly took inspirations from Lara Croft’s franchise. With only a few subtle plot tweaks, WET could easily be Kill Bill: Volume One in all but name. That’s not to say I ever felt WET was ripping off other ideas, but simply using tried-and-tested mechanics and taking the best from elsewhere to make a unique experience – and by and large I think they succeeded.
I have to be honest; when I first loaded the game I was a little under-whelmed by the graphics. I thought they looked a little dated and I was surprised to find the game was only released in 2009 – it looked a lot older. However, the more I played, the more they grew on me. I doubt that the graphics actually got better as the game went on, but my perception of them was much improved by the time I’d finally finished the game. The only aspect I never took to was the “scratched-film” effect – I found it annoying and distracting and turned it off after completing the tutorial. I can see what the developers were trying to do, but I felt it really didn’t add anything to either my experience or enjoyment of the game and was nothing more than a gimmick rather than an integral gaming dynamic.
I was really surprised by the variation across the game. After the tutorial I thought I knew what the game was going to be about – jump, shoot lots, slide, shoot lots, wall run, shoot lots. But every so often I would find something new and different thrown into the mix, like the Boneyard Challenge scenes DigitalPariah mentions in his forum post, (Chapter Three for anyone who hasn’t reached that far yet), or the Rage sequences that have an extremely distinctive style (red on black and white). Early in the game I was expecting to find an ever repeating pattern to the stages, as is so often found in a lot of games. I was relieved that, whilst the individual types of gameplay did reoccur, it was never to a standard formula – I never found the game becoming overly repetitive since there was often either a brand new type of gameplay, or a variation/combination of a mode I’d played earlier. A stand out moment for me was chasing after a parachute after a plane had exploded.
One of the hardest aspects for me was the ridiculously tiny reticule on the pistols. Earlier on I really struggled to aim accurately. I also had a little bit of a hard time seeing some enemies that weren’t locked onto with the auto-aim for your second weapon. As I progressed through the game I think I got a little bit better at aiming and choosing my targets, but at times it felt like a very steep learning curve.
I probably wasn’t helped by my own stupidity – I opted to play my first run-through on “Fixer” (equivalent to Hard in most games). I had a really difficult spell on the Arena section on Chapter Eight, (the controller was thrown at a well-placed cushion a number of times). I suspect this has more to do with my own ineptness as a player (anyone who’s played with me on a Gears and Beers evening knows I’m more an enthusiastic rather than a talented gamer). I was a little surprised that not only wasn’t there an option to lower the difficulty settings, but restarting would overwrite all my progress and I couldn’t replay chapters – be warned anyone starting out, if you choose a difficulty setting, you’re going to have to see it through to the end, or sacrifice any progress made. I would have liked the option to least replay chapters on the same difficulty, but I’ve played enough games to know that if you encounter a problem (damn you Chapter Eight!) you just have to adapt your playing style and keep trying until you manage to get a breakthrough. When I finally got my breakthrough, there was a sense of relief combined with great satisfaction that I’d won on the games terms. One of the things I found particularly distinctive about WET was that whilst it was challenging, it was never unfair. I never felt cheated by dodgy mechanics or impossible A.I. decisions – it was always my own fool fault for standing next to an explosive barrel and dying rather than some impossibly lucky shot from the A.I. For every check-point that was a little too far back for my liking (damn you Chapter Eight!) I was often gifted with a check-point I wasn’t expecting – Chapter Eleven has a couple that really made things a lot more bearable than they might have been otherwise.
- SOUND/MUSIC -
I really liked the music throughout the game, (although if I hear Chapter Eight’s again I’m likely to punch somebody….once again, my own ineptness is to blame, there’s nothing wrong with the song) The rockabilly/slightly-punk-ish theme throughout really cemented the Tarantino-esque feel I think the developers were after. I know huntervp has mentioned that he’s downloaded the soundtrack and I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of people who play WET might do the same. I find it’s rare that the music in a game is little more than background noise, but I think WET’s soundtrack really adds to the overall feel and (excuse the cliché) vibe of the game.
The voice acting was reasonable. There are a number of fairly well known actors taking part, with Eliza Dushku as Rubi and Malcolm McDowell and Alan Cumming also lending their voices. The dialogue carries the story well, but remains fairly middle-of-the-road throughout the game. Whilst I thought all the characters were believable and well cast, there were never any standout moments. Personally, I was never so taken with the story that the dialogue was particularly important – WET is one of the few games that I’ve played where I was more interested in getting to the next action/gameplay sequence rather than the finding out what happens next in the story. Plot-wise, there were no major twists or turns that I hadn’t predicted, but I really didn’t care – it was fun to play and any story or character development almost seemed irrelevant. That said, there were moments that made me rethink certain perceptions of characters and if a sequel was to be made, I wouldn’t be gobsmacked to find the developers expanding on some of those relationships.
