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Kick-ass female leads are a dying breed in the video game industry. What I mean by that is that the aesthetics and looks of female leads have drastically changed over the last decade or so. Most have terrible haircuts or shaved heads or are ripped beyond belief. That wasn’t the case for the lead character, Rubi, in the 2009 third-person shooter “Wet”. Developed by Artificial Mind & Movement and published by Bethesda Softworks, Wet was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Rubi, the main character is designed wonderfully. Would the rest of the game follow? Make sure you reload as we enter this Wet review!
The game stars “Rubi” a lone-wolf type of mercenary who does odd jobs for crime organizations whether it’s a hit on a high-ranking boss or retrieving an important item or person. At the beginning of Wet, Rubi returns a briefcase to a hospital containing a heart that was needed to complete a heart transplant for a crime lord, named William.
A year later, William, calls upon Rubi to rescue his son who has been kidnapped by a gang in Hong Kong. The son of Ackers doesn’t want to leave but Rubi captures him anyway and returns him to William. As it turns out, the William that hired her was an imposter and leader of a rival gang to the real William. Rubi just hand-delivered William’s son to his biggest rival. The imposter kills William’s son decapitating him in the process. Horrified, Rubi fights back and is critically injured before passing out. Fortunately for her, a friend was watching her back who rescues her and helps her recover.
Needing information on the fake William, Rubi, starts doing odd jobs to obtain information on his whereabouts. She steals an ancient book for an old woman and she reveals the fake William is a well-known drug kingpin named Rupert. Rubi gets a little too close to Rupert’s gang and is captured. She’s able to escape and kill the gang but not before obtaining crucial information on Rupert who is planning to kill the real William soon.
Rubi travels to William’s mansion where she finds Rupert and his top bodyguard. As they are about to kill William, she intervenes and kills both of them. William says that he cannot forgive Rubi for killing his son, but will allow her to leave without taking vengeance on her for saving his life. He throws some money at her and she leaves. As the credits roll, the top bodyguard that Rubi just killed named Tarantula hands begins to twitch.
Wet did a great job of making the aesthetics of the game look enticing. The cover art looks great, and the main menu follows. To top the look of the game off, it’s paired with a great soundtrack. It’s unique and has a lot of hard rock mixed in. The soundtrack does a terrific job of getting you into the rhythm of a gunfight.
If there was a game that Wet reminded me of it was Red Steel on the Wii. There’s a lot of over-the-top action and violence with plenty of gore. There are also characters with a lot of spunk. Let’s look at Rubi as she is the star of this film noir game. I want to give as much praise to Rubi as I can for her design. The creators developed her as a fierce female character who looks great without sacrificing her design to appease feminists who don’t play video games. Rubi doesn’t have some shaved head or a terrible haircut. She isn’t spewing remarks about sexism or trying to discuss “problematic” issues. Rubi is a kick-ass female lead without the political bullshit that accompanies many of the female video game characters of today. Devs are afraid to make female characters too sexy or with too much jiggle. Rubi is one of the last characters to show that she can kill anyone in front of her while looking good.
Wet is a little rough around the edges. You can tell it didn’t have the biggest budget but the creators did what they could. As Rubi, you’ll play through a level in which the object is to get from point A to point B with tons of enemies in between. There are no sidequests or other objectives when playing. It’s as simple as “kill everyone in the room and make your way toward the end of the level”.
At your disposal are a few different weapons. Rubi carries pistols, uzis, shotguns, a crossbow, and a sword. Each weapon can be upgraded to have faster firing rates, more ammo, and more power. Pistols are the most basic weapon but even they pack a punch and are very capable of disposing of hordes of enemies. Speaking of enemies, you’ll fight plenty of them. All of the enemies have the same weapons that Rubi has so it’s more skill vs skill instead of weapons vs skill.
At the end of the levels, there was typically a massive open area with plenty of elements of destruction. When you defeat the last of the enemies you can exit the level or you’ll reach a checkpoint for longer levels. Gunfights are based on style and chaining combos together much like a Devil May Cry. Hiding behind barrels or walls won’t score you points. Rubi is very acrobatic so she can jump off walls, and objects, and slide on her knees for impressive kills. She also can slow time down to kill enemies more easily. It’s like the Matrix but with more flare. When you need to heal look for whiskey bottles.
Rubi can enter a super rage mode that makes killing enemies like slicing through butter. There are portions where this is automatically activated and the entire screen goes black and red. It’s a fun mode and makes you feel very powerful. Other portions of Wet included action scenes straight from a movie. There were portions in which you’d have to hop from car to car on a highway while shooting bad guys or jumping off a plane that has exploded and making your way to safety by free falling. These parts of my Wet review were a delight.
I enjoyed the gameplay in my Wet review but there were some aspects I didn’t like.
When you receive a new weapon, Rubi typically heads back to base and then does a training course with the weapon. It’s like a mini-game and change of pace from going through levels but I found the obstacle courses dull and useless. You’ll run through obstacles and jump off things while shooting at targets with the new weapon. It can be frustrating to replay the obstacle course and it can take around 3 minutes to complete. It just wasn’t worth the effort and I think they could have implemented something else to change the pace of the game.
The finale of Wet was a big disappointment. All this time you are working your way through hordes of enemies, honing your skills in combat, and learning the most aerobatic kills that Rubi can pull off. In the end, the finale is nothing more than a “quick-time event” where you push a few buttons on screen that easily kills the final boss. I was dumbfounded during my wet review that this is how it all ended. They left open the possibility of a sequel but I doubt we’ll ever see the day.
During my Wet review, I had many technical issues with my PS3 controllers. I have five PS3 controllers and most of them suck to put it lightly whether the battery life is 15 minutes or the joysticks are stuck in position. I received a first-party Sony wireless PS3 controller for Christmas not too long ago and was using it for various games. When I played Wet about halfway through the game the controller that was only six months old started to go berzerk. It would repeat an action for an infinite amount of time. If I was in a shootout and was striving to the left, the controller would make Rubi indefinitely go left without the ability to do anything else. The same goes for if I was shooting my gun. She’d just constantly shoot. It was a frustrating mess and with my lack of reliable PS3 controllers, I didn’t know if I would be able to beat Wet. I tried the controller with other games and it did the same thing. I tried to find numerous fixes for the problem but there was no solution. For whatever reason, after about 4 days of frustrations, the controller started to work again and I was able to complete my Wet review.
Wet Review Score:
Wet is a straightforward game that perfectly exemplifies what a female video character should be. Rubi kicks ass and looks good! The anti-climatic ending sours the final moments but the time spent playing to get there is well worth it.
Wet scores a 7 out of 10.
What would you write in your Wet review? What was your favorite weapon? What other games have kick-ass female leads? Would you like to see a sequel to Wet? Let me know your thoughts and comments on Wet, I’d love to read them.