Wet wears its inspirations on its sleeve. Quentin Tarantino’s B-movie tributes Kill Bill and Grindhouse both figure heavily into Wet’s visual aesthetic – right down to the scratchy film filter that turns your 1080p into a slightly malfunctioning projector (an effect which I had to turn off after about five minutes because it was making me ill). From games, it swipes Max Payne’s slow-motion diving, God of War’s cinematic quick time events, Prince of Persia’s platforming, and The Club’s gonzo, multiplier-heavy arcade shooting.
As befitting its gameplay and presentation, Wet’s plot is a mishmash of hyperactive action clichés. You’ve got a hot, badass hero named Rubi, whose sense of style favors leather and dual pistols. From the explosive opening, you guide her through a series of ever more ludicrous plot points involving plane crashes, a variety of evil foreigners, a mysterious suitcase, someone named “Rat Boy,” and – by my count – two separate characters that “control the designer drug trade in Hong Kong.” It also features some notable voice talent in Eliza Dushku and Malcolm McDowell, which you’ll appreciate when they deliver lines like “Say goodbye, f---tard.”
But you know what? The whole mess sort of works for me. It’s boneheaded to its spandex-clad little soul, but like a good late night cable flick, the creators seem to be in on the joke. I love how there’s no attempt to provide any sense of reality. The developers don’t even bother with a reload function on your main pistols and there’s no cool-down timer on your bullet time abilities, translating into battles that are somewhere between Jet Li and a gymnastics meet on amphetamines. It’s not polished enough to hang with the games that inspired it – the action gets messy to the point of frustration far too often, and the level designs are rudimentary to say the least – but if you’re looking for a weekend sugar-rush you could do much worse.