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Review: WET

Rubi Malone is an estrogen-fueled assassin in WET.

As a top assassin, Rubi is seriously pissed off through most of the third-person shooter. Voiced by Eliza Dushku, she wades through hordes of killers, slashing and shooting them in slo-mo. Her favorite finishing move is a stab to the crotch with her sword.

The high point of the game is the effective depiction of Rubi as a kickass problem solver with a penchant for profanity and a need for blood.

Rubi begins the game with a pair of revolvers and a sword as her default weapons. The guns have unlimited ammo and are always a good go-to in crowded scenarios. Along the way, she acquires three more gun types – shotguns, machine guns and crossbows – to enliven the fight. All have limited ammo, with more available scattered through levels.

The weapons, and Rubi’s skills, can be upgraded during the game, using points earned during levels. Points are earned by killing with style, with weapons having higher value that are more difficult to use skillfully. The sword is the easiest to kill with, but fewer points are eanred by using it. (Actually, the crossbow is easier, but it has little ammo and does not come into play much.)

Special abilities given to Rubi allow for slow motion action. Rubi can jump, slide and wall run, triggering a slowdown that gives her time to focus on individual enemies. There is also a Prince of Persia aspect to the game, with some areas that must be scaled or crossed using acrobatic leaps, spins and ledge work. In fact, some points of the game could have been retitled Princess of Persia.

The game had a lot of potential, from the in-your-face attitude to the driving rock and roll music to the distinctive characters. Unfortunately, it mostly devolves into repetition, with most levels practically carbon copies of each other.

The bulk of the game has Rubi entering an area, where she must seal off spawn doors to prevent more enemies from entering, then kill the enemies and finally face off against a mini-boss with a gatling gun. Rinse (the blood off). Repeat.

While fun initially, the levels playing out much like the scene from the movie Kill Bill where the Bride is confronted by dozens of Japanese assassins and dispatches them all with flair and aplomb, the scenario quickly becomes old hat by the third or fourth time.

There is the occasional change of pace level, like car surfing while killing bad guys and one challenging fall from an exploding airplane while pursuing a parachute. But these are few.

The other type of level is when Rubi goes into “rage mode,” signaled by Rubi getting a face full of blood spatter. In these short levels, everything turns to black, white and blood red, reminiscent of something from 2005’s quirky Killer7 video game. Despite the color scheme, these levels remain very similar to the others.

The other gameplay mechanic that rears its head is what’s known as “quick time events.”

QTEs, where you press a button when an image of that button appears on-screen in order to cause your character to perform an act, play a big part of the game, although not necessarily in a positive way. For instance, a key battle against one of the big bosses toward the end of the game involves just a few button pushes and it’s over. It was deflating, to say the least, after a big buildup.

Between levels playing out the storyline, Rubi returns to her home base, to face challenges meant to hone skills on new weapons. The challenge area can be accessed between levels for more work on skills.

Another big downside of WET was its brevity. This game is short. There is also no multiplayer, further limiting the replayability of the game.

 

Platform: Playstation 3, Xbox 360

Rating: Mature

Manufacturer: Bethesda Softworks

Score: 7 estrogen-laced chilies

 

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