Caught up in the convoluted plot of blatant twists and wooden acting, WET treads the thin-line of having a plot so obviously bad, it's actually comical.
Armed with the fire-power of a small army and the acrobatics of an Olympic gymnast, WET's gameplay revolves much around chaining combos while shooting hordes of henchmen.
WET's single-player campaign takes around 7 hours to complete with multiple difficulty levels encouraging multiple playthroughs.
WET could have easily been just another cover-based third-person shooter. As it happens, its gameplay is an interesting mix of Tomb Raider, House Of The Dead and old-school Tony Hawk's. Much of the game is laid out into arenas. Within these arenas, there are a constant stream of spawning enemies. In order to block out the arena, you need to use Rubi's sword to trigger context sensitive blockades. The most innovative part of the gameplay is the actual shooting though. This rewards athleticism. Jumping into the air and shooting slows down time, allowing you to pick off enemies mid-air. As Rubi can dual-wield, the game will automatically target one enemy, allowing you to pick off two at a time by manually aiming with the analogue stick at another. You can extend the periods of slow-mo, by hitting the circle button as you land a jump, causing Rubi to slide on her knees across the floor while shooting. You can also wall-run. Killing enemies with these combos enhances your score and builds your multiplier, meaning chains of kills earn you more points. More points allow you to upgrade Rubi's abilities, enabling even more potential for combo-based gunplay. With an arsenal of pistols, shotguns, SMGs and exploding arrows on tap, controlling Rubi really makes you feel like a badass. The shooting mechanics are clever because not only do they pay perfect homage to the over-the-top action in classic grindhouse movies, but they also feel fresh compared to other shooters.
Whether you're sick of the grindhouse rebirth or not, it's hard to keep a straight-face the first time you watch the gameplay practically cut out mid-level only to implore you to visit Church complete with a retro cinema advert vibe. There were times when we wished WET could have took the grindhouse vibe even further, but on the whole, the developers nailed the particular source they were trying to imitate. One particular moment from the game we liked was an interlude in which Rubi is waiting in a lift. With the game sneakily loading in the background, Rubi pulls out a harmonica and starts playing a little ditty on it. Out of context it's absolutely stupid, but in WET, little touches go a long way towards enhancing the experience. From the sepia-toned colouring, to the wooden voice acting, film-grain and bonkers interludes, this is every-inch a grindhouse title. We love grindhouse.
There are some pretty "out-there" gameplay moments in WET. From the ostentatious car-chase in the demo, to an exploding plane that sees you plummeting back to Earth. We don't want to give too much away, but these interludes do just enough to keep the game feeling fresh. They're also ridiculous, which goes a long way towards helping the material. The stylised "red" moments, when Rubi's anger overloads, are amongst some of the most bad-ass moments in the game. They also look fantastic.
Personally we would have opted for some more glittery disco tunes in WET, but as it happens, the old-school "Wild-West" rock vibe the developers have taken works just as well. Expect to find yourself pulling your hair out at the looping nature of some of the tunes, but giggling over the blatant cheesiness of it all.
When you're flying through the air, pulling acrobatic stunts and taking down enemies, WET's controls feel perfect. Alas, they go a bit stiff and twitchy when you're simply traversing the environment. This causes frustration during WET's numerous platforming sections. In a nod towards Tomb Raider, protagonist Rubi is able to scale a host of particular environments; swinging on high bars and grappling ledges. The problem is that it can be all to easy to get lost in these sections. Trial and error leads to instant death and twitchy controls result in unnecessary mistakes. It's awesome that the developers included a number of ways to break up the core shooting mechanics, but platforming is certainly not the game's strength.
Sadly, as fun as WET's core shooting mechanics are, the levels can get a little predictable. You'll usually find yourself chasing a certain antagonist, where you'll encounter a couple of arena fights and some platforming along the way. The levels are paced well but the air of predictability can become tiresome. The lack of checkpoints can also punish mistakes with backtracking.
WET is the type of game that lends itself perfectly to having online leaderboards. Sadly, that's something not included. In fact, despite the 7 hour campaign, there's not much else to get out of WET. The Boneyard Challenges you unlock upon completing the game are pretty dull, and aside from multiple playthroughs, WET is a little short on content.
WET is mindless and dumb. Its saving grace is its self-awareness. With its bonkers plot, intriguing presentation and Tony Hawk-esque shooting mechanics, WET is actually much more than it alludes. See, WET may be mindless and dumb, but most of all - it's fun.
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