With 'Wet' it was love at first sight · 15 October 2009, 08:37
I fell in love with Bethesda’s Wet the first moment I laid eyes on it.
Our star is the beautiful and deadly Rubi Malone, voiced by Eliza Dushku. Rubi is Clint’s Man with No Name, Yun-Fat’s Tequila, Uma’s Bride. Rubi is, well, Rubi, an extreme and violent wetworks specialist, which is a sanitized way of saying she kills people for a living.
This game, from Montreal developer Artificial Mind and Movement, owes a debt to the filmmakers who brought those characters to life. It’s got the style of Leone’s spaghetti westerns, the craziness of Woo’s Hong Kong gangster flicks, the cool of Tarantino’s assemblage.
Rubi’s story is one of excess and stylized violence. It’s intentionally over the top. Structurally, it’s a simple game. Rubi moves from one carefully designed set to another, where she has to eliminate the enemies with as much style as possible. Run up a wall and backflip off, slide under tables, leap around corners, targeting bad guys everywhere.
There are also collectible elements to encourage exploration, but the developers really shouldn’t have bothered. We’re not playing Wet to find symbol-bashing monkeys. We’re playing it to get Rubi dripping with the blood of those who stood in her way.
Armed with two pistols and a katana, Rubi heals by taking a swig of whiskey. When she fails to land a jump she doesn’t die, but the movie we’re – literally – playing rewinds a few seconds so she can try again. If she goes down in a hail of bullets during the major fight sequences, the screen bubbles as if the projector lamp has melted the cellulose film.
Now, I don’t want to hear any talk about how Wet gets a bit repetitive. Or how the controls are a little wonky and it’s more than a little frustrating when Rubi falls off a balcony because she jumped instead of hanging off the railing.
Nobody’s perfect, after all.
With me and Wet it was love at first sight. I’m glad that now we’re living together, the magic is still there.
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