WET Preview - August 10th 2009

Originally announced in 2007, WET has only recently resurfaced as a title due for release in 2009. With Bethesda's support, gamers are beginning to realise that this could be one to watch.

Due for release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, WET is in development by Artificial Mind and Movement (A2M). Despite the media-hype across the Internet, Bethesda are only publishing the game, and while that should still give us an insight into the true quality behind this relatively unknown developer and their new intellectual property, perhaps getting ahead of ourselves is something we should avoid. It was, after all, originally signed on with Activision before being dropped.

A2M have been doing the rounds for years now, but have not yet really been given the freedom to express themselves. WET could be just the game to propel them to new heights. A lack of exposure has still left WET somewhat in the background when it comes to this autumn's releases, yet there is plenty here to get excited about. The game is a third person shooter with a difference. At first glance it seems most akin to John Woo's Stranglehold. All the action is centred on audacious jumps, combos and attacks. The protagonist, a female named Rubi Malone, is a mercenary assassin. She packs a pair of meaty Colt Python pistols and a samurai sword.

The sword-play in WET will set it apart from the shooter crowd.

In the demo recently shown to the gaming press, and indeed in the gameplay trailers that are doing the rounds, it is clear to see that Rubi's combination of weaponry makes for some crazy stunts. When you jump, slide (along the ground), or wall run, the game enters a slow-motion mode. Obviously the intention is that these are used in conjunction with ripping shots from your pistols, cutting into the enemies that stand baffled by your acrobatics. In addition to jumps purely for dodging purposes, you can wall run and jump to latch onto bars that let you swing around, frustrating the enemy and giving you a great vantage point to aim down from.

The game's aiming system is certainly unique. Despite Rubi having dual pistols, you only have one trigger for them. She automatically aims one for you, while you focus the other with the right stick. This may sound odd, but you have to bear in mind that the action is pretty frantic. You have enemies on all sides for much of the game, so it's almost like having an AI team-mate – but one that is permanently latched on to your character. You can take the important, crucial shots, but the auto-aim will deal with the grunts. Due to the fact that the game gives you infinite ammo on Rubi's pistols, and that the sheer amount of nasties that it throws at you is immense, you will not really be letting go of the trigger. The game promotes this sort of arcade nonchalance that most others would shy away from – holding the trigger down will keep firing continuously until you let go and everything is dead.

Acrobatic maneuvers are the order of the day in this game.

As mentioned earlier, you are not merely lumbered with guns (more are on offer as unlockables once you get some points together), as Rubi sports an impressive samurai sword for closer targets. You can pull this out by pressing X/Square while running. Due to the level of agility afforded to you by the game, this impressive melee attack is crucial. Ending up too close to an enemy isn't the end of the world, just press X/Square and watch him get disembowelled. The sword is also begging to be added to the end of combos and aerial attacks. Such deft chains of button presses and control stick nudges are rewarded with 'The Club'-style points. You get some for killing enemies generally, but more for doing so with inventive techniques, acrobatics and imagination. Multipliers can also be attained to really start racking up the score. This can then be used for new weapons and moves.

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