Bethesda’s Wet is a highly-stylised and over-the-top third-person shooter featuring a hot new character and breathtaking fight scenes from start to finish. Developed by A2M, Wet blends gunplay and sword skills with incredible acrobatics in a game that lets players go anywhere and shoot anything.
It mixes violence with humour, and retro visuals and a ‘70s soundtrack with cutting-edge 21st century technology. Sitting on top of the whole package like a glistening cherry on a gorgeous cake is the star of the show, Rubi Malone, played by Hollywood actress Eliza Dushku. Wet is her story.
“Rubi is a blue collar gun-for-hire who is dedicated to getting the job done,” says A2M’s senior game designer Avi Winkler. “She had built up a reputation and is the ‘go to’ girl for problems you may need fixed. She’ll do everything and anything she has to do to get the job done. If you get in her way, you’ll be in a world of hurt.”
It begins when Rubi is asked by a wealthy man to find and bring back his son – by any means necessary. To Rubi, an experienced gun for hire, it seems a simple job. The reality turns out to be anything but. Her employer isn’t who he seems to be. He turns on Rubi and leaves her for dead.
She’s now simultaneously on the run and hunting down the man who double-crossed her. Her chase takes her to various locations around the world – both sleazy and spectacular.
Her weapons include two custom-made Colt Pythons and a sword she uses for grizzly and deadly effect at close quarters.
Rubi’s key weapon, however, may be her acrobatic agility. Some of her moves are literally death-defying. She can climb on ledges, slide under obstacles, swing on poles and run along walls, firing and slashing all the time. It’s a combination of gameplay styles the developer is particularly proud of.
“We started creating a prototype with a highly acrobatic character,” explains Winkler. “We referenced a great deal of Parkour actions and drew inspiration from acrobatic street performers. While we had a large variety of moves in the mix we felt that there was still something missing.
“Then the idea of shooting with dual pistols during these actions came up. We took one of the moves – specifically running on walls – and implemented a basic shooting mechanic to test the waters. Immediately we knew that there was something unique and liberating about this gameplay.
“It brought a whole new element to the genre. Many third person shooters focus more on acrobatics or heavily on shooting. Our goal was to create a game that allows the player to shoot anytime, anywhere, and completely merge the two mechanics into a new and refreshing experience.”
The body count, inevitably, is high. In fact, Rubi’s goal is to leave a trail of destruction. Her aim is maximum kills using maximum skills. Yep, this is an assassin that scores points of stylistic interpretation, as well as plain old execution.
So, when she combines her shooting and swordplay with her acrobatics, she can blast through levels and big up maximum points to help continue her quest for bloody revenge.
And then there’s Rage mode. This takes an over-the-top game several dangerous steps further. Certain things, you see, push Rubi over the edge, psychologically speaking.
When this happens, the screen goes blood red and hell is unleashed in a frenzy of violence. Every kill counts for more and enemies die in even more gruesome ways, melting and exploding in front of you. These are intense and draining set-pieces in a game that is destined to shock and amaze.
“While dedicated gamers and certainly fans of the genre will be more likely to pick up a copy of Wet, we have always had the philosophy of creating a game that is easy to pick up but hard to master,” says Winkler.
“There are several difficulty levels that cater to all sorts of gamers. Casual gamers will be able to play the game and feel a sense of accomplishment as they take out enemies while performing Rubi’s exhilarating acrobatic actions. However, hardcore gamers will be challenged to use those actions in stylish ways as they link the actions together. Chaining the moves is an essential part of the game.”
The game was originally due to be published by Vivendi, but was dropped during the Activision Blizzard merger. With Bethesda now at the helm, Winkler is confident that Wet will achieve the success it has waited so long for.
“We were looking for a publisher who would give Wet the attention and support that a new IP needs,” he says. “Bethesda immediately understood the mood and tone we were going for with Wet. It’s wonderful working with a publisher that believes in the project as much as we do.”