Columns & Blogs

Give action-packed ‘WET’ a dry run

If Quentin Tarantino directed a video game, then “WET” would have been the result.

“WET” shares a number of similarities with Tarantino films — particularly “Kill Bill” and “Grindhouse” — and pays homage to a number of the director’s loves, like spaghetti westerns and exploitation cinema.

The game, which is available now, feels like it would have been a worthy addition to the fake trailer portion of “Grindhouse,” Tarantino’s collaboration with Robert Rodriguez.

The main character is Rubi Malone — voiced by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dollhouse” actress Eliza Dushku — who is equals parts of Uma Thurman’s character from “Kill Bill” and Angelina Jolie’s Fox from “Wanted.”

Armed with an arsenal of guns and a sword, Rubi makes her way through each stage with a seemingly endless amount of enemies to plow through.

One of the strengths of the game is the combat system. Rubi jumps, slides and runs across walls, all the while eliminating bad guys through slow-motion scenes. It’s sort of like a poor man’s “Mirror’s Edge,” except the female protagonist in this game is consistently shooting and slashing rather than running away.

In nearly every chapter, Rubi gets trapped in an arena, where she must eliminate the enemies and destroy the spawn points. This is, without a doubt, the best part of the game, offering some wide open and enjoyable combat.

Good video games offer either style or substance.

The best games offer both.

But “WET,” developed by Artificial Mind and Movement and published by Bethesda Softworks, is just a good game, offering plenty of style but coming up a little short on substance.

The screen has a grainy film look, giving it an old-school cinema feel. The score could have been penned by Ennio Morricone. The film melts and breaks when Rubi dies. The developers even placed some theater ads in between chapters.

That all adds up to an unmistakable film feel.

But despite that style, the graphics aren’t very impressive, even with all of the effects added.

The controls can be quite difficult, particularly when jumping. I died more times than I care to count just trying to make simple jumps. The controls seem to have a little hitch that forces you to miss your target, which wouldn’t be a big deal if some of the challenges weren’t timed and loaded with enemies.

The negatives don’t make “WET” a bad game. The idea behind it is a good one, and the presentation alone is worth checking out, particularly if you are a fan of Tarantino.