The WET demo is instantly fun from the beginning, opening up with a nice cinematic to set up the scene that you’ll be playing in with Rubi. The 70s twang music kicks in as Rubi does a flying leap to ground level, arms spread out like an eagle only this eagle is loaded with two pistols, a samurai sword and a bad attitude.
Movement is as smooth as you want it to be with the ability to adjust the sensitivity, and the controls are fairly easy to get a hang of. The interactive tutorial that begins allows you to play the demo as if it were the full game without taking up all of your time teaching you the moves, and it doesn’t talk down to you using step by step instructions on what to do. It tells you, and you execute a move the way you like, and if you don’t use the buttons or moves it tells you about then that’s fine too. The demo allows for free-range game play rather than keeping you on a strict path. It may tell me to shoot at enemies while sliding down a ladder, but what if I want to do a leap with my sword and slice the bastard in half instead? That’s fine, I can do that. The flexibility and acrobatic skills of the character also allow for some pretty unbelievable moves, but the fun part is mixing them up to create your own fighting style instead of following a set string of combos or button mashing.
If you’re low on health you will often times come across a strategically placed bottle of booze (Jack Daniels, perhaps) and you can take a swig to replenish your health. The animation is fluid between the quick scene where she takes a swig, throws the bottle in the air and shoots it before going back to gameplay mode.
The music is also another great part of the game. It fits every scene and situation perfectly, and it should, as each track was tailored and chosen specifically for the game. Brian Lebarton, the keyboardist and music director for Beck, composed the music for WET and knew exactly the tone to set with the music. In his own words,
“I wanted music that would scare the shit out of you, make you feel like you’re in the game. Music that would put you on edge, music that would sort of freak your brain out. Face-melting, musical debauchery.”
Sounds a bit over the top but you can see what he means when you play. The music really helps carry the story and with this and all the other elements it feels, as others have stated, very much like a Quentin Tarantino movie. It definitely has that feel. Thanks to the help of Lebarton and many other artists that went into the making of the soundtrack (including Ziggy Marley) the music doesn’t feel pasted into the game, it really feels like a part of it.
My favourite move has to be running up to a guy and using his body as a wall to run up him, kick him in the face to push him back as I do a back-flip and then automatically start shooting him AND the guy behind him at the same time, thanks to the auto-lock feature. Auto-lock is definitely a fun thing to utilize during a crowded fight scene: as you’re shooting at one guy you can actually direct your free hand to shoot at someone else nearby without having to worry about losing your aim on the first. Feels a bit Devil May Cry-ish but so far it hasn’t gotten old as fast as it did for me in DMC.
Another great part of the game seems to be Rubi’s own berserker mode. Splash a little blood on her and she is ready to slice throats and ask questions later. The whole screen becomes red as bloodied roses, turning into a parrot of a Frank Miller movie only not disappointing. Waves of silhouetted enemies will come at you as you make your way through the crimson rooms, splattering white blood against the walls and showing no mercy. Build up a chain attacks to keep Rubi’s health from dropping as well as rack up some points which will be added up later at the ended of the level. Driven by the rage of what one can only assume as, “I just had this dry cleaned!” fast-paced music drives you through enemy after enemy, trying to reach the one guy who’s throat you really want to carve up.
The demo ends with a classic car chase, except Rubi is hitching rides on top of cars rather than driving them as she takes down more enemies. Painless quicktime moments crop up, giving you enough time to push the displayed button before you slice someone’s head off or jump to the next car before it’s forced into another lane to avoid crashing- OR before it actually crashes. After taking down a handful of men, Rubi takes one last leap of faith onto a fishtailing semi, runs along the side and takes out the last guy. Roll credits, applause.
WET is out on September 15th, the same day as Scribblenauts. I’m half wishing I had pre-ordered WET instead of Scribblenauts at the amount of fun I had with the demo, but judging by what I’ve seen of Scribblenauts it’ll be fun too… just not as satisfyingly bloody and violent.