Demo Daze: WET
I remember that when WET first announced, it was a pretty big game. I don’t remember why but I remember there was a lot of hype for the game. Well 2 years later and a publisher change have passed since WET was announced and it looks set to fly under the radar when it’s released next month. However a demo for the game has been released on XBL this week (PSN last week) and I’m willing to try most demos so around 600MB later and it was time to play the WET demo. Hit the jump for my impressions on the short but sweet demo.
Before you even start the demo, you’re introduced to the Grindhouse feel via the main menu. The game is one big Grindhouse tribute, from the way the menus and loading screens look like Grindhouse film posters to the grainy film filter that the game has (possibly to hide “meh” graphics) to the amount of blood and crazy music that plays through out the demo. The game even has a few nods to legendary director Quentin Tarantino, with the definition of the term Wet at the beginning of the demo being the most obvious one. The only problem with this is that it alienates people who don’t really care about the Grindhouse feel. On the other hand, it’s great if you love that Grindhouse feel.
WET puts you in the shoes of Rubi, a “problem fixer” who in the demo is overseeing a deal between a guy with crazy clothes and a guy who can only talk if he puts a voice maker (there’s probably a better word for that) on his throat. As you can see, the game doesn’t take itself too seriously and unsurprisingly the deal is a set up with the guy with the crazy clothes running off with the money and the briefcase (we don’t see what’s in it). Apparently Rubi is after this briefcase so she crashes the party and we are given control.
Now this is a game that relies on being very stylish and using bullet-time. You could just run around and shoot like in a normal third person shooter but the aiming reticule is very small and it takes a lot longer to kill people. The problem here is that when you’re not being all stylish, the game feels very bad. Like I said, this isn’t a serious game and that can be seen in the gameplay. The first tutorial is to jump into the air and shoot someone in the face. The difference being is that time slows down when you start shooting, allowing you to pinpoint the head and rack up some points (more on that later).
Then the second tutorial is to do a powerslide and shoot people. Then wall running and killing people and later on even killing people while sliding down a ladder. As you can see the emphasis is on style and whether this will be a good thing throughout the whole of the game is yet to be seen. You get more points for being more stylish and it also looked like you get multipliers at points. The game doesn’t show you what significance the points have but I assume that there will at least be leaderboards.
As well as gunplay, swordplay also comes into it, although this doesn’t rely on slow motion and is a tad more generic, although it’s certainly satisfying to powerslide and then rip someone’s guts out. It’s all very bloody and while it might not be anything special, there’s not anything wrong with it either. Finally Rubi has a few athletic abilities at her disposal and by athletic abilities I mean Prince Of Persia abilities. From wall running to swinging from pole to pole, it’s all there although it can allow for some great kills in the process, especially with the pole swinging.
The last thing to note would be Rubi’s rage mode, which is triggered whenever blood is splattered all over her face during a cutscene. In this mode Rubi is a lot faster and can fire much faster too, beginning a chain of kills that you can keep up to get more points. This part is certainly the most stylish graphics wise and reminds me of the video for Queen of the Stone Age’s “Go with the Flow”.
Finally, the demo ends with a highway chase, where QTEs rear their ugly head at certain points. While the chase is very cool, I hope the game doesn’t come over reliant on the QTEs for the cooler parts of the game. Fortunately you can still shoot during the chase so there is at least more to it than Simon Says.
This game isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. The gameplay is a tad generic which might put off some people but the Grindhouse feel, style and humour can make up for that if you let it. I won’t pick up the game at full price but maybe later on down the line. The best I can say is to try the demo for yourself.