- FINAL THOUGHTS -
For some reason, WET never appeared on my “radar of games I’d probably enjoy” when it came out, which is a little surprising since the mix of FPS and semi-parkour gameplay is something I quite enjoy. I think the mixed reviews it received when it was released has ultimately placed it into something of a popularity void. Looking at the games I have from a similar period, it’s understandable how WET got buried, but, given it can now be picked up for as little as £6 I would highly recommend the vast majority of people at least giving it a go. If you hate Tomb Raider or Stranglehold, or you’re blood pressure rises at the simple thought of a Tarantino movie, than I would say that this game probably isn’t for you. Otherwise, I found WET an incredibly enjoyable game with a lot of replay value – I’ve got three modes I’ve yet to play and I’m looking forward to them – I think this was an excellent game for the community to revisit for its Game Of The Month Club.
Hey peeps, I started playing wet on Monday, here are some things which stick out for me so far:
I do enjoy the visual feel of this game, how they’ve gone with a unique look by making it look like a grind-house films I do like the music too. So far the gun-play feels very smooth, I’ve just got to the point where I’ve gained access to SMGs so far. I do really enjoy the seeing red sequences as well.
That’s my views so far, also now downloading the soundtrack as we speak.
Initial feel, was style over substance. Fired it up in Fixer, and the first thing I had to do was switch off the visual effects (the whole aged film effect) and played through the first level.
The motorway sequence seemed to reinforce my initial opinion. But then something strange happened. I was put in Rubi’s yard and it gave me a basic introduction to the use of the run and gun, and how to make it flow better. I went balls deep and spent a little time improving my skills until I got Gold on both the pistol and shotgun runs. I’ve now started to see the substance behind the style. Although you can string together combination moves to keep your time slowing abilities going to chain some combo’s together, you can still die quite easily, and they don’t feel like cheap deaths, they’re more like deaths I brought on by myself. Needless to say, I have switched back on the aged film effect, and it just adds to the whole grind-house feel of the game. The soundtrack matches the pace/style of the game, and the Rage sections are just amazing.
Gonna go balls deep on this, and I will be back in the next couple of weeks with a comprehensive run down on my opinion of the game. If any of you have fired it up, but not got as far as Rubi’s junkyard as yet, I would recommend getting that far, run through the tutorials to improve your skills with the character, and try the next level before deciding whether to continue or not….
First things first, I doubt anyone will disagree that this is without a doubt a “switch off your brain” game. That in itself does not constitute a bad thing, but it does affect when and whether you will enjoy this romp.
Taking a lot of influence from games such as Max Payne, Stranglehold and Uncharted, it aims high but in the end falls flat on its face.
You play as Rubi Malone, a fixer or Wetwork operative, which provides the origin of the game title, and is about as much of the plot I cared about. You initially begin watching a deal you were meant to broker go wrong, and are forced to chase down the criminal element responsible. No explanation is given to how the situation arose, but plot is not this games strong point.
This first room introduces you to the three moves combined with shooting, which trigger your slow motion “acrobatic mode” jump, knee slide and wall run. Get used to these moves as you will be using them a lot over the course of the 5 – 8 hours it takes to complete this game.
Once you have followed the controls, it allows you to try out your tricks on the dozen meat targets that pour through the two doors.
You’ll unlock a lot more moves as you go, but these first few make it immediately easy to rack up some points and put together some combos, and chances are, you won’t really vary from these initial three moves.
Because of the move animations and how they interact with the environment, there is a little clunkiness and delay when running around in regular mode or when trying to bring your melee attack to bear, but that’s just more reason for you to start chaining acrobatic moves, especially off of things in the environment, such as poles and zip lines.
In the first level, Wet takes you through all the basic encounters, with rooms full of enemies, hallways full of enemies and finally, the arenas. These are your basic kill rooms, with mobs pouring from multiple spawn locations, which you have to close to progress. You can spend quite a bit of time in these, racking up more points to spend in the upgrade store, but it is by no means infinite and the flow of enemies will stop after a certain point, to protect the game from allowing players to upgrade Rubi faster than expected.
The second level, the motorway, gives you a view of the other style of level you will play throughout the game, and regrettably this is predominantly QTE (Quick Time Events). This particular level appears to have been constructed when the Matrix Reloaded was playing on a continuous loop on the Televisions of A2M’s studios.
The problem comes from just how fast these QTEs blink and then disappear from onscreen. You fail these, it’s game over. They appear so fast that even when prepared for them if your button timing is even a little off, it will cause a very cheap death, and it can happen quite frequently.
