Monday, May 10, 2010


Wet was described to me as Grindhouse the game. Which more or less assured I would go buy it immediately. Unfortunately, Wet isn’t really Grindhouse of say Tarantino and Rodrgiuez but the faux Grindhouse style of Nevedile Taylor, Neil Marshal in Doomsday, Rob Zombie sense of the word. A description that may have you running towards the door. Its kind of the videogame equivilant of Black Lagoon, market tested to be edgy, dropping F Bombs, blood, and bizarre character design with non stop frequency and exactly zero impact. But I can appriciate the effort.

Its funny far from simply reveling in it which I expected to do, Wet made me remember the pleasures of giving my internal film nerd the night off every once in awhile. When the intertitle showed a William Castle style warning, followed by a seventies title, and then a promise of an appearenance by Bela Lugosi. My mind first recoiled, protesting “But… But.. that’s clearly mixing three different era’s of exploitation cinema aesthetics. Couldn’t they do a little fucking research?” Only to have the much more sensible part of my brain respond. “Shut the fuck up, and enjoy this goofy as hell, fun, violent pastiche” I was happy to take its advice. How much you enjoy Wet will greatly depend on how responsive your brain is to being told to shut up and have a cookie.

The game is definitely designed more for how it looks then plays. This is excusable mostly because the control is simple, and the game looks good. But when I’m engulfed in flames because the animation on the bar flips has to be perfect, it becomes a problem. Combat is fun, except it penalizes you for using your sword by taking away bonus points for your lack of “acrobatic kills”, which is problematic as the sword is a lot more fun to use then the guns. Still aside from an overlying reliance on quick time events the mechanics of the game are sound.

Similar to Black Lagoon, the only thing I can really think of that matches it in tone, The game tries so hard to be KEWL!!! and Totally Xtreme. That it is never cool, or for that matter totally extreme. Its Poochie in videogame form clearly the product of committee think (though what committee thought exploitation film fans was a market to go after. Or for that matter a demographic with any money, is beyond me.) rather then passion.

Look I’m pretty bad at videogames. Whenever I play First Person Shooters with friends they think I’m drunk. My brother and sister regularly school me at Mario Kart where I look like an advertisement for MAD. I can’t even play a relatively simple party game like the new Mario Brothers Wii game without looking like a fucking travesty. Most of the reason I’ve avoided the online revolution in games is to hide my shame. And I beat Wet on hard mode in a matter of hours. This game is either absurdly easy or I’m a fucking savant at it. I’m willing to bet on the former. This might be good for me, but for the more hardcore among you, you might be looking at a very short game.

The film brings in Malcolm McDowell, Alan Cummings, and Eliza Dushku, playing of course Eliza Dushku.

For what it was I thought Wet was fun. The question for you is, is what it is enough?


Simon said...

The worst part of Eliza DUshku is her voice, her "I'm acting as hard as I can!" voice. Therefore, I can't imagine why they'd stick her in a voice-only videogame.

Budd said...

thanks for the review. it sounds fun, might have to turn off the brain and check it out.

Elwood Jones said...

I actually liked this one, even though I didn't beat it. Still I can't help but feel it's a film tie in game, just missing it's film.
Still its worth a look for it's car chase, which has you leaping from car to car.

Still for it's flaws, atleast the soundtrack is cool.

Bryce Wilson said...

@ Simon: I agree I usually loathe Dusku. Though admittedly I found alot of her work in Dollhouse impressive. This is her at her lazy "bad girl" worst.

@ Budd: Definitely worse ways to do it man. Hope you stick around.

@ Elwood: Yeah that first car sequence was alot of fun, but they really overuse the technique by the end.

You are right about the soundtrack. Its pretty fucking badass.

Erich Kuersten said...

your description reminds me of the first 20 minutes of BITCH SLAP, especially the credits which use clips from Faster Pussycat and god knows what else, I can't remember - then proceed to overkill and miss the whole point by having some saucy Aussie spew venomous comments even as babes beat him senseless. In its effort to be badass the film fails to be anything but loud.

Bryce Wilson said...

"In its effort to be badass the film fails to be anything but loud."

Well said. I do feel like I'm being slightly too hard on this film it did exactly what it set out to do. Send wave after wave of bots to be slaughtered in away slightly less standard then usual.

But its just so calculated the way it does so.