WET • Page 3

Paynekiller?

The rage sequences are much more enjoyable. These are WET's most obvious homage to Kill Bill; they're even heralded by close-up of Rubi's blood-drenched face and a screaming siren. During rage sequences the visuals are painted entirely in three colours. Rubi appears as a black silhouette, fighting off featureless enemies in white vests against a blood-red environment. The action is accompanied by pumping music with appropriate lyrics ("My baby's lost control", etc.). It's clearly a reference to the Crazy 88 sequence - or a direct rip-off, depending on your perspective. But it's a stylish one. The rage sequences look great and last for just the right amount of time, and the change of pace is welcome.

The rage episodes aren't the only stylish thing about WET. Instead of loading screens there are what look like genuine drive-in movie ads and public information shorts from fifties America, advising you to pick up hot dogs at the snack bar or "Attend your place of worship regularly". There's a slight flicker to the whole game as if it's being played on a film reel - this is occasionally distracting, but you can always turn it off in the options menu. The soundtrack isn't anywhere near up to the standard of Tarantino's musical selections, but at least the jangly, thumping songs they've chosen fit the tone of the game.

To top it all off there are voiceovers by Proper Celebrities. Malcolm McDowell plays the villain of the piece, having probably given up a whole 12 minutes of his time to do so. Rubi is voiced by Eliza Dushku, who does a decent job, and at least unlike with Dollhouse you don't have to watch her prinking and pouting and trying to convey the full spectrum of emotions using her eyebrows. Alan Cumming is also in it. No, I'm not sure either.

So has Artificial Mind and Movement succeeded in what it clearly set out to do, and created a the gaming equivalent of a great Tarantino film? Not quite. There's no depth to WET. The initial thrill of being able to pull off spectacular stunts with ease is powerful, but after a few hours the novelty wears off. There's no real sense of progression, and the emphasis is on repetition rather than reward.

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Perhaps Rubi should have saved her acrobatic skills for the circus. Or one of those bars where pole-swinging earns you the big bucks.

The game doesn't have anywhere near the polish, slickness or inherent coolness of a Tarantino movie. The plot's naff and the dialogue is diabolical. Regardless of that flickering filter, it's hard to believe you could bewatching a film when the visuals look like they belong to a first-gen 360 title.

But WET does have its saving graces. It helps that Rubi Malone is one of the best videogaming heroines to come along in a while. She's not nearly as po-faced as Lara and her dress sense is a lot better than that porny old vampire. She's properly grumpy, not all "sassy" and cute like that chick in Uncharted. And you can't imagine Mrs Mirror's Edge replenishing her health by taking a swig from a bottle of Jack Daniels (or what is as close to Jack Daniels as copyright laws will allow), then tossing the bottle into the air and blasting it with a shotgun.

What's more, WET does have some things in common with Tarantino's movies. It's shamelessly derivative, gloriously over-the-top and it doesn't take itself too seriously. Most of all, it's brilliant fun. If all you want is to chop up and shoot down some baddies, do some stunts, watch some mindless gore and enjoy some silly scriptwriting, and don't mind feeling a bit empty and dirty afterwards, WET fits the bill.

7 / 10

Read the Eurogamer.net review policy WET Ellie Gibson Paynekiller? 2009-09-18T14:51:00+01:00 7 10

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