Sunday, August 30, 2009

WET Demo Impressions

WET is a game I've been interested in for a while now, and when I heard there was a demo released on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, I just had to check it out. The game is published by Bethesda and developed by Artificial Mind & Movement, which has mostly done licensed titles in the past, such as Spiderman: Friend or Foe, and the Iron Man video game. While they might not have the best track record, WET still brings a lot of promise to table.

The demo starts off with a pretty cool, yet pretty cheesy cutscene of a negotiation gone wrong. The game's voice acting, while not particularly spectacular, is exactly what you'd want out of a game like this. The style in the game is reminiscent of a few different things, but the majority of it seems to be based on Grindhouse (mostly the first half, "Planet Terror"). Much like Grindhouse as well, the game isn't afraid to throw f-bombs all over the place. The whole game has a nice look and feel to it that isn't seen often, except maybe in something like No More Heroes.

But enough about story and style, let's get into the gameplay. The demo is broken up into three different parts, all showcasing different gameplay mechanics. In the first part of the demo, it's your standard 3rd person action game. My first impression was that they pretty much took the Stranglehold engine and used that to power the game and it wouldn't surprise me at all if that turned out to be true. That may not be the best game to compare your game to, since Stranglehold was kind of bland at points, and a bit underwhelming overall, but WET manages to change things up a bit. You still have the same ol' dive and shoot in slow motion mechanics as stranglehold, and there's also a wall run in there where time will slow down, but the best move by far is the slide move, which I like to call the powerslide. Your character basically slides across the floor, shooting tons of dudes in slow-mo, and it looks pretty fucking awesome. You also get a katana, and some pole swinging, which reminds me a lot of Prince of Persia.

The second part of the demo focused on a crazy super-stylized mode (Pictured to the left) where the only colors on the screen were shades of red, black, and white. instead of your dual pistols you had in the first part, you now have dual uzis, and you seem to pretty much be invincible. This mode is pretty awesome, and reminds me a lot of the art style from Killer 7.

The final part of the demo, and my personal favorite, had you riding on top of cars down the freeway, chasing these shady looking characters and shooting them in the head. Every now and then, you reach a scripted point where you have to do a QTE command to jump to another car or avoid some explosion or something. The whole sequence looks really good, and makes you feel like you're in some sort of crazy action movie.

The biggest problem I had with WET so far is the controls. The game doesn't quite feel as fluid as you'd hope it'd be. I don't know if it's the character's animations, or just the control method, but it feels like lost potential when you look at all of the other great stuff in the game. Another thing that bugged me was the difficulty of the game, the whole thing seemed too easy. I'm hoping there will be a difficulty option in the full game, but if there isn't, I'm going to be severely disappointed.

One more thing I should mention before I wrap this up is the excellent soundtrack in the game. The game has a lot of kickass tunes that sound exactly like they came out of a Quinten Tarrentino movie, and the game benefits from it. The soundtrack is not heavily dramatic with any sort of orchestral score, but it's wholly original, and provides the right amount of intensity to the situations you find yourself in, in the game.

If you guys haven't checked out the demo yet, I suggest you go download it, it's definitely worth your time. You guys can look forward to the full game when it's released September 15th, 2009 on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

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