• Cheap thrills
  • Bee-yoo-tee-ful Rage mode
  • Moves smoothly and slickly
  • Dumb and knows it
  • Sad lack of enemy variety
  • Short and forgettable

For those short on time, refer to our review of Wanted. It’s the same kind of game – short and bittersweet, poorly made but confident, filled with ideas but none of them strong enough to carry the game.

Wet is as dumb as it always promised to be – fourteen stages of constant blasting with the occasional platforming interlude. There’s blasting in corridors, blasting on the roofs of cars, blasting in arenas where you have to shut down the enemy’s spawnpoints, and blasting with the screen painted red; there’s blasting with pistols, shotguns, machine guns, and crossbows; and there’s blasting in boxy locations in San Francisco, Hong Kong, London, and The Sky.

Once upon a time Max Payne doled out its slow-mo in miserly bursts but Rubi has an infinite supply of Bullet Time. Every time your feet leave the ground or knees skid the concrete everything crashes into slow-mo. Cannon-fodder enemies flood into boxy arenas and hurl themselves in front of Rubi’s guns; it’s Stranglehold with The Club’s scoring system and Prince of Persia’s wall-running, and with unlimited slow-mo every shootout is rammed with the cheapest thrills imaginable.

It’s brutally simplistic in every possible way but it’s simplistic by design. Wet makes for a moronic four hours of mirth but it knows exactly what it is and what it wants to be – within its own limited template it’s a success. Rubi animates beautifully as she slides along every surface and dives through the air to bring her pistols to bear on the legions. Its story is pulpy nonsense and its music is rammed with twangy guitars and screaming nutcases.

It has a sense of bravado lifted from 70s cinema. Old drive-in intermission ads bookend levels while a scratchy grain filter and jumpy camera follow the action. Game designers owe a debt to Rodriguez and Tarantino for their revival of Grindhouse cinema because the scratchy grain filter thrown atop games like Wet and the Wii’s House of the Dead: Overkill hide every sin. Once you embrace the Grindhouse philosophy you have an excuse for everything you did badly. No cohesion between locations? Idiotic story? Laughable acting? Legions of cloned enemies, each with the same guns, clothes, and even faces? It’s not crap, it’s Grindhouse. Try that trick with that report your boss is after and see how far it gets you.

You can’t help but admire Wet’s balls, as stinky as they may be. Like Wanted you feel like an unstoppable bullet-spewing superhuman and for just a few brief hours you’ll laugh your way through ham-fisted levels, instant-death set pieces, and bad guys built solely for the purpose of being shot.

Wet isn’t a bad game because its designers failed at what they wanted to do; it’s a bad game because those designers made precisely the game they had always planned to make. It’s built to be basic and its limitations are built into the game at its very core. The thrills are as cheap as Happy Shopper cola but they’re still undeniably thrills.

In February Wet would be a rock-solid rental, in May it’s a pre-owned bargain, but one week before ODST and one month after Batman, it’s another Wanted-style cheeseburger in a world of filet mignon.

Sep 15, 2009

More Info

Release date: Sep 15 2009 - PS3, Xbox 360 (US)
Sep 18 2009 - PS3, Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: Bethesda
Developed by: A2M
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
PEGI Rating:

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000
  • Shnubby - July 19, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    I bought this game at a bargain bin price of £7.99 and for that price I can say that it was a great game! But it certainly isn't long, pretty or challenging enough for it to fit it's original £39.99 price tag. This game lacks features and character development but I must say jumping from car to car in the chase scenes was exceptionally heart=pumping and overall I would like to see a sequel in future.
  • Crypto140 - October 2, 2010 3:51 p.m.

    One of those games that certin people like I guess. It ranks up there with Overlord, with the fanboys smashing it down. Let a sequal out and it will be a million times better. I thought I was the only one who liked it.
  • DeathandBlackMetal4 - December 13, 2009 11:22 p.m.

    why all the hate? the game is good! I guess since the main character isn't a space marine in a green suit, you all hate it.
  • Brutus - October 12, 2009 3:57 a.m.

    This review is spot on, I rented this a couple weeks ago and it was acting like it was fun and I imagines if someone saw me playing it would look like fun but it wasn't... I took it back to Family Video and told them it sucked and to give me something else, and after a long conversation with the girl at the register I managed to get free half off for the next two months
  • AlanDrake - October 11, 2009 1:46 p.m.

    This game looks terrible. Let down from Bethesda , it looks like they just got bored and created any old crap
  • Ricochet3438 - September 19, 2009 1:45 p.m.

    well I rented this game yesterday, and was glad I rented it. Sure, it's fun, but I wouldn't wanna go out and spend 60 bucks on it ReCAPTCHA:years fiss
  • bl00dyvalen7ine - September 17, 2009 7:01 a.m.

    Meh game but the soundtrack is pretty good
  • venomman01 - September 17, 2009 1:25 a.m.

    wow bethesda i think you should stick to your day job. Role playing games!
  • xXgodlypunkXx - September 17, 2009 1:08 a.m.

    i just rented this game from blockbuster, and id hafta say that this review isnt that accurate. The game is tons of fun, but its glitchy and a lotta things aren't put together well. i wouldn't buy it, but rent it for sure
  • HMXsean - September 16, 2009 2:43 p.m.

    I caught the commercial last night and it finally got my attention. But after the review, I'd rather play another game.
  • DaNtHeManIsHeRe - September 16, 2009 6:02 a.m.

    i hate happy shopper. i have to deal with their bullshit handiwork whenever i go to work. regardless, i didnt tink much of the look of this game when it was anounced. the advert was crap. and this proves my assumptions
  • sixboxes - September 16, 2009 3:11 a.m.

    wait - through the whole review you're comparing it to Stranglehold, ODST and Wanted, which all made sense. Then right at the end you put it up against ODST (an FPS) and Batman AA (stealth/brawler mashup thing)? Why don't you throw in NFS:Shift for a completely batshit comparison?
  • Rhesus - September 20, 2009 1:51 a.m.

    It was fun.
  • ragingearth - September 16, 2009 2:09 p.m.

    I kinda had high hopes for this game. Damn this Max Payne-wannabe. Too bad. The only action game this quarter that I can look forward to NOW is Dante's Inferno.
  • garnsr - September 16, 2009 3:30 a.m.

    He's saying if you play action games Batman is out and known to be awesome, ODST is almost out and people figure it will be awesome, and most people only have so much money, and are only likely to get a few games from the action genre all year. So it doesn't make a lot of sense to put this out when no one is waiting for it, and there are already some discounted games out that play similarly to this one.
  • Gourdmaster - September 16, 2009 2:33 a.m.

    i have huge balls and a tiny penis
  • CreeplyTuna - September 16, 2009 1:21 a.m.

    is it fun? or just basic?cuz Halo is basic(same guns every game, bad story and run and gunning)