Normally this would not be a problem, as games normally have QTE running solely over a glorified cut scene, but WET tries to allow you to interact, making you aim and shoot at enemies moving along just as fast as you. After having the ability to slow time to take out your enemies in the previous level, having that removed to shoot these guys while moving in real time can also cause a few cheap deaths if you are not prepared, as the enemies can really drain your health and take several direct hits, even to the head before dying. (A2M thought this chase scene was so good, they regurgitated it for a later level, and simply turned the Rage filter on to differentiate).
Another peeve, which was an almost QTE is the Mash “X” to open the door type of participation. There really is no need for me to have to hammer a button to help the character, and it feels contrived and tacked on.
The game is visually underwhelming, which might explain the use of the “grind-house” look to cover up where it finds itself lacking, only excluding the very stylised “Rage” sections, which manage to combine the art direction, sound and visuals to allow the niggles in the gameplay be overlooked, even for the few minutes the rage section lasts.
The movement can be quite jerky, and doesn’t feel responsive at times, and you will be on the receiving end of a few cheap deaths in later levels, but not so much as to be a game breaking quality. You may also notice some occasional clipping, but it rarely gets in the way. As to sound, the actual sound effects themselves just don’t feel right. Maybe it was me, but all of the weapons sound like they are being fired from behind a closed door in an adjacent room.
Replayability isn’t too high, although it does have a points mode and the challenges, they are not enjoyable enough to dedicate that much time to them, so all in all, it’s good for a single playthrough before I will happily consign it to the drawer of games past.
For all that the game does wrong, it does some things right. The soundtrack, must be at the top of my list of things they have got spot on. I have heard of none of these bands, but the style and pace of these pieces are weighted exactly right throughout the game levels. The Arkham tracks used during Rubi’s Rage sections convey the mood of the stages to perfection.
The impromptu load scenes, which feature mock adverts you would likely see in a drive through cinema, add to the grind-house feel of the game and genuinely amuse.
All in all, I did enjoy most of the time playing the game, due to low brain activity at that particular time, with the exception of my usual QTE niggles, and for under a fiver I can say with hand on heart that it was value for money. WET is a bit like being told you are going on holiday, expecting a Virgin flight to New York, and instead getting a RyanAir flight to Bognor Regis, but the in flight meal being a decent biryani.
It was nice to get away, but the journey and the destination were only redeemed by the quality of a single aspect of the entire experience.
All in all a 6/10 score from me.
I don’t like 3rd person action games. Well, I didn’t like them and perhaps this is only a blip but I am enjoying Wet.
The camera isn’t great and I think starting it on normal was a mistake as it’s too easy. In fact the hardest parts have been finding where I need to go. I’ve finished six chapters in one, two hour sitting (out of 12 I think) so it might turn out to be quite short, but for £5 I really can’t complain!
In short I’m enjoying it. Music is very good and visuals are aged but still nice enough (scratchy film effect is frickin’ annoying and awful though & was switched off during the first scene!). Control scheme is quite slick once you get into it & it all clicks into place.
Right! Yes I enjoyed it, and I am playing through again, BUT this is just a ‘fair’ game, not an excellent one. For £4.50 it was a real gem, if I’d paid £30 or more I’d be really pissed off. Mindless, brainless fun with the only challenge being trying to see where you are meant to go. (And yes “Rubi vision” helps but the camera angle is often so poor it has no effect.)
Over all, playing Rubi the ‘Bullet/quick-time-jumpy-around-lady’ was a fun, if less than challenging, experience. And hey, who needs an intellectual challenge in ALL their games?
6/10 for me.
I have played this game until midway through chapter seven and I am not a fan and I can’t see myself carrying on. Each level except the QTE sections are the same, you platform for a bit then hit a kill room where you jump about shooting everything including the compulsory boss armed with a minigun. Occasionally you have a rage section which is another kill room but the screen goes red. The plot is nonexistent.
The platforming controls are similar to Assassin’s Creed but are not done as well. This meant that there are cheap deaths aplenty. One level I successfully made a jump once and died later on in the level. I restarted from the load point and every time I got to the same jump I fell to my death not realising that I had to make the jump from the far right hand side even though it was no nearer to the platform I was jumping to.
The shooting controls seem to be stolen from Max Payne and whilst its fun hammering the trigger to shoot everything that moves, the fun wears off after the first few chapters. Each kill room encourages you to flip and slide around to keep in bullet time but there does not seem to be any skill involved as there is infinite ammo on the pistols and some measure of auto aim as well.
The sections that are not shooting, platforming or pressing a button correctly are really frustrating. One of them, I won’t mention specifics in case it ruins it for anyone else, took me ages as it seems you have to memorise exactly where to go to get past it.
On the plus side the music was entertaining and for £5 I can’t complain too much.
I can’t help feeling though that going forward I would prefer to spend a few pounds more on the Game of the Month to get a good/classic game that I missed rather than one which I would happily have never played.
I would give it 4/10