Developer: Artificial Mind and Movement
Release Date: 2008
It’s remarkably easy to look at Wet and think, “oh, Prince of Persia with guns.” It comes by that honestly, though, as the Montreal-based developer Artificial Mind and Movement is comprised largely of Ubisoft veterans, who worked on both PoP and Splinter Cell.
Wet, at this point, is about 10% done; very little can reliably be said about it right now except that it definitely exists, and that the staffers over at Artificial Mind and Movement have seen Kill Bill about three thousand times between them. Wet is a stylish slow-motion shoot/slash-‘em-up with a heavy emphasis on the “stylish,” and to judge from its surf-punk soundtrack and its grindhouse art style, it would not exist without the cinematic ouevre of one Quentin Tarantino. This is not a complaint or a criticism; it’s an honest observation. Take it as you will.
The star of the game is Rudy, who works as a freelance “problem solver.” If the title screen of the game is any indication, some of the problems she’s solving in Wet will involve the horrible deaths of a number of deeply idiosyncratic gangsters.
Rudy goes into the field armed with two pistols and a sword, and is capable of a wide variety of acrobatic moves. She can run along walls, roll, slide, flip, swing off poles, and more, and at any time during any of her moves, she can pull out her sword or pistols and start cutting people down in their tracks.
When Rudy fires, the game automatically goes slow-motion and begins allowing for independent targeting, allowing the player to take on multiple enemies at once while continuing to move. It’s vaguely reminiscent of Stranglehold, really, in that the important thing is not so much that the bastards you’re fighting die as that you look really cool while you’re killing them. Allowances have been made for environmental kills, as well as impressive environments to do the killing in.
Rudy will also have to contend with platforming-oriented “puzzles,” Prince of Persia-style, where she must use her acrobatic and shooting abilities to get from point A to point B in unconventional ways. The example listed in the abbreviated demo shown at Sierra Gamers’ Week took place in a warehouse, where Rudy had to leap across a series of catwalks while shooting a switch in mid-air. Her slow-motion ability made this fairly easy, but she was also being shot at at the time.
Wet is, in short, in the “looks promising” stage. Very little else can reliably be said, and I have no idea why the game is called Wet in the first place, but it’s impressive enough that I’ll be following any further developments.